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Title: Self-Determining Haiti - Four articles reprinted from The Nation embodying a report - of an investigation made for the National Association for - the Advancement of Colored People.
Author: Johnson, James Weldon, 1871-1938
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Self-Determining Haiti

BY

JAMES WELDON JOHNSON


Four articles reprinted from _The Nation_ embodying a report of an
investigation made for

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE


_Together with Official Documents_

25 cents a copy



Copyright, 1920

By THE NATION, Inc.



FOREWORD


The articles and documents in this pamphlet were printed in _The Nation_
during the summer of 1920. They revealed for the first time to the world
the nature of the United States' imperialistic venture in Haiti. While,
owing to the censorship, the full story of this fundamental departure
from American traditions has not yet been told, it appears at the time
of this writing, October, 1920, that "pitiless publicity" for our
sandbagging of a friendly and inoffensive neighbor has been achieved.
The report of Major-General George Barnett, commandant of the Marine
Corps during the first four years of the Haitian occupation, just
issued, strikingly confirms the facts set forth by _The Nation_ and
refutes the denials of administration officials and their newspaper
apologists. It is in the hope that by spreading broadly the truth about
what has happened in Haiti under five years of American occupation _The
Nation_ may further contribute toward removing a dark blot from the
American escutcheon, that this pamphlet is issued.



Self-Determining Haiti

By JAMES WELDON JOHNSON



I. THE AMERICAN OCCUPATION


To know the reasons for the present political situation in Haiti, to
understand why the United States landed and has for five years
maintained military forces in that country, why some three thousand
Haitian men, women, and children have been shot down by American rifles
and machine guns, it is necessary, among other things, to know that the
National City Bank of New York is very much interested in Haiti. It is
necessary to know that the National City Bank controls the National Bank
of Haiti and is the depository for all of the Haitian national funds
that are being collected by American officials, and that Mr. R. L.
Farnham, vice-president of the National City Bank, is virtually the
representative of the State Department in matters relating to the island
republic. Most Americans have the opinion--if they have any opinion at
all on the subject--that the United States was forced, on purely humane
grounds, to intervene in the black republic because of the tragic coup
d'etat which resulted in the overthrow and death of President Vilbrun
Guillaume Sam and the execution of the political prisoners confined at
Port-au-Prince, July 27-28, 1915; and that this government has been
compelled to keep a military force in Haiti since that time to pacify
the country and maintain order.

The fact is that for nearly a year before forcible intervention on the
part of the United States this government was seeking to compel Haiti to
submit to "peaceable" intervention. Toward the close of 1914 the United
States notified the government of Haiti that it was disposed to
recognize the newly-elected president, Theodore Davilmar, as soon as a
Haitian commission would sign at Washington "satisfactory protocols"
relative to a convention with the United States on the model of the
Dominican-American Convention. On December 15, 1914, the Haitian
government, through its Secretary of Foreign Affairs, replied: "The
Government of the Republic of Haiti would consider itself lax in its
duty to the United States and to itself if it allowed the least doubt
to exist of its irrevocable intention not to accept any control of the
administration of Haitian affairs by a foreign Power." On December 19,
the United States, through its legation at Port-au-Prince, replied, that
in expressing its willingness to do in Haiti what had been done in Santo
Domingo it "was actuated entirely by a disinterested desire to give
assistance."

Two months later, the Theodore government was overthrown by a revolution
and Vilbrun Guillaume was elected president. Immediately afterwards
there arrived at Port-au-Prince an American commission from
Washington--the Ford mission. The commissioners were received at the
National Palace and attempted to take up the discussion of the
convention that had been broken off in December, 1914. However, they
lacked full powers and no negotiations were entered into. After several
days, the Ford mission sailed for the United States. But soon after, in
May, the United States sent to Haiti Mr. Paul Fuller, Jr., with the
title Envoy Extraordinary, on a special mission to apprise the Haitian
government that the Guillaume administration would not be recognized by
the American government unless Haiti accepted and signed the project of
a convention which he was authorized to present. After examining the
project the Haitian government submitted to the American commission a
counter-project, formulating the conditions under which it would be
possible to accept the assistance of the United States. To this
counter-project Mr. Fuller proposed certain modifications, some of which
were accepted by the Haitian government. On June 5, 1915, Mr. Fuller
acknowledged the receipt of the Haitian communication regarding these
modifications, and sailed from Port-au-Prince.

Before any further discussion of the Fuller project between the two
governments, political incidents in Haiti led rapidly to the events of
July, 27 and 28. On July 27 President Guillaume fled to the French
Legation, and on the same day took place a massacre of the political
prisoners in the prison at Port-au-Prince. On the morning of July 28
President Guillaume was forcibly taken from French Legation and killed.
On the afternoon of July 28 an American man-of-war dropped anchor in the
harbor of Port-au-Prince and landed American forces. It should be borne
in mind that through all of this the life of not a single American
citizen had been taken or jeopardized.

The overthrow of Guillaume and its attending consequences did not
constitute the cause of American intervention in Haiti, but merely
furnished the awaited opportunity. Since July 28, 1915, American
military forces have been in control of Haiti. These forces have been
increased until there are now somewhere near three thousand Americans
under arms in the republic. From the very first, the attitude of the
Occupation has been that it was dealing with a conquered territory.
Haitian forces were disarmed, military posts and barracks were occupied,
and the National Palace was taken as headquarters for the Occupation.
After selecting a new and acceptable president for the country, steps
were at once taken to compel the Haitian government to sign a convention
in which it virtually foreswore its independence. This was accomplished
by September 16, 1915; and although the terms of this convention
provided for the administration of the Haitian customs by American
civilian officials, all the principal custom houses of the country had
been seized by military force and placed in charge of American Marine
officers before the end of August. The disposition of the funds
collected in duties from the time of the military seizure of the custom
houses to the time of their administration by civilian officials is
still a question concerning which the established censorship in Haiti
allows no discussion.

It is interesting to note the wide difference between the convention
which Haiti was forced to sign and the convention which was in course of
diplomatic negotiation at the moment of intervention. The Fuller
convention asked little of Haiti and gave something, the Occupation
convention demands everything of Haiti and gives nothing. The Occupation
convention is really the same convention which the Haitian government
peremptorily refused to discuss in December, 1914, except that in
addition to American control of Haitian finances it also provides for
American control of the Haitian military forces. The Fuller convention
contained neither of these provisions. When the United States found
itself in a position to take what it had not even dared to ask, it used
brute force and took it. But even a convention which practically
deprived Haiti of its independence was found not wholly adequate for
the accomplishment of all that was contemplated. The Haitian
constitution still offered some embarrassments, so it was decided that
Haiti must have a new constitution. It was drafted and presented to the
Haitian assembly for adoption. The assembly balked--chiefly at the
article in the proposed document removing the constitutional disability
which prevented aliens from owning land in Haiti. Haiti had long
considered the denial of this right to aliens as her main bulwark
against overwhelming economic exploitation; and it must be admitted that
she had better reasons than the several states of the United States that
have similar provisions.

The balking of the assembly resulted in its being dissolved by actual
military force and the locking of doors of the Chamber. There has been
no Haitian legislative body since. The desired constitution was
submitted to a plebiscite by a decree of the President, although such a
method of constitutional revision was clearly unconstitutional. Under
the circumstances of the Occupation the plebiscite was, of course,
almost unanimous for the desired change, and the new constitution was
promulgated on June 18, 1918. Thus Haiti was given a new constitution by
a flagrantly unconstitutional method. The new document contains several
fundamental changes and includes a "Special Article" which declares:

     All the acts of the Government of the United States during its
     military Occupation in Haiti are ratified and confirmed.

     No Haitian shall be liable to civil or criminal prosecution for
     any act done by order of the Occupation or under its authority.

     The acts of the courts martial of the Occupation, without,
     however, infringing on the right to pardon, shall not be
     subject to revision.

     The acts of the Executive Power (the President) up to the
     promulgation of the present constitution are likewise ratified
     and confirmed.

The above is the chronological order of the principal steps by which the
independence of a neighboring republic has been taken away, the people
placed under foreign military domination from which they have no appeal,
and exposed to foreign economic exploitation against which they are
defenseless. All of this has been done in the name of the Government of
the United States; however, without any act by Congress and without any
knowledge of the American people.

