838.51/3716: Telegram

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

115. Department’s instruction 72, August 29, 7 p.m. Leger sent for me this morning and inquired whether I had received any indication as to what the Department intends to do with reference to the discussions. He said he felt sure that if the Department desired to do so, it could bring enough pressure on France to save the convention. He personally believed it should be saved for he foresaw a certain psychological reaction in case it is terminated and that, even if all of Haiti’s coffee could be sold elsewhere, he looked for a drop in prices [Page 635] immediately French competition disappeared. He intimated that the President was very much more worried about this matter than he was because “the President is permanent and I am only temporary”. The President he said would have to bear the brunt of the affair.

I said that I had no information as to the Department’s intentions but would inform him as soon as anything had been received.

Leger expressed regret that Abel Leger, who has already arrived in France, will not be able to present his credentials and make his contacts in time to accomplish anything before September 10. He hesitated giving any instructions to Chatelain because he did not wish to have any action that he might take conflict with the Department’s representations.

I gathered that Leger is considering tendering his resignation in case the French convention falls.