840.48 Refugees/3078

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Marseille ( Benton )29

Sir: The Department has been approached in a friendly and cooperative manner by representatives of the Haitian Government in Washington who sought the advice of this Government with respect to a request made by the Czechoslovak Legation in Washington that a number of Czechoslovak citizens now residing in France be afforded temporary refuge in the Republic of Haiti. In this connection there are enclosed copies of memoranda prepared by officers of the Department on April 13 and May 1, 13 and 23.30 There is also enclosed a copy, in translation, of a note dated June 15, 194231 from the Minister of Czechoslovakia in Washington to his colleague, the Minister of Haiti.

According to information available to the Department the Haitian Government has not yet agreed to accept any of the Czechoslovak refugees and it may be assumed that it will not do so until this Government’s definitive views have been transmitted to it.

You are authorized, in your discretion, to approach the Czechoslovak representative at Marseille regarding the proposal, and submit to the Department by air mail despatch a recommendation regarding the suggested granting of Haitian visas to Czechoslovak refugees now in France, including the number of persons that might be involved, and your own views as to their political reliability.

Any further comments which you would care to make on this subject including your views as to the financial condition of the Czechoslovak refugees, the means of transportation which would be available to them and the reliability which could be placed upon the recommendation of the Czechoslovak Consul, should also be submitted to the Department.

At the present time it is contemplated, in the event that your report is favorable to the operation of this plan, to submit the applications for Haitian visas to the same procedure that is used in the cases of applicants for United States immigration visas. This matter, however, has not yet been agreed upon with the Haitian government and you may feel free to comment upon this aspect of the problem if you should care to do so.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
  1. The Consul General at Marseille replied in despatch No. 64, October 9, not printed. In December the Haitian Minister was informed that the present was inopportune for such a transfer.
  2. For memorandum of May 23, see p. 459; others not printed.
  3. Not printed.