The law by which Haiti is ruled today is martial law dispensed by
Americans. There is a form of Haitian civil government, but it is
entirely dominated by the military Occupation. President Dartiguenave,
bitterly rebellious at heart as is every good Haitian, confessed to me
the powerlessness of himself and his cabinet. He told me that the
American authorities give no heed to recommendations made by him or his
officers; that they would not even discuss matters about which the
Haitian officials have superior knowledge. The provisions of both the
old and the new constitutions are ignored in that there is no Haitian
legislative body, and there has been none since the dissolution of the
Assembly in April, 1916. In its stead there is a Council of State
composed of twenty-one members appointed by the president, which
functions effectively only when carrying out the will of the Occupation.
Indeed the Occupation often overrides the civil courts. A prisoner
brought before the proper court, exonerated, and discharged, is,
nevertheless, frequently held by the military. All government funds are
collected by the Occupation and are dispensed at its will and pleasure.
The greater part of these funds is expended for the maintenance of the
military forces. There is the strictest censorship of the press. No
Haitian newspaper is allowed to publish anything in criticism of the
Occupation or the Haitian government. Each newspaper in Haiti received
an order to that effect from the Occupation, _and the same order carried
the injunction not to print the order_. Nothing that might reflect upon
the Occupation administration in Haiti is allowed to reach the
newspapers of the United States.

The Haitian people justly complain that not only is the convention
inimical to the best interests of their country, but that the
convention, such as it is, is not being carried out in accordance with
the letter, nor in accordance with the spirit in which they were led to
believe it would be carried out. Except one, all of the obligations in
the convention which the United States undertakes in favor of Haiti are
contained in the first article of that document, the other fourteen
articles being made up substantially of obligations to the United States
assumed by Haiti. But nowhere in those fourteen articles is there
anything to indicate that Haiti would be subjected to military
domination. In Article I the United States promises to "aid the Haitian
government in the proper and efficient development of its agricultural,
mineral, and commercial resources and in the establishment of the
finances of Haiti on a firm and solid basis." And the whole convention
and, especially, the protestations of the United States before the
signing of the instrument can be construed only to mean that that aid
would be extended through the supervision of civilian officials.

The one promise of the United States to Haiti not contained in the first
article of the convention is that clause of Article XIV which says,
"and, should the necessity occur, the United States will lend an
efficient aid for the preservation of Haitian independence and the
maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life,
property, and individual liberty." It is the extreme of irony that this
clause which the Haitians had a right to interpret as a guarantee to
them against foreign invasion should first of all be invoked against the
Haitian people themselves, and offer the only peg on which any pretense
to a right of military domination can be hung.

There are several distinct forces--financial, military, bureaucratic--at
work in Haiti which, tending to aggravate the conditions they themselves
have created, are largely self-perpetuating. The most sinister of these,
the financial engulfment of Haiti by the National City Bank of New York,
already alluded to, will be discussed in detail in a subsequent article.
The military Occupation has made and continues to make military
Occupation necessary. The justification given is that it is necessary
for the pacification of the country. Pacification would never have been
necessary had not American policies been filled with so many stupid and
brutal blunders; and it will never be effective so long as
"pacification" means merely the hunting of ragged Haitians in the hills
with machine guns.

Then there is the force which the several hundred American civilian
place-holders constitute. They have found in Haiti the veritable
promised land of "jobs for deserving democrats" and naturally do not
wish to see the present status discontinued. Most of these deserving
democrats are Southerners. The head of the customs service of Haiti was
a clerk of one of the parishes of Louisiana. Second in charge of the
customs service of Haiti is a man who was Deputy Collector of Customs at
Pascagoula, Mississippi [population, 3,379, 1910 Census]. The
Superintendent of Public Instruction was a school teacher in
Louisiana--a State which has not good schools even for white children;
the financial advisor, Mr. McIlhenny, is also from Louisiana.

Many of the Occupation officers are in the same category with the
civilian place-holders. These men have taken their wives and families to
Haiti. Those at Port-au-Prince live in beautiful villas. Families that
could not keep a hired girl in the United States have a half-dozen
servants. They ride in automobiles--not their own. Every American head
of a department in Haiti has an automobile furnished at the expense of
the Haitian Government, whereas members of the Haitian cabinet, who are
theoretically above them, have no such convenience or luxury. While I
was there, the President himself was obliged to borrow an automobile
from the Occupation for a trip through the interior. The Louisiana
school-teacher Superintendent of Instruction has an automobile furnished
at government expense, whereas the Haitian Minister of Public
Instruction, his supposed superior officer, has none. These automobiles
seem to be chiefly employed in giving the women and children an airing
each afternoon. It must be amusing, when it is not maddening to the
Haitians, to see with what disdainful air these people look upon them as
they ride by.

The platform adopted by the Democratic party at San Francisco said of
the Wilson policy in Mexico:

     The Administration, remembering always that Mexico is an
     independent nation and that permanent stability in her
     government and her institutions could come only from the
     consent of her own people to a government of her own making,
     has been unwilling either to profit by the misfortunes of the
     people of Mexico or to enfeeble their future by imposing from
     the outside a rule upon their temporarily distracted councils.

Haiti has never been so distracted in its councils as Mexico. And even
in its moments of greatest distraction it never slaughtered an American
citizen, it never molested an American woman, it never injured a
dollar's worth of American property. And yet, the Administration whose
lofty purpose was proclaimed as above--with less justification than
Austria's invasion of Serbia, or Germany's rape of Belgium, without
warrant other than the doctrine that "might makes right," has conquered
Haiti. It has done this through the very period when, in the words of
its chief spokesman, our sons were laying down their lives overseas "for
democracy, for the rights of those who submit to authority to have a
voice in their own government, for the rights and liberties of small
nations." By command of the author of "pitiless publicity" and
originator of "open covenants openly arrived at," it has enforced by the
bayonet a covenant whose secret has been well guarded by a rigid
censorship from the American nation, and kept a people enslaved by the
military tyranny which it was his avowed purpose to destroy throughout
the world.

_From The Nation of August 25, 1920._



II. WHAT THE UNITED STATES HAS ACCOMPLISHED


When the truth about the conquest of Haiti--the slaughter of three
thousand and practically unarmed Haitians, with the incidentally
needless death of a score of American boys--begins to filter through the
rigid Administration censorship to the American people, the apologists
will become active. Their justification of what has been done will be
grouped under two heads: one, the necessity, and two, the results. Under
the first, much stress will be laid upon the "anarchy" which existed in
Haiti, upon the backwardness of the Haitians and their absolute
unfitness to govern themselves. The pretext which caused the
intervention was taken up in the first article of this series. The
characteristics, alleged and real, of the Haitian people will be taken
up in a subsequent article. Now as to results: The apologists will
attempt to show that material improvements in Haiti justify American
intervention. Let us see what they are.

Diligent inquiry reveals just three: The building of the road from
Port-au-Prince to Cape Haitien; the enforcement of certain sanitary
regulations in the larger cities; and the improvement of the public
hospital at Port-au-Prince. The enforcement of certain sanitary
regulations is not so important as it may sound, for even under
exclusive native rule, Haiti has been a remarkably healthy country and
had never suffered from such epidemics as used to sweep Cuba and the
Panama Canal region. The regulations, moreover, were of a purely minor
character--the sort that might be issued by a board of health in any
American city or town--and were in no wise fundamental, because there
was no need. The same applies to the improvement of the hospital, long
before the American Occupation, an effectively conducted institution but
which, it is only fair to say, benefited considerably by the regulations
and more up-to-date methods of American army surgeons--the best in the
world. Neither of these accomplishments, however, creditable as they
are, can well be put forward as a justification for military domination.
The building of the great highway from Port-au-Prince to Cape Haitien is
a monumental piece of work, but it is doubtful whether the object in
building it was to supply the Haitians with a great highway or to
construct a military road which would facilitate the transportation of
troops and supplies from one end of the island to the other. And this
represents the sum total of the constructive accomplishment after five
years of American Occupation.

Now, the highway, while doubtless the most important achievement of the
three, involved the most brutal of all the blunders of the Occupation.
The work was in charge of an officer of Marines who stands out even in
that organization for his "treat 'em rough" methods. He discovered the
obsolete Haitian _corvée_ and decided to enforce it with the most modern
Marine efficiency. The _corvée_, or road law, in Haiti provided that
each citizen should work a certain number of days on the public roads to
keep them in condition, or pay a certain sum of money. In the days when
this law was in force the Haitian government never required the men to
work the roads except in their respective communities, and the number of
days was usually limited to three a year. But the Occupation seized men
wherever it could find them, and no able-bodied Haitian was safe from
such raids, which most closely resembled the African slave raids of past
centuries. And slavery it was--though temporary. By day or by night,
from the bosom of their families, from their little farms or while
trudging peacefully on the country roads, Haitians were seized and
forcibly taken to toil for months in far sections of the country. Those
who protested or resisted were beaten into submission. At night, after
long hours of unremitting labor under armed taskmasters, who swiftly
discouraged any slackening of effort with boot or rifle butt, the
victims were herded in compounds. Those attempting to escape were shot.
Their terror-stricken families meanwhile were often in total ignorance
of the fate of their husbands, fathers, brothers.

