Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Ambassador of the Dominican Republic12 called at his request. He said that for the first time for a considerable period he was obliged to bring disagreeable news which related to the relations between his country and Haiti. He said that more or less small incidents and acrimonious talk have brought about strained relations between the two countries with the result that Haiti has given notice that the bilateral trade treaty13 existing between the two countries will be denounced.

The Ambassador then launched into a series of statements about how Haiti was giving offense to the Dominican Republic. Each of these was a very small matter in itself. One related to the printing of stamps and the like showing only Haiti on the Island; the others were purely minor. At any rate the upshot of the matter was the present strained relations. The Ambassador finally said that President Trujillo would not in any event violate the spirit of Pan American solidarity and of cooperation to keep the peace, et cetera.

I paid President Trujillo a high compliment for his elevated and high-toned attitude and position. I said only big men can do big things. I then expressed regret all along the line about the occurrences which he had detailed. I said I did not know whether anything in particular could be done about the treaty matter, that I was under the impression that in any event the treaty abolition would not make much difference in the volume of trade between the two countries. The Ambassador had a different view from this.

The Ambassador then referred to the fact that the President of Haiti was supposed to be coming to Washington during the coming weeks and for that reason he was acquainting me with the existing situation. I again expressed regret about these relations and said that if there was anything that I could say later as a mutual friend of both countries that might be helpful in clearing up these disagreeable incidents, I would be only too glad to do so. This seemed to satisfy him for the present.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Jesús M. Troncoso.
  2. The Haitian-Dominican Trade Convention of 1941.