838.51 Cooperation Program/2

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of the American Republics (Finley)

Participants: President-elect Lescot of Haiti;
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dennis;
Mr. Duggan;22
Mr. Bonsal;23
Mr. Finley;
Mr. Collado.24

M. Lescot stated that in the first place, he wished to assure the Department of his Government’s desire to give the United States unlimited cooperation. He intimated that all of Haiti’s forces and facilities were at the disposal of this Government; that any plans which this Government may have in mind in connection with defense would be most carefully considered by his Government and with the greatest sympathy.

Modification of the Financial Setup.

M. Lescot said that his Government was most anxious to have the present fiscal setup in Haiti modified while at the same time giving full guarantees to the bondholders. He said that the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti had been purchased from the National City Bank for the express purpose of having transferred to the bank the functions of the Office of the Fiscal Representative. He hoped that this could now be carried out, adding that he was not very familiar with the technical aspects of the matter. He hoped, however, that it could be accomplished in a way which would not “mortify” his country, and that he hoped we would make some effort to “sugarcoat the pill”.

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Mr. Duggan said it would be satisfactory to this Government to proceed at once to study this matter and that he hoped the Department could present M. Lescot with an outline of a plan for such a reorganization on Saturday morning, April 26. If such an outline proved acceptable in principle, we could then proceed as soon as possible to the conclusion of a formal agreement. In the meanwhile, M. Lescot would be in a position to announce upon his return to Haiti that the two Governments had reached an agreement in principle to a modification which would include the setting up of the functions of the Fiscal Representative’s Office under the Bank.

[The remainder of the memorandum deals with economic assistance, tourist traffic, penal colonies, naval visits, the J. G. White contract, resettlement of urban dwellers on farms, totalitarian activities, and the military mission to Haiti.]

  1. Laurence Duggan, Adviser on Political Relations.
  2. Philip W. Bonsal, Acting Chief of the Division of the American Republics.
  3. Emilio G. Collado, of the Division of the American Republics.