The President of Haiti ( Lescot ) to the Under Secretary of State ( Welles )


Dear Mr. Under Secretary of State: With reference to my letter of June 23, which I sent you through our Secretary of State for Finance, Mr. Abel Lacroix, in which I requested of your kindness—which has never failed me—assistance in the solution of the embarrassments in which we are at the present hour because of the impossibility of importing merchandise and exporting our products and of assuring the carrying out of our budget, I take the liberty of troubling you once more in the midst of your high and important occupations of the present time to solicit your help with the “Maritime Commission or with the War Shipping Board.” It occurs to me, in calculating the tonnage which Haiti needs both of imports and exports, that a solution to the grave question of vessels which are lacking to us may, perhaps, be arranged as follows:

Instead of endeavoring to obtain for ourselves one or two ships per month—vessels of more than average tonnage and traveling at their own risks and perils,—it would be to our advantage if we could receive at Port-au-Prince a regular visit every two months only of a vessel of about 10,000 tons which the Navy of the United States would be good enough to convoy both coming and going. This vessel, which would unload at Port-au-Prince all the goods intended for the other Ports of the country, could receive each time a full load, for the Haitian Government would make arrangements to have all export products brought to the Capital and to distribute to the other Haitian ports goods destined for them.

Our request is not an exaggerated one for we would only dispose of an annual tonnage of 60,000 tons and it seems to me that in view of the critical aspects of the situation in which we are struggling this solution might be adopted.

I cherish the hope that under the circumstances you will, just as you always do, grant me the fullest help and I express my thanks to you therefor in advance.

Receive, my dear Under Secretary of State, the renewed assurances of my invariable sentiments of friendship and gratitude.

E. Lescot