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

No. 1017

Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 1011 of September 18, 1940,35 and to my telegram No. 158 of the same date, concerning the reactions of President Vincent to the views expressed by the Department in its telegram No. 148, September 13, 6 p.m., 1940, I have the honor to forward herewith a copy of the memorandum, with English translation,35 which President Vincent handed to me on Saturday morning. As pointed out in my despatch No. 1016, September 23, 1940,35 President Vincent made no comment in handing me the memorandum.

It will be noted that the President does not share the opinion of the Department that the Haitian Government was not seriously interested in continuing the negotiations with a view to terminating the financial control. In referring to the correspondence exchanged at that time he expresses the belief that it clearly indicates that the Haitian Government did everything possible to terminate the financial control which, with the withdrawal of the Military Occupation, “has always constituted the principal desideratum of the Haitian people”. He argues that the correspondence proves that there existed a difference of opinion on questions of detail of the Banque Nationale, and he asserts that one of the essential aims of the purchase of the bank had been to substitute the Office of the Fiscal Representative by a Special Office established in the bank which would be charged with receiving the revenues of the Government, putting aside the funds necessary for the service of the loans, and effecting the payments provided for in the loan contracts.

The President is of the opinion that past delays have been due only to mutual misunderstanding and, now that the attitude of the Haitian Government has been clearly explained, he is pleased to know that the American Government is ready to enter into agreement with the Haitian Government for the strict application of Article XIII of the purchase-contract of the Banque Nationale. As will be seen from the memorandum which I left with President Vincent on September 14th, a copy of which is enclosed herewith,35 no grounds were given for such assumption.

The President concludes with the thought that the application of Article XIII of the contract of July 1, 1935, “is one of the most efficacious [Page 907] means of continuing to explore ‘additional avenues of assistance’ with the great generosity which the American Government offers.”36 He adds that it has been the predominant concern of the Haitian Government always to meet the American Government in these “avenues which are certainly the sure way for this inter-American mutual assistance so highly conceived by President Roosevelt to strengthen and develop more and more the solidarity and unity of the nations of this hemisphere in the face of the great problems susceptible of affecting so profoundly their common economic and political existence.”

Respectfully yours,

Edward J. Sparks
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  5. See Foreign Relations, 1935, Vol. iv, pp. 703 ff.