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

No. 302

Sir: Reference is made to your despatches numbers 479, 535, and 553 dated October 21, November 5 and 11, 1941,53 to the Department’s instruction no. 224 of October 7, and to previous correspondence regarding the proposed Commercial Convention between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

In reply to the request of the Haitian Government, reported in despatch no. 553 of November 11, and repeated at the Department by the Haitian Minister at Washington, the latter has received a statement of the Department’s views regarding the Convention in a Memorandum dated December 5. Two copies of the Memorandum are enclosed54 for your information and the files of the Legation, and for transmission to the Haitian Foreign Office.

Your attention is directed to the arguments adduced in the attached Memorandum, which sets forth this Department’s interpretations of the American-Haitian Trade Agreement of 1935 and of the September 18, 1941 recommendations of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee.

The Department’s attitude on this question, it may be pointed out, is not based upon the interpretation of the Executive Agreement of September 13, 1941, to which you referred at page five of despatch no. 535 of November 5. (The Department has observed that your [Page 366] conversation with the Foreign Minister, reported in that despatch, was confined to an expression of purely personal views.) Specifically, the Department prefers not to advance the theory that “the language employed in Article XX of the Accord of August 7, 1933, did not seem to be incorporated in the Executive Agreement of September 13, 1941, for the reason that the two Governments had decided to confer this duty of the Fiscal Representative upon the Board of Directors of the National Bank consisting of three American and three Haitian members”.

However, as the Department continues to make further studies of the trade between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, mentioned in the penultimate paragraph of the December 5 Memorandum, it wishes to have the benefit of the views of the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti, particularly regarding the effects which the Convention might be anticipated to have upon Haitian revenues. The Legation’s despatch no. 553, of November 11, stated that the Bank had undertaken, on its own initiative, a study of this aspect of the Commercial Convention.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Dean Acheson
  1. Despatch No. 553, November 11, not printed.
  2. Supra.