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

No. 795

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the instruction no. 353 of January 12, 1942, 638.3931, setting forth that the Department is prepared to waive its rights to most-favored-nation treatment in regard to certain commodities mentioned in the Dominican-Haitian Treaty of Commerce signed August 26, 1941, as per the draft memorandum and exchange of notes attached to the instruction.

The instruction authorizes me to transmit the memorandum and draft to the Haitian Government.

In this connection I am informed that the following countries would be entitled to claim most-favored-nation treatment from Haiti, in addition to the United States:—France, Holland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Luxemburg, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and Switzerland.

The Banque Nationale is fearful of the effects of the tariff reductions, to be accorded by this Treaty to the Dominican Republic, upon Haitian revenues.

In conversation with President Lescot, the latter indicated that he was not disposed to promote the ratification of the Treaty at this time and that the Dominican authorities are also now considerably less enthusiastic than formerly. He, therefore, expressed a preference that, if possible, I should not bring the Department’s waiver of most-favored-nation treatment to the attention of the Haitian Government for the present. The effect of such non-action would be that, if the [Page 463] question of the Treaty were to be raised by the Dominican Government, the Haitian Government could reply that it had not yet heard from the State Department.

Unless, therefore, the Department expresses its wish that I should notify the Haitian Government formally as to its willingness to effect a waiver of the most-favored-nation clause, I shall assume that the authorization contained in instruction no. 353, above-mentioned, is optional and not mandatory, and shall take no action.

Respectfully yours,

J. C. White