838.00N/32: Telegram

The Minister in Haiti (Mayer) to the Secretary of State

98. There are indications that Nazi influence on the Haitian Government is rapidly increasing. For example, one of the principal local Nazi leaders arrested on customs fraud charges was recently released largely through German pressure. Second, the KLM70 contract has not been canceled although repeatedly promised by President Vincent. Third, the chief of police of Port-au-Prince who despite President Vincent, Laleau and others had been striving to investigate and break up Fifth Column organization and activities was suddenly transferred yesterday to an insignificant provincial post.

The crux of the matter lies in the need for harsher evidence of what we will do. Despite inherent anti-Americanism Vincent really wants to play ball but he has seen the fate of other small countries and he is taking no chances. His pleas for immediate construction and manning of air bases here means just that. He is principally trying to [Page 127]tell us of his own weakness and how to prevent a catastrophe when he begs for action and says repeatedly that the moment work is begun on air bases and American secret agents are established here the Fifth Column will be immediately attenuated.

The same applies to taking over the French and Dutch possessions in the Caribbean area.71

Therefore I believe we must anticipate that in the absence of unmistakable signs of a leadership of action on our part Haiti will respond increasingly to Nazi influence and pressure. …

  1. Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, Royal Dutch Airline.
  2. For correspondence regarding the concern of the United States over the fate of the French and Netherland possessions in the Western Hemisphere, see vol. ii, pp. 493 ff. and 729 ff., respectively.