It is chiefly out of these methods that arose the need for
"pacification." Many men of the rural districts became panic-stricken
and fled to the hills and mountains. Others rebelled and did likewise,
preferring death to slavery. These refugees largely make up the "caco"
forces, to hunt down which has become the duty and the sport of American
Marines, who were privileged to shoot a "caco" on sight. If anyone
doubts that "caco" hunting is the sport of American Marines in Haiti,
let him learn the facts about the death of Charlemagne. Charlemagne
Peralte was a Haitian of education and culture and of great influence in
his district. He was tried by an American courtmartial on the charge of
aiding "cacos." He was sentenced, not to prison, however, but to five
years of hard labor on the roads, and was forced to work in convict garb
on the streets of Cape Haitien. He made his escape and put himself at
the head of several hundred followers in a valiant though hopeless
attempt to free Haiti. The America of the Revolution, indeed the America
of the Civil War, would have regarded Charlemagne not as a criminal but
a patriot. He met his death not in open fight, not in an attempt at his
capture, but through a dastard deed. While standing over his camp fire,
he was shot in cold blood by an American Marine officer who stood
concealed by the darkness, and who had reached the camp through bribery
and trickery. This deed, which was nothing short of assassination, has
been heralded as an example of American heroism. Of this deed, Harry
Franck, writing in the June Century of "The Death of Charlemagne," says:
"Indeed it is fit to rank with any of the stirring warrior tales with
which history is seasoned from the days of the Greeks down to the recent
world war." America should read "The Death of Charlemagne" which
attempts to glorify a black smirch on American arms and tradition.

There is a reason why the methods employed in road building affected the
Haitian country folk in a way in which it might not have affected the
people of any other Latin-American country. Not since the independence
of the country has there been any such thing as a peon in Haiti. The
revolution by which Haiti gained her independence was not merely a
political revolution, it was also a social revolution. Among the many
radical changes wrought was that of cutting up the large slave estates
into small parcels and allotting them among former slaves. And so it was
that every Haitian in the rural districts lived on his own plot of land,
a plot on which his family has lived for perhaps more than a hundred
years. No matter how small or how large that plot is, and whether he
raises much or little on it, it is his and he is an independent farmer.

The completed highway, moreover, continued to be a barb in the Haitian
wound. Automobiles on this road, running without any speed limit, are a
constant inconvenience or danger to the natives carrying their market
produce to town on their heads or loaded on the backs of animals. I have
seen these people scramble in terror often up the side or down the
declivity of the mountain for places of safety for themselves and their
animals as the machines snorted by. I have seen a market woman's horse
take flight and scatter the produce loaded on his back all over the road
for several hundred yards. I have heard an American commercial traveler
laughingly tell how on the trip from Cape Haitien to Port-au-Prince the
automobile he was in killed a donkey and two pigs. It had not occurred
to him that the donkey might be the chief capital of the small Haitian
farmer and that the loss of it might entirely bankrupt him. It is all
very humorous, of course, unless you happen to be the Haitian
pedestrian.

The majority of visitors on arriving at Port-au-Prince and noticing the
well-paved, well-kept streets, will at once jump to the conclusion that
this work was done by the American Occupation. The Occupation goes to no
trouble to refute this conclusion, and in fact it will by implication
corroborate it. If one should exclaim, "Why, I am surprised to see what
a well-paved city Port-au-Prince is!" he would be almost certain to
receive the answer, "Yes, but you should have seen it before the
Occupation." The implication here is that Port-au-Prince was a mudhole
and that the Occupation is responsible for its clean and well-paved
streets. It is true that at the time of the intervention, five years
ago, there were only one or two paved streets in the Haitian capital,
but the contracts for paving the entire city had been let by the Haitian
Government, and the work had already been begun. This work was completed
during the Occupation, _but the Occupation did not pave, and had nothing
to do with the paving of a single street in Port-au-Prince_.

One accomplishment I did expect to find--that the American Occupation,
in its five years of absolute rule, had developed and improved the
Haitian system of public education. The United States has made some
efforts in this direction in other countries where it has taken control.
In Porto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines, the attempt, at least, was
made to establish modern school systems. Selected youths from these
countries were taken and sent to the United States for training in order
that they might return and be better teachers, and American teachers
were sent to those islands in exchange. The American Occupation in Haiti
has not advanced public education a single step. No new buildings have
been erected. Not a single Haitian youth has been sent to the United
States for training as a teacher, nor has a single American teacher,
white or colored, been sent to Haiti. According to the general budget of
Haiti, 1919-1920, there are teachers in the rural schools receiving as
little as six dollars a month. Some of these teachers may not be worth
more than six dollars a month. But after five years of American rule,
there ought not to be a single teacher in the country who is not worth
more than that paltry sum.

Another source of discontent is the Gendarmerie. When the Occupation
took possession of the island, it disarmed all Haitians, including the
various local police forces. To remedy this situation the Convention
(Article X), provided that there should be created,--

     without delay, an efficient constabulary, urban and rural,
     composed of native Haitians. This constabulary shall be
     organized and officered by Americans, appointed by the
     President of Haiti upon nomination by the President of the
     United States.... These officers shall be replaced by Haitians
     as they, by examination conducted under direction of a board to
     be selected by the Senior American Officer of this constabulary
     in the presence of a representative of the Haitian Government,
     are found to be qualified to assume such duties.

During the first months of the Occupation officers of the Haitian
Gendarmerie were commissioned officers of the marines, but the war took
all these officers to Europe. Five years have passed and the
constabulary is still officered entirely by marines, but almost without
exception they are ex-privates or non-commissioned officers of the
United States Marine Corps commissioned in the gendarmerie. Many of
these men are rough, uncouth, and uneducated, and a great number from
the South, are violently steeped in color prejudice. They direct all
policing of city and town. It falls to them, ignorant of Haitian ways
and language, to enforce every minor police regulation. Needless to say,
this is a grave source of continued irritation. Where the genial
American "cop" could, with a wave of his hand or club, convey the full
majesty of the law to the small boy transgressor or to some equally
innocuous offender, the strong-arm tactics for which the marines are
famous, are apt to be promptly evoked. The pledge in the Convention that
"these officers be replaced by Haitians" who could qualify, has, like
other pledges, become a mere scrap of paper. Graduates of the famous
French military academy of St. Cyr, men who have actually qualified for
commissions in the French army, are denied the opportunity to fill even
a lesser commission in the Haitian Gendarmerie, although such men, in
addition to their pre-eminent qualifications of training, would, because
of their understanding of local conditions and their complete
familiarity with the ways of their own country, make ideal guardians of
the peace.

The American Occupation of Haiti is not only guilty of sins of omission,
it is guilty of sins of commission in addition to those committed in the
building of the great road across the island. Brutalities and atrocities
on the part of American marines have occurred with sufficient frequency
to be the cause of deep resentment and terror. Marines talk freely of
what they "did" to some Haitians in the outlying districts. Familiar
methods of torture to make captives reveal what they often do not know
are nonchalantly discussed. Just before I left Port-au-Prince an
American Marine had caught a Haitian boy stealing sugar off the wharf
and instead of arresting him he battered his brains out with the butt of
his rifle. I learned from the lips of American Marines themselves of a
number of cases of rape of Haitian women by marines. I often sat at
tables in the hotels and cafes in company with marine officers and they
talked before me without restraint. I remember the description of a
"caco" hunt by one of them; he told how they finally came upon a crowd
of natives engaged in the popular pastime of cock-fighting and how they
"let them have it" with machine guns and rifle fire. I heard another, a
captain of marines, relate how he at a fire in Port-au-Prince ordered a
"rather dressed up Haitian," standing on the sidewalk, to "get in there"
and take a hand at the pumps. It appeared that the Haitian merely
shrugged his shoulders. The captain of marines then laughingly said: "I
had on a pretty heavy pair of boots and I let him have a kick that
landed him in the middle of the street. Someone ran up and told me that
the man was an ex-member of the Haitian Assembly." The fact that the man
had been a member of the Haitian Assembly made the whole incident more
laughable to the captain of marines.

Perhaps the most serious aspect of American brutality in Haiti is not to
be found in individual cases of cruelty, numerous and inexcusable though
they are, but rather in the American attitude, well illustrated by the
diagnosis of an American officer discussing the situation and its
difficulty: "The trouble with this whole business is that some of these
people with a little money and education think they are as good as we
are," and this is the keynote of the attitude of every American to every
Haitian. Americans have carried American hatred to Haiti. They have
planted the feeling of caste and color prejudice where it never before
existed.

