838.51/3449: Telegram

The Chargé in Haiti (Finley) to the Secretary of State

79. Leger sent for me this morning following a conversation which he had had with the French Minister to Haiti. De Kuli acting evidently [Page 592]upon instructions from Paris, presented the Haitian Government with an aide-mémoire substantially repeating what he had told Leger verbally September 4 (see my telegram 73, September 4, noon). In it the French Government states definitely that the 1910 question has been divorced from that of a new trade convention, and then proceeds to state that, in view of the changed conditions, the convention “will have to be made over again”. The offer of a quota of 40,000 quintals per annum remains and a small additional quota would be made available for any month following one wherein French imports into Haiti had exceeded 800,000 francs. Leger informed de Kuli that this proposal was entirely unsatisfactory to the Haitian Government, that he would not consider it and that unless France bought enough Haitian coffee to make the business advantageous for Haiti he would recommend the reimposition of the maximum tariff on French goods.

Leger said he was very much annoyed at this intransigent attitude of the French and that he feared that Labonne10 was again directing Haitian matters at the Quai d’Orsay.

I told Leger the substance of the conversations had by the Department with Henry. He again expressed his warm appreciation of the steps the American Government had taken to aid his country and said that he was instructing Lescot who was returning to Washington shortly to tender this Government’s thanks to the Department. If eventually a satisfactory convention could be concluded with the French Government it would be only because of our assistance.

  1. Eirik-Pierre Labonne, Adjunct Director of Political and Commercial Affairs, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs.