611.3831/255: Telegram

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

174. Please ascertain definitely, and preferably in writing, whether the statement made in the final paragraph of the note of September 21 from Laleau to you, enclosed with your despatch 1018 of September 23 and referred to on page 2 of your despatch 1062 of October 16,66 was intended to be a formal notification by the Haitian Government of its intention of terminating the trade agreement 6 months from September 21. It is suggested that Dennis67 be consulted on this [Page 926] point, as in conversations in the Department last week he stated that he did not believe that was the purpose.

Dennis was informed that pending completion of its investigation in connection with which further information was awaited from Portau-Prince, the Department could not indicate the scope of any possible new trade agreement; it was felt, however, that no useful purpose would be served by a new agreement unless additional concessions of value could be included; if a new agreement were not feasible, it would not be to the advantage of either country to terminate the present agreement; if it should be found feasible to expand the present agreement, this could be done by a new or supplementary agreement and prior notice of intention to terminate the present agreement would be neither necessary nor desirable.68

  1. Despatch No. 1062, not printed.
  2. Fernand Dennis became Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Finance on October 29, 1940.
  3. In despatch No. 1103, November 13, 1940, The Chargé in Haiti reported that in reply to an enquiry the Haitian Minister for Foreign Affairs had sent him a memorandum dated November 7 saying that the Haitian Government in lieu of a formal denunciation of the trade agreement had only in mind its adjustment to the existing economic situation (611.3831/260).