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

165. President Vincent informed me this morning that the budget will be balanced by a horizontal salary reduction of 25 percent. However, the reduction in the salaries of diplomatic and consular officers will be only 10 percent, whereas the monthly salaries of the enlisted personnel in the Garde of 100 gourdes or less will be restored in full. Appropriations other than those for personnel will be reduced 20 percent while those abroad 10 percent.

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The President inquired if comparable reductions could be made in the salaries and wages of employees of the J. G. White Engineering Corporation on the grounds that they are in fact Haitian Government employees. These savings would be utilized for additional public works. He also inquired whether reductions could be made in the service of the Fiscal Representative explaining that he desired to avoid setting up privileged classes among Haitian Government employees. When I pointed out that it would appear that he had already done so by exempting the enlisted men in the Garde he immediately adduced numerous political reasons in support of that action.

It is my understanding that the American personnel of the J. G. White Engineering Corporation would not consent to a reduction and would seek more gainful employment in the United States. It is suggested that Mr. Day38 be consulted.

The Fiscal Representative states that he voluntarily imposed a reduction of 10% in salaries in order to keep within his operating funds which he proposes to continue and that he is not prepared to require further sacrifice upon the part of his men. In support of this position he outlined in detail what he considers to be the failure of President Vincent to effect economies, to dismiss personnel who perform no services for the Government or to eliminate unnecessary personnel paid from supply and operation appropriations whereas he asserts that the operating costs of his services have been substantially reduced. He adds that the Accord of 1933 specifically provided for the present situation by granting independence to the Haitian Government and to his services in the expenditure of their respective funds. He concludes that the foregoing is known to his employees and that if their salaries are further reduced their morale and efficiency would be seriously impaired if not destroyed.

  1. Ralph R. Day, General Manager, J. G. White Engineering Corporation project in Haiti.