838.5211/8–1446: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Haiti ( Wilson )

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240. Embdesp 1633, Aug 1425 and previous communications. Amb should be prepared discuss with Dept on Aug 2626 clauses in Haitian draft constitution which would affect American business interests, furnishing such information as possible to obtain on points below, and having Emb follow up with further information when available.

1.
Are Articles 1 to 10 and any others adopted already in final effect or what other steps must be taken and by what branch of the Haitian Govt.
2.
Is 1932 Constitution still in effect.
3.
Clarification of whether Articles VI and XIII would apply to foreign individuals or companies already established in business in Haiti and regardless of whether or not they are incorporated under Haitian laws and are Haitian corporations.
4.
Clarification of meaning of clause in Article XIII re small industries.
5.
The meaning of Article D, Title XI and its implications.

Emb should make strong informal representations to Haitian authorities pointing out that Articles VI and XIII will be harmful to prosperity and welfare of Haiti itself especially if applicable to interests already established; that they are contrary to the principles set forth in section 6 of Resolution LI (Economic Charter of the Americas) of the Final Act of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace held at Mexico City in 1945;27 and contrary to the principles set forth in the Proposals for Expansion of World Trade and Employment issued by this Govt in preparation for [Page 916] the International Conference on Trade and Employment28 in which Haiti will participate.

It is the strong hope of this Govt that Haiti will not adopt measures which will prejudice the objectives of this Conference especially those embodied in the recommendations of section 6 of Chapter VI of the Proposals.

This Govt also strongly hopes that Haiti will not adopt provisions in its Constitution which will be made the basis for discriminatory treatment of nationals of the United States in a manner which would be in contrast with the liberal principles applied under the Constitution and treaties of the United States in the treatment of aliens legally admitted to this country.

Haitian Corporation29 and Standard Fruit have already inquired re Dept’s position in these matters.

Acheson
  1. Not printed.
  2. Ambassador Wilson was in Washington for consultation August 26–September 6.
  3. For text of Resolution LI, see Report of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, Mexico City, Mexico, February 21–March 8, 1945 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1946), p. 120.
  4. United Nations World Conference in Habana, November 21, 1947–March 24, 1948.
  5. The Haitian Corporation of America (the holding company for the Haitian-American Sugar Company).