And such are the "accomplishments" of the United States in Haiti. The
Occupation has not only failed to achieve anything worth while, but has
made it impossible to do so because of the distrust and bitterness that
it has engendered in the Haitian people. Through the present
instrumentalities no matter how earnestly the United States may desire
to be fair to Haiti and make intervention a success, it will not
succeed. An entirely new deal is necessary. This Government forced the
Haitian leaders to accept the promise of American aid and American
supervision. With that American aid the Haitian Government defaulted its
external and internal debt, an obligation, which under self-government
the Haitians had scrupulously observed. And American supervision turned
out to be a military tyranny supporting a program of economic
exploitation. The United States had an opportunity to gain the
confidence of the Haitian people. That opportunity has been destroyed.
When American troops first landed, although the Haitian people were
outraged, there was a feeling nevertheless which might well have
developed into cooperation. There were those who had hopes that the
United States, guided by its traditional policy of nearly a century and
a half, pursuing its fine stand in Cuba, under McKinley, Roosevelt, and
Taft, would extend aid that would be mutually beneficial to both
countries. Those Haitians who indulged this hope are disappointed and
bitter. Those members of the Haitian Assembly who, while acting under
coercion were nevertheless hopeful of American promises, incurred
unpopularity by voting for the Convention, are today bitterly
disappointed and utterly disillusioned.

If the United States should leave Haiti today, it would leave more than
a thousand widows and orphans of its own making, more banditry than has
existed for a century, resentment, hatred and despair in the heart of a
whole people, to say nothing of the irreparable injury to its own
tradition as the defender of the rights of man.

_From The Nation of September 4, 1920._



III. GOVERNMENT OF, BY, AND FOR THE NATIONAL CITY BANK


Former articles of this series described the Military Occupation of
Haiti and the crowd of civilian place holders as among the forces at
work in Haiti to maintain the present status in that country. But more
powerful though less obvious, and more sinister, because of its deep and
varied radications, is the force exercised by the National City Bank of
New York. It seeks more than the mere maintenance of the present status
in Haiti; it is constantly working to bring about a condition more
suitable and profitable to itself. Behind the Occupation, working
conjointly with the Department of State, stands this great banking
institution of New York and elsewhere. The financial potentates allied
with it are the ones who will profit by the control of Haiti. The
United States Marine Corps and the various office-holding "deserving
Democrats," who help maintain the status quo there, are in reality
working for great financial interests in this country, although Uncle
Sam and Haiti pay their salaries.

Mr. Roger L. Farnham, vice-president of the National City Bank, was
effectively instrumental in bringing about American intervention in
Haiti. With the administration at Washington, the word of Mr. Farnham
supersedes that of anybody else on the island. While Mr.
Bailly-Blanchard, with the title of minister, is its representative in
name, Mr. Farnham is its representative in fact. His goings and comings
are aboard vessels of the United States Navy. His bank, the National
City, has been in charge of the Banque Nationale d'Haiti throughout the
Occupation.[1] Only a few weeks ago he was appointed receiver of the
National Railroad of Haiti, controlling practically the entire railway
system in the island with valuable territorial concessions in all
parts.[2] The $5,000,000 sugar plant at Port-au-Prince, it is commonly
reported, is about to fall into his hands.

[Footnote 1: The National City Bank originally (about 1911) purchased
2,000 shares of the stock of the Banque Nationale d'Haiti. After the
Occupation it purchased 6,000 additional shares in the hands of three
New York banking firms. Since then it has been negotiating for the
complete control of the stock, the balance of which is held in France.
The contract for this transfer of the Bank and the granting of a new
charter under the laws of Haiti were agreed upon and signed at
Washington last February. But the delay in completing these arrangements
is caused by the impasse between the State Department and the National
City Bank, on the one hand, and the Haitian Government on the other, due
to the fact that the State Department and the National City Bank
insisted upon including in the contract a clause prohibiting the
importation and exportation of foreign money into Haiti subject only to
the control of the financial adviser. To this new power the Haitian
Government refuses to consent.]

[Footnote 2: Originally, Mr. James P. McDonald secured from the Haitian
Government the concession to build the railroads under the charter of
the National Railways of Haiti. He arranged with W. R. Grace & Company
to finance the concession. Grace and Company formed a syndicate under
the aegis of the National City Bank which issued $2,500,000 bonds, sold
in France. These bonds were guaranteed by the Haitian Government at an
interest of 6 per cent on $32,500 for each mile. A short while after the
floating of these bonds, Mr. Farnham became President of the company.
The syndicate advanced another $2,000,000 for the completion of the
railroad in accordance with the concession granted by the Haitian
Government. This money was used, but the work was not completed in
accordance with the contract made by the Haitian Government in the
concession. The Haitian Government then refused any longer to pay the
interest on the mileage. These happenings were prior to 1915.]

Now, of all the various responsibilities, expressed, implied, or assumed
by the United States in Haiti, it would naturally be supposed that the
financial obligation would be foremost. Indeed, the sister republic of
Santo Domingo was taken over by the United States Navy for no other
reason than failure to pay its internal debt. But Haiti for over one
hundred years scrupulously paid its external and internal debt--a fact
worth remembering when one hears of "anarchy and disorder" in that
land--until five years ago when under the financial guardianship of the
United States interest on both the internal and, with one exception,
external debt was defaulted; and this in spite of the fact that
specified revenues were pledged for the payment of this interest. Apart
from the distinct injury to the honor and reputation of the country, the
hardship on individuals has been great. For while the foreign debt is
held particularly in France which, being under great financial
obligations to the United States since the beginning of the war, has not
been able to protest effectively, the interior debt is held almost
entirely by Haitian citizens. Haitian Government bonds have long been
the recognized substantial investment for the well-to-do and middle
class people, considered as are in this country, United States, state,
and municipal bonds. Non-payment on these securities has placed many
families in absolute want.

What has happened to these bonds? They are being sold for a song, for
the little cash they will bring. Individuals closely connected with the
National Bank of Haiti are ready purchasers. When the new Haitian loan
is floated it will, of course, contain ample provisions for redeeming
these old bonds at par. The profits will be more than handsome. Not that
the National Bank has not already made hay in the sunshine of American
Occupation. From the beginning it has been sole depositary of all
revenues collected in the name of the Haitian Government by the American
Occupation, receiving in addition to the interest rate a commission on
all funds deposited. The bank is the sole agent in the transmission of
these funds. It has also the exclusive note-issuing privilege in the
republic. At the same time complaint is widespread among the Haitian
business men that the Bank no longer as of old accommodates them with
credit and that its interests are now entirely in developments of its
own.

Now, one of the promises that was made to the Haitian Government, partly
to allay its doubts and fears as to the purpose and character of the
American intervention, was that the United States would put the
country's finances on a solid and substantial basis. A loan for
$30,000,000 or more was one of the features of this promised assistance.
Pursuant, supposedly, to this plan, a Financial Adviser for Haiti was
appointed in the person of Mr. John Avery McIlhenny. Who is Mr.
McIlhenny? That he has the cordial backing and direction of so able a
financier as Mr. Farnham is comforting when one reviews the past record
and experience in finance of Haiti's Financial Adviser as given by him
in "Who's Who in America," for 1918-1919. He was born in Avery Island,
Iberia Parish, La.; went to Tulane University for one year; was a
private in the Louisiana State militia for five years; trooper in the
U.S. Cavalry in 1898; promoted to second lieutenancy for gallantry in
action at San Juan; has been member of the Louisiana House of
Representatives and Senate; was a member of the U. S. Civil Service
Commission in 1906 and president of the same in 1913; Democrat. It is
under his Financial Advisership that the Haitian interest has been
continued in default with the one exception above noted, when several
months ago $3,000,000 was converted into francs to meet the accumulated
interest payments on the foreign debt. Dissatisfaction on the part of
the Haitians developed over the lack of financial perspicacity in this
transaction of Mr. McIlhenny because the sum was converted into francs
at the rate of nine to a dollar while shortly after the rate of exchange
on French francs dropped to fourteen to a dollar. Indeed, Mr.
McIlhenny's unfitness by training and experience for the delicate and
important position which he is filling was one of the most generally
admitted facts which I gathered in Haiti.

At the present writing, however, Mr. McIlhenny has become a conspicuous
figure in the history of the Occupation of Haiti as the instrument by
which the National City Bank is striving to complete the riveting,
double-locking and bolting of its financial control of the island. For
although it would appear that the absolute military domination under
which Haiti is held would enable the financial powers to accomplish
almost anything they desire, they are wise enough to realize that a day
of reckoning, such as, for instance, a change in the Administration in
the United States, may be coming. So they are eager and anxious to have
everything they want signed, sealed, and delivered. Anything, of course,
that the Haitians have fully "consented to" no one else can reasonably
object to.

