811.516 Export-Import Bank/6–348

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Armour)

I telephoned Mr. Martin1 this morning and said I understood that the Haitian Ambassador (Mr. Charles) was to call on Mr. Gaston of [Page 596] the Export-Import Bank today to discuss the following two Haitian loan requests: (1) the Artibonite Valley Development project; and (2) $4,000,000 request for a water supply project for Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien and for slum clearance and new housing in Port-au-Prince. I hoped he would be able to give a few minutes of his time and sympathetic consideration to these requests, and I hoped something could be done for Haiti, provided of course the Bank felt there was reasonable assurance of repayment and it could properly endorse the projects. I had always felt that as a Government we had a moral responsibility toward Haiti which put it in a somewhat different category from the other American Republics; that Haiti is a very small country, right at our doorstep that has had a difficult time; and that Haiti’s record of payment on the 1922–23 loans had been good.

Mr. Martin said lie entirely shared my viewpoint regarding our responsibilities toward Haiti and that he would be glad to study the requests himself and let me know the decision reached.

Norman Armour
  1. William McC. Martin, Jr., Chairman, Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank.