838.00N/32: Telegram

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

98. Your 98, June 21, 1 p.m. The Department is continuing to give the most careful attention to your reports on “fifth column” and foreign activities in Haiti. It will be very glad when you come up on leave to go over the whole situation but meanwhile feels sure that with Americans in key positions in Haiti, with the Fiscal Representative’s office in close touch with the situation, with a military mission associated with the Guard, any facts will be promptly brought to the Legation’s notice.

For this reason, it seems doubtful to the Department whether any further measures on our part to uncover activities of this kind will be of great value. Lescot72 has requested the aid of this Government in organizing a special police force, modernizing the arms of the Guard and increasing the numbers of the Guard. After consideration, the Department doubts whether the organization of a special police force would be practicable. With regard to an improvement in the Guard, the economic situation of the country will in itself hardly permit of increased expenditures for this purpose.

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With further reference to “fifth column” and foreign activities, the Department deduces that the regular German residents of Haiti can be watched satisfactorily. Most of the rumors and suspicion which you report have to do, if not with local political intrigue, with the activities of Germans who have purchased Haitian citizenship or who are alleged refugees. Your opinion is requested whether this may be an opportune time to suggest to President Vincent the enactment of [Page 128]legislation which would permit the canceling of the Haitian citizenship of any person who, within 5 years of his having acquired it, conducts himself in a manner inimical to the best interests of the Haitian state and the deportation of that person. Possibly the existing laws should be strengthened with reference to the deportation of aliens who engage in subversive activities. Perhaps without new legislation, the Executive possesses adequate power to ensure that those who are now subject to deportation proceedings, and who find it impossible to return to their original homes, might be requested to reside in certain rural areas of the Republic rather than in the principal towns and villages. Thus such an area as the Forêt des Pins, relatively uninhabited, might be designated for the residence of these persons pending their leaving the country.

Please report at your earliest convenience whether such suggestions would be timely, and describe any plan of procedure which you think might be practicable.

Hull
  1. Elie Lescot, Haitian Minister in the United States.