A little recent history: in February of the present year, the ministers
of the different departments, in order to conform to the letter of the
law (Article 116 of the Constitution of Haiti, which was saddled upon
her in 1918 by the Occupation[3] and Article 2 of the Haitian-American
Convention[4]) began work on the preparation of the accounts for
1918-1919 and the budget for 1920-1921. On March 22 a draft of the
budget was sent to Mr. A. J. Maumus, Acting Financial Adviser, in the
absence of Mr. McIlhenny who had at that time been in the United States
for seven months. Mr. Maumus replied on March 29, suggesting
postponement of all discussion of the budget until Mr. McIlhenny's
return. Nevertheless, the Legislative body, in pursuance of the law,
opened on its constitutional date, Monday, April 5. Despite the great
urgency of the matter in hand, the Haitian administration was obliged to
mark time until June 1, when Mr. McIlhenny returned to Haiti. Several
conferences with the various ministers were then undertaken. On June 12,
at one of these conferences, there arrived in the place of the Financial
Adviser a note stating that he would be obliged to stop all study of the
budget "until the time when certain affairs of considerable importance
to the well-being of the country shall be finally settled according to
recommendations made by me to the Haitian Government." As he did not
give in his note the slightest idea what these important affairs were,
the Haitian Secretary wrote asking for information, at the same time
calling attention to the already great and embarrassing delay, and
reminding Mr. McIlhenny that the preparation of the accounts and budget
was one of his legal duties as an official attached to the Haitian
Government, of which he could not divest himself.

[Footnote 3: "The general accounts and the budgets prescribed by the
preceding article must be submitted to the Legislative Body by the
Secretary of Finance not later than eight days after the opening of the
Legislative Session."]

[Footnote 4: "The President of Haiti shall appoint, on the nomination of
the President of the United States, a Financial Adviser who shall be
attached to the Ministry of Finance, to whom the Secretary (of Finance)
shall lend effective aid in the prosecution of his work. The Financial
Adviser shall work out a system of public accounting, shall aid in
increasing the revenues and in their adjustment to expenditures...."]

On July 19 Mr. McIlhenny supplied his previous omission in a memorandum
which he transmitted to the Haitian Department of Finance, in which he
said: "I had instructions from the Department of State of the United
States just before my departure for Haiti, in a part of a letter of May
20, to declare to the Haitian Government that it was necessary to give
its immediate and formal approval to:

     1. A modification of the Bank Contract agreed upon by the
     Department of State and the National City Bank of New York.

     2. Transfer of the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti to a
     new bank registered under the laws of Haiti, to be known as the
     National Bank of the Republic of Haiti.

     3. The execution of Article 15 of the Contract of Withdrawal
     prohibiting the importation and exportation of non-Haitian
     money except that which might be necessary for the needs of
     commerce in the opinion of the Financial Adviser."

Now, what is the meaning and significance of these proposals? The full
details have not been given out, but it is known that they are part of a
new monetary law for Haiti involving the complete transfer of the Banque
Nationale d'Haiti to the National City Bank of New York. The document
embodying the agreements, with the exception of the clause prohibiting
the importation of foreign money, was signed at Washington, February 6,
1920, by Mr. McIlhenny, the Haitian Minister at Washington and the
Haitian Secretary of Finance. _The Haitian Government has officially
declared that the clause prohibiting the importation and exportation of
foreign money, except as it may be deemed necessary in the opinion of
the Financial Adviser, was added to the original agreement by some
unknown party._ It is for the purpose of compelling the Haitian
Government to approve the agreements, including the "prohibition
clause," that pressure is now being applied. Efforts on the part of
business interests in Haiti to learn the character and scope of what was
done at Washington have been thwarted by close secrecy. However,
sufficient of its import has become known to understand the reasons for
the unqualified and definite refusal of President Dartiguenave and the
Government to give their approval. Those reasons are that the agreements
would give to the National Bank of Haiti, and thereby to the National
City Bank of New York, exclusive monopoly upon the right of importing
and exporting American and other foreign money to and from Haiti, a
monopoly which would carry unprecedented and extraordinarily lucrative
privileges.

The proposal involved in this agreement has called forth a vigorous
protest on the part of every important banking and business concern in
Haiti with the exception, of course, of the National Bank of Haiti. This
protest was transmitted to the Haitian Minister of Finance on July 30
past. The protest is signed not only by Haitians and Europeans doing
business in that country but also by the leading American business
concerns, among which are The American Foreign Banking Corporation, The
Haitian-American Sugar Company, The Panama Railroad Steamship Line, The
Clyde Steamship Line, and The West Indies Trading Company. Among the
foreign signers are the Royal Bank of Canada, Le Comptoir Français, Le
Comptoir Commercial, and besides a number of business firms.

We have now in Haiti a triangular situation with the National City Bank
and our Department of State in two corners and the Haitian government in
the third. Pressure is being brought on the Haitian government to compel
it to grant a monopoly which on its face appears designed to give the
National City Bank a strangle hold on the financial life of that
country. With the Haitian government refusing to yield, we have the
Financial Adviser who is, according to the Haitian-American Convention,
a Haitian official charged with certain duties (in this case the
approval of the budget and accounts), refusing to carry out those duties
until the government yields to the pressure which is being brought.

Haiti is now experiencing the "third degree." Ever since the Bank
Contract was drawn and signed at Washington increasing pressure has been
applied to make the Haitian government accept the clause prohibiting the
importation of foreign money. Mr. McIlhenny is now holding up the
salaries of the President, ministers of departments, members of the
Council of State, and the official interpreter. [These salaries have not
been paid since July 1.] And there the matter now stands.

Several things may happen. The Administration, finding present methods
insufficient, may decide to act as in Santo Domingo, to abolish the
President, cabinet, and all civil government--as they have already
abolished the Haitian Assembly--and put into effect, by purely military
force, what, in the face of the unflinching Haitian refusal to sign away
their birthright, the combined military, civil, and financial pressure
has been unable to accomplish. Or, with an election and a probable
change of Administration in this country pending, with a Congressional
investigation foreshadowed, it may be decided that matters are "too
difficult" and the National City Bank may find that it can be more
profitably engaged elsewhere. Indications of such a course are not
lacking. From the point of view of the National City Bank, of course,
the institution has not only done nothing which is not wholly
legitimate, proper, and according to the canons of big business
throughout the world, but has actually performed constructive and
generous service to a backward and uncivilized people in attempting to
promote their railways, to develop their country, and to shape soundly
their finance. That Mr. Farnham and those associated with him hold these
views sincerely, there is no doubt. But that the Haitians, after over
one hundred years of self-government and liberty, contemplating the
slaughter of three thousand of their sons, the loss of their political
and economic freedom, without compensating advantages which they can
appreciate, feel very differently, is equally true.

_From The Nation of September 11, 1920._



IV. THE HAITIAN PEOPLE


The first sight of Port-au-Prince is perhaps most startling to the
experienced Latin-American traveler. Caribbean cities are of the
Spanish-American type--buildings square and squat, built generally
around a court, with residences and business houses scarcely
interdistinguishable. Port-au-Prince is rather a city of the French or
Italian Riviera. Across the bay of deepest blue the purple mountains of
Gonave loom against the Western sky, rivaling the bay's azure depths.
Back of the business section, spreading around the bay's great sweep and
well into the plain beyond, rise the green hills with their white
residences. The residential section spreads over the slopes and into the
mountain tiers. High up are the homes of the well-to-do, beautiful
villas set in green gardens relieved by the flaming crimson of the
poinsettia. Despite the imposing mountains a man-made edifice dominates
the scene. From the center of the city the great Gothic cathedral lifts
its spires above the tranquil city. Well-paved and clean, the city
prolongs the thrill of its first unfolding. Cosmopolitan yet quaint,
with an old-world atmosphere yet a charm of its own, one gets throughout
the feeling of continental European life. In the hotels and cafes the
affairs of the world are heard discussed in several languages. The
cuisine and service are not only excellent but inexpensive. At the Café
Dereix, cool and scrupulously clean, dinner from _hors d'oeuvres_ to
_glacés_, with wine, of course, recalling the famous antebellum
hostelries of New York and Paris, may be had for six gourdes [$1.25].

A drive of two hours around Port-au-Prince, through the newer section of
brick and concrete buildings, past the cathedral erected from 1903 to
1912, along the Champ de Mars where the new presidential palace stands,
up into the Peu de Choses section where the hundreds of beautiful villas
and grounds of the well-to-do are situated, permanently dispels any
lingering question that the Haitians have been retrograding during the
116 years of their independence.

In the lower city, along the water's edge, around the market and in the
Rue Républicaine, is the "local color." The long rows of wooden
shanties, the curious little booths around the market, filled with
jabbering venders and with scantily clad children, magnificent in body,
running in and out, are no less picturesque and no more primitive, no
humbler, yet cleaner, than similar quarters in Naples, in Lisbon, in
Marseilles, and more justifiable than the great slums of civilization's
centers--London and New York, which are totally without aesthetic
redemption. But it is only the modernists in history who are willing to
look at the masses as factors in the life and development of the
country, and in its history. For Haitian history, like history the world
over, has for the last century been that of cultured and educated
groups. To know Haitian life one must have the privilege of being
received as a guest in the houses of these latter, and they live in
beautiful houses. The majority have been educated in France; they are
cultured, brilliant conversationally, and thoroughly enjoy their social
life. The women dress well. Many are beautiful and all vivacious and
chic. Cultivated people from any part of the world would feel at home in
the best Haitian society. If our guest were to enter to the Cercle
Bellevue, the leading club of Port-au-Prince, he would find the
courteous, friendly atmosphere of a men's club; he would hear varying
shades of opinion on public questions, and could scarcely fail to be
impressed by the thorough knowledge of world affairs possessed by the
intelligent Haitian. Nor would his encounters be only with people who
have culture and savoir vivre; he would meet the Haitian
intellectuals--poets, essayists, novelists, historians, critics. Take
for example such a writer as Fernand Hibbert. An English authority says
of him, "His essays are worthy of the pen of Anatole France or Pierre
Loti." And there is Georges Sylvaine, poet and essayist, conférencier at
the Sorbonne, where his address was received with acclaim, author of
books crowned by the French Academy, and an Officer of the Légion
d'Honneur. Hibbert and Sylvaine are only two among a dozen or more
contemporary Haitian men of letters whose work may be measured by world
standards. Two names that stand out preeminently in Haitian literature
are Oswald Durand, the national poet, who died a few years ago, and
Damocles Vieux. These people, educated, cultured, and intellectual, are
not accidental and sporadic offshoots of the Haitian people; they _are_
the Haitian people and they are a demonstration of its inherent
potentialities.

However, Port-au-Prince is not all of Haiti. Other cities are smaller
replicas, and fully as interesting are the people of the country
districts. Perhaps the deepest impression on the observant visitor is
made by the country women. Magnificent as they file along the country
roads by scores and by hundreds on their way to the town markets, with
white or colored turbaned heads, gold-looped-ringed ears, they stride
along straight and lithe, almost haughtily, carrying themselves like so
many Queens of Sheba. The Haitian country people are kind-hearted,
hospitable, and polite, seldom stupid but rather, quick-witted and
imaginative. Fond of music, with a profound sense of beauty and harmony,
they live simply but wholesomely. Their cabins rarely consist of only
one room, the humblest having two or three, with a little shed front and
back, a front and rear entrance, and plenty of windows. An aesthetic
touch is never lacking--a flowering hedge or an arbor with trained vines
bearing gorgeous colored blossoms. There is no comparison between the
neat plastered-wall, thatched-roof cabin of the Haitian peasant and the
traditional log hut of the South or the shanty of the more wretched
American suburbs. The most notable feature about the Haitian cabin is
its invariable cleanliness. At daylight the country people are up and
about, the women begin their sweeping till the earthen or pebble-paved
floor of the cabin is clean as can be. Then the yards around the cabin
are vigorously attacked. In fact, nowhere in the country districts of
Haiti does one find the filth and squalor which may be seen in any
backwoods town in our own South. Cleanliness is a habit and a dirty
Haitian is a rare exception. The garments even of the men who work on
the wharves, mended and patched until little of the original cloth is
visible, give evidence of periodical washing. The writer recalls a
remark made by Mr. E. P. Pawley, an American, who conducts one of the
largest business enterprises in Haiti. He said that the Haitians were an
exceptionally clean people, that statistics showed that Haiti imported
more soap per capita than any country in the world, and added, "They use
it, too." Three of the largest soap manufactories in the United States
maintain headquarters at Port-au-Prince.

The masses of the Haitian people are splendid material for the building
of a nation. They are not lazy; on the contrary, they are industrious
and thrifty. Some observers mistakenly confound primitive methods with
indolence. Anyone who travels Haitian roads is struck by the hundreds
and even thousands of women, boys, and girls filing along mile after
mile with their farm and garden produce on their heads or loaded on the
backs of animals. With modern facilities, they could market their
produce much more efficiently and with far less effort. But lacking them
they are willing to walk and carry. For a woman to walk five to ten
miles with a great load of produce on her head which may barely realize
her a dollar is doubtless primitive, and a wasteful expenditure of
energy, but it is not a sign of laziness. Haiti's great handicap has
been not that her masses are degraded or lazy or immoral. It is that
they are ignorant, due not so much to mental limitations as to enforced
illiteracy. There is a specific reason for this. Somehow the French
language, in the French-American colonial settlements containing a Negro
population, divided itself into two branches, French and Creole. This is
true of Louisiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and also of Haiti. Creole is
an Africanized French and must not be thought of as a mere dialect. The
French-speaking person cannot understand Creole, excepting a few words,
unless he learns it. Creole is a distinct tongue, a graphic and very
expressive language. Many of its constructions follow closely the
African idioms. For example, in forming the superlative of greatness,
one says in Creole, "He is great among great men," and a merchant woman,
following the native idiom, will say, "You do not wish anything
beautiful if you do not buy this." The upper Haitian class,
approximately 500,000, speak and know French, while the masses, probably
more than 2,000,000 speak only Creole. Haitian Creole is grammatically
constructed, but has not to any general extent been reduced to writing.
Therefore, these masses have no means of receiving or communicating
thoughts through the written word. They have no books to read. They
cannot read the newspapers. The children of the masses study French for
a few years in school, but it never becomes their every-day language. In
order to abolish Haitian illiteracy, Creole must be made a printed as
well as a spoken language. The failure to undertake this problem is the
worst indictment against the Haitian Government.

This matter of language proves a handicap to Haiti in another manner. It
isolates her from her sister republics. All of the Latin-American
republics except Brazil speak Spanish and enjoy an intercourse with the
outside world denied Haiti. Dramatic and musical companies from Spain,
from Mexico and from the Argentine annually tour all of the
Spanish-speaking republics. Haiti is deprived of all such instruction
and entertainment from the outside world because it is not profitable
for French companies to visit the three or four French-speaking islands
in the Western Hemisphere.

Much stress has been laid on the bloody history of Haiti and its
numerous revolutions. Haitian history has been all too bloody, but so
has that of every other country, and the bloodiness of the Haitian
revolutions has of late been unduly magnified. A writer might visit our
own country and clip from our daily press accounts of murders, robberies
on the principal streets of our larger cities, strike violence, race
riots, lynchings, and burnings at the stake of human beings, and write a
book to prove that life is absolutely unsafe in the United States. The
seriousness of the frequent Latin-American revolutions has been greatly
over-emphasized. The writer has been in the midst of three of these
revolutions and must confess that the treatment given them on our comic
opera stage is very little farther removed from the truth than the
treatment which is given in the daily newspapers. Not nearly so bloody
as reported, their interference with people not in politics is almost
negligible. Nor should it be forgotten that in almost every instance the
revolution is due to the plotting of foreigners backed up by their
Governments. No less an authority than Mr. John H. Allen, vice-president
of the National City Bank of New York, writing on Haiti in the May
number of _The Americas_, the National City Bank organ, who says, "It is
no secret that the revolutions were financed by foreigners and were
profitable speculations."

In this matter of change of government by revolution, Haiti must not be
compared with the United States or with England; it must be compared
with other Latin American republics. When it is compared with our next
door neighbor, Mexico, it will be found that the Government of Haiti has
been more stable and that the country has experienced less bloodshed and
anarchy. And it must never be forgotten that throughout not an American
or other foreigner has been killed, injured or, as far as can be
ascertained, even molested. In Haiti's 116 years of independence, there
have been twenty-five presidents and twenty-five different
administrations. In Mexico, during its 99 years of independence, there
have been forty-seven rulers and eighty-seven administrations. "Graft"
has been plentiful, shocking at times, but who in America, where the
Tammany machines and the municipal rings are notorious, will dare to
point the finger of scorn at Haiti in this connection.

And this is the people whose "inferiority," whose "retrogression," whose
"savagery," is advanced as a justification for intervention--for the
ruthless slaughter of three thousand of its practically defenseless
sons, with the death of a score of our own boys, for the utterly selfish
exploitation of the country by American big finance, for the destruction
of America's most precious heritage--her traditional fair play, her
sense of justice, her aid to the oppressed. "Inferiority" always was the
excuse of ruthless imperialism until the Germans invaded Belgium, when
it became "military necessity." In the case of Haiti there is not the
slightest vestige of any of the traditional justifications, unwarranted
as these generally are, and no amount of misrepresentation in an era
when propaganda and censorship have had their heyday, no amount of
slander, even in a country deeply prejudiced where color is involved,
will longer serve to obscure to the conscience of America the eternal
shame of its last five years in Haiti. _Fiat justitia, ruat coelum!_

_From The Nation of September 25, 1920._



Documents

_The following are from The Nation of August 28, 1920_

The Proposed Convention with Haiti


The Fuller Convention, submitted to the Haitian Minister of Foreign
Affairs on May 22, 1915, by Mr. Paul Fuller, Jr., Envoy Extraordinary of
the United States to Haiti, read as follows, the preliminary and
concluding paragraphs being omitted:

     1. The Government of the United States of America will protect
     the Republic of Haiti from outside attack and from the
     aggression of any foreign Power, and to that end will employ
     such forces of the army and navy of the United States as may be
     necessary.

     2. The Government of the United States of America will aid the
     Government of Haiti to suppress insurrection from within and
     will give effective support by the employment of the armed
     forces of the United States army and navy to the extent needed.

     3. The President of the Republic of Haiti covenants that no
     rights, privileges, or facilities of any description whatsoever
     will be granted, sold, leased, or otherwise accorded directly
     or indirectly by the Government of Haiti concerning the
     occupation or use of the Mole Saint-Nicolas to any foreign
     government or to a national or the nationals of any other
     foreign government.

     4. The President of the Republic of Haiti covenants that within
     six months from the signing of this convention, the Government
     will enter into an arbitration agreement for the settlement of
     such claims as American citizens or other foreigners may have
     against the Government of Haiti, such arbitration agreement to
     provide for the equal treatment of all foreigners to the end
     that the people of Haiti may have the benefit of competition
     between the nationals of all countries.



The Haitian Counter-Project


The counter-project of the Haitian Government, of June 4, 1915, with
such of the modifications suggested by Mr. Fuller as the Haitian
Government was willing to accept, read as follows:

     I. The Government of the United States of America will lend its
     assistance to the Republic of Haiti for the preservation of its
     independence. For that purpose it agrees to intervene to
     prevent the intrusion of any Power and to repulse any act of
     aggression against the Republic of Haiti. To that end it will
     employ such forces of the army and navy of the United States as
     may be necessary.

     II. The Government of the United States will facilitate the
     entry into Haiti of sufficient capital to assure the full
     economic development of that country, and to improve, within
     the immediate future, its financial situation, especially to
     bring about the unification of its debt in such fashion as to
     reduce the customs guaranties now required, and to lead to a
     fundamental money reform.

     In order to give such capital all desirable guaranties the
     Government of Haiti agrees to employ in the customs service
     only officials whose ability and character are well known, and
     to replace those who in practice are found not to fill these
     conditions.

     The Government of Haiti will also assure the protection of
     capital and in general of all foreign interests by the
     organization of a mounted rural constabulary trained in the
     most modern methods.

     In the meantime if it be necessary the Government of the United
     States, after consultation with the Government of Haiti, will
     give its aid in the repression of serious disorders or troubles
     which might compromise these foreign interests.

     The American forces which have in the given circumstances
     cooperated with the Haitian troops in the restoration of order,
     should be retired from Haitian territory at the first request
     of the constitutional authority.

     III. The President of the Republic of Haiti covenants that no
     rights, privileges, or facilities of any description whatsoever
     will be granted, sold, leased, or otherwise accorded directly
     or indirectly by the Government of Haiti concerning the
     occupation or use of the Mole Saint-Nicolas to any foreign
     government or to a national or the nationals of any other
     foreign government.

     IV. The President of the Republic of Haiti covenants within six
     months of the signing of this convention to sign a convention
     of arbitration with the Powers concerned for the settlement of
     the diplomatic claims pending, which arbitration convention
     will provide for the equal treatment of all claimants, no
     special privileges being granted to any of them.

     V. In case of difficulties regarding the interpretation of the
     clauses of the present convention, the high contracting parties
     agree to submit the difference to the Permanent Court of
     Arbitration at The Hague.

Mr. Fuller had suggested a further modification which the Haitian
Government refused. It changed the final paragraph of Article II to
read: "The American forces which have in the given circumstance
cooperated with the Haitian troops, shall, when order has been
reestablished, be retired," etc. His other suggestions were accepted
with unimportant verbal changes.



The Haitian-United States Convention


The convention between the United States and Haiti was ratified on
September 16, 1915, after the occupation of the country by American
troops. In its final form it is in interesting contrast with the
suggested agreements printed above.

     The United States and the Republic of Haiti, desiring to
     confirm and strengthen the amity existing between them by the
     most cordial cooperation in measures for their common
     advantage, and the Republic of Haiti desiring to remedy the
     present condition of its revenues and finances, to maintain the
     tranquillity of the Republic, to carry out plans for the
     economic development and prosperity of the Republic and its
     people, and the United States being in full sympathy with all
     of these aims and objects and desiring to contribute in all
     proper ways to their accomplishment;

     The United States and the Republic of Haiti have resolved to
     conclude a convention with these objects in view, and have
     appointed for that purpose plenipotentiaries:

     The President of the Republic of Haiti, Mr. Louis Borno,
     Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Public Instruction,

     The President of the United States, Mr. Robert Beale Davis,
     Jr., Chargé d'Affaires of the United States of America;

     Who, having exhibited to each other their respective powers,
     which are seen to be full in good and true form, have agreed as
     follows:

     ARTICLE I. The Government of the United States will, by its
     good offices, aid the Haitian Government in the proper and
     efficient development of its agricultural, mineral, and
     commercial resources and in the establishment of the finances
     of Haiti on a firm and solid basis.

     ARTICLE II. The President of Haiti shall appoint, upon
     nomination by the President of the United States, a General
     Receiver and such aids and employees as may be necessary, who
     shall collect, receive, and apply all customs duties on imports
     and exports accruing at the several customs-houses and ports of
     entry of the Republic of Haiti.

     The President of Haiti shall appoint, upon nomination by the
     President of the United States, a Financial Adviser who shall
     be an officer attached to the Ministry of Finance, to give
     effect to whose proposals and labors the Minister will lend
     efficient aid. The Financial Adviser shall devise an adequate
     system of public accounting, aid in increasing the revenues and
     adjusting them to the expenses, inquire into the validity of
     the debts of the Republic, enlighten both governments with
     reference to all eventual debts, recommend improved methods of
     collecting and applying the revenues, and make such other
     recommendations to the Minister of Finance as may be deemed
     necessary for the welfare and prosperity of Haiti.

     ARTICLE III. The Government of the Republic of Haiti will
     provide by law or appropriate decrees for the payment of all
     customs duties to the General Receiver, and will extend to the
     Receivership, and to the Financial Adviser, all needful aid and
     full protection in the execution of the powers conferred and
     duties imposed herein; and the United States on its part will
     extend like aid and protection.

     ARTICLE IV. Upon the appointment of the Financial Adviser, the
     Government of the Republic of Haiti in cooperation with the
     Financial Adviser, shall collate, classify, arrange, and make
     full statement of all the debts of the Republic, the amounts,
     character, maturity, and condition thereof, and the interest
     accruing and the sinking fund requisite to their final
     discharge.

     ARTICLE V. All sums collected and received by the General
     Receiver shall be applied, first to the payment of the salaries
     and allowances of the General Receiver, his assistants, and
     employees and expenses of the Receivership, including the
     salary and expenses of the Financial Adviser, which salaries
     will be determined by the previous agreement; second, to the
     interest and sinking fund of the public debt of the Republic of
     Haiti; and third, to the maintenance of the constabulary
     referred to in Article X, and then the remainder to the Haitian
     Government for the purposes of current expenses.

     In making these applications the General Receiver will proceed
     to pay salaries and allowances monthly and expenses as they
     arise, and on the first of each calendar month will set aside
     in a separate fund the quantum of the collections and receipts
     of the previous month.

     ARTICLE VI. The expenses of the Receivership, including
     salaries and allowances of the General Receiver, his
     assistants, and employees, and the salary and expenses of the
     Financial Adviser, shall not exceed 5 per cent of the
     collections and receipts from customs duties, unless by
     agreement by the two governments.

     ARTICLE VII. The General Receiver shall make monthly reports of
     all collections, receipts, and disbursements to the appropriate
     officers of the Republic of Haiti and to the Department of
     State of the United States, which reports shall be open to
     inspection and verification at all times by the appropriate
     authorities of each of the said governments.

     ARTICLE VIII. The Republic of Haiti shall not increase its
     public debt, except by previous agreement with the President of
     the United States, and shall not contract any debt or assume
     any financial obligation unless the ordinary revenues of the
     Republic available for that purpose, after defraying the
     expenses of the Government, shall be adequate to pay the
     interest and provide a sinking fund for the final discharge of
     such debt.

     ARTICLE IX. The Republic of Haiti will not, without the assent
     of the President of the United States, modify the customs
     duties in a manner to reduce the revenues therefrom; and in
     order that the revenues of the Republic may be adequate to meet
     the public debt and the expenses of the Government, to preserve
     tranquillity, and to promote material prosperity, the Republic
     of Haiti will cooperate with the Financial Adviser in his
     recommendations for improvement in the methods of collecting
     and disbursing the revenues and for new sources of needed
     income.

     ARTICLE X. The Haitian Government obligates itself, for the
     preservation of domestic peace, the security of individual
     rights, and the full observance of the provisions of this
     treaty, to create without delay an efficient constabulary,
     urban and rural, composed of native Haitians. This constabulary
     shall be organized and officered by Americans appointed by the
     President of Haiti, upon nomination by the President of the
     United States. The Haitian Government shall clothe these
     officers with the proper and necessary authority and uphold
     them in the performance of their functions. These officers will
     be replaced by Haitians as they, by examination conducted under
     direction of a board to be selected by the senior American
     officer of this constabulary in the presence of a
     representative of the Haitian Government, are found to be
     qualified to assume such duties. The constabulary herein
     provided for shall, under the direction of the Haitian
     Government, have supervision and control of arms and
     ammunition, military supplies and traffic therein, throughout
     the country. The high contracting parties agree that the
     stipulations in this article are necessary to prevent factional
     strife and disturbances.

     ARTICLE XI. The Government of Haiti agrees not to surrender any
     of the territory of the Republic of Haiti by sale, lease, or
     otherwise, or jurisdiction over such territory, to any foreign
     government or Power, nor to enter into any treaty or contract
     with any foreign Power or Powers that will impair or tend to
     impair the independence of Haiti.

     ARTICLE XII. The Haitian Government agrees to execute with the
     United States a protocol for the settlement, by arbitration or
     otherwise, of all pending pecuniary claims of foreign
     corporations, companies, citizens, or subjects against Haiti.

     ARTICLE XIII. The Republic of Haiti, being desirous to further
     the development of its natural resources, agrees to undertake
     and execute such measures as, in the opinion of the high
     contracting parties, may be necessary for the sanitation and
     public improvement of the Republic under the supervision and
     direction of an engineer or engineers, to be appointed by the
     President of Haiti upon nomination of the President of the
     United States, and authorized for that purpose by the
     Government of Haiti.

     ARTICLE XIV. The high contracting parties shall have authority
     to take such steps as may be necessary to insure the complete
     attainment of any of the objects comprehended in this treaty;
     and should the necessity occur, the United States will lend an
     efficient aid for the preservation of Haitian independence and
     the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of
     life, property, and individual liberty.

     ARTICLE XV. The present treaty shall be approved and ratified
     by the high contracting parties in conformity with their
     respective laws, and the ratifications thereof shall be
     exchanged in the City of Washington as soon as may be possible.

     ARTICLE XVI. The present treaty shall remain in full force and
     virtue for the term of ten years, to be counted from the day of
     exchange of ratifications, and further for another term of ten
     years if, for specific reasons presented by either of the high
     contracting parties, the purpose of this treaty has not been
     fully accomplished.

     In faith whereof, the respective plenipotentiaries have signed
     the present convention in duplicate, in the English and French
     languages, and have thereunto affixed their seals.

     Done at Port-au-Prince (Haiti), the 16th day of September
     in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifteen.

     ROBERT BEALE DAVIS, JR.,
     Chargé d'Affaires of the United States

     LOUIS BORNO,
     Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
     and Public Instruction



The New Constitution of Haiti


The new Constitution of the Republic of Haiti, ratified under the
American Occupation, altered the former Constitution in regard to the
important subject of the right of foreigners to hold land. Article 6 of
the old Constitution reads:

     No one, unless he is a Haitian, may be a holder of land in
     Haiti, regardless of what his title may be, nor acquire any
     real estate.

Article 5 of the Constitution of 1918 makes the following provision:

     The right to hold property is given to foreigners residing in
     Haiti, and to societies formed by foreigners, for dwelling
     purposes and for agricultural, commercial, industrial, or
     educational enterprises. This right shall be discontinued five
     years after the foreigner shall have ceased to reside in the
     country, or when the activities of these companies shall have
     ceased.



The Haitian President's Proclamation


In the _Moniteur_, official organ of the Republic of Haiti, for
September 4, 1915, in a column headed "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,"
the president of Haiti published a proclamation on the situation arising
from the occupation by American troops of the customs-house at
Port-au-Prince.

     Haitians! At the very moment when the Government, engaged in
     negotiations to settle the question of the presence of American
     military forces on Haitian territory, was looking forward to a
     prompt solution in accordance with law and justice, it finds
     itself faced with the simple seizure of possession of the
     customs administration of the capital.

     Previously the customs-houses of several other cities of the
     republic had been occupied in like fashion, and whenever the
     news of such occupation reached the National Palace or the
     Department of Finances, it was followed by an energetic
     protest, demanding that the diplomatic representative of the
     American Government residing at Port-au-Prince restore the
     customs-houses and put an end to acts so contrary to the
     relations at present existing between the Government of Haiti
     and the Government of the United States of North America.

     Haitians! In bringing these facts officially to the attention
     of the country, I owe it to myself to declare further, in the
     most formal fashion, to you and to the entire civilized world,
     that the order to carry out these acts so destructive of the
     interests, rights, and sovereignty of the Haitian people is not
     due to anything which can be cited against the patriotism,
     devotion, spirit of sacrifice, and loyalty of those to whom the
     destinies of the country have been intrusted. You are the
     judges of that.

     Nor will I conceal the fact that my astonishment is greater
     because the negotiations, which had been undertaken in the hope
     of an agreement upon the basis of propositions presented by the
     American Government itself, after having passed through the
     ordinary phases of diplomatic discussion, with frankness and
     courtesy on both sides, have now been relieved of the only
     obstacles which had hitherto appeared to stand in their way.

     Haitians! In this agonizing situation, more than tragic for
     every truly Haitian soul, the Government, which intends to
     preserve full national sovereignty, will be able to maintain
     the necessary resolution only if all are united in exercising
     their intelligence and energy with it in the present task of
     saving the nation....

     SUDRE DARTIGUENAVE

     Given at the National Palace, September 2, 1915, in the 112th
     year of our independence.



_The following are from the Nation of September 11, 1920_

Why Haiti Has No Budget


At the session of the Haitian National Assembly on August 4, the
President of the Republic of Haiti and the Haitian Minister of Finance
laid before that body the course of the American Financial Adviser which
had made it impossible to submit to the Assembly accounts and budgets in
accordance with the Constitution of Haiti and the Haiti-American
Convention. The statement which follows is taken from the official
Haitian gazette, the _Moniteur_ of August 7.

     MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT

     Gentlemen of the Council of State: On account of unforeseen
     circumstances it has not been possible for the Government of
     the Republic to present to you in the course of the session of
     your high assembly which closes today (August 4) the general
     accounts of the receipts and expenditures for 1918-1919 and the
     budget for 1920-1921, in accordance with the Constitution.

     It is certainly an exceptional case, the gravity of which will
     not escape you. You will learn the full details from the report
     which the Secretary of Finance and Commerce will submit to you,
     in which it will be shown that the responsibility for it does
     not fall on the Executive Power....

     In the life of every people there come moments when it must
     know how to be resigned and to suffer. Are we facing one of
     those moments? The attitude of the Haitian people, calm and
     dignified, persuades me that, marching closely with the
     Government of the Republic, there is no suffering which it is
     not disposed to undergo to safeguard and secure the triumph of
     its rights.

     DARTIGUENAVE


     REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE AND COMMERCE

     Gentlemen of the Council of State: Article 116 of the
     Constitution prescribes in its first paragraph: "The general
     accounts and the budgets prescribed by the preceding article
     must be submitted to the legislative body by the Secretary of
     Finance not later than eight days after the opening of the
     legislative session."

     And Article 2 of the American-Haitian Convention of September
     16, 1915, stipulates in its second paragraph: "The President of
     Haiti shall appoint, on the nomination of the President of the
     United States, a Financial Adviser, _who shall be a civil
     servant attached to the Ministry of Finance_, to whom the
     Secretary shall lend effective aid in the prosecution of his
     work. The Financial Adviser shall work out a system of public
     accounting, shall aid in increasing the revenues and in their
     adjustment to expenditures...."

     Since February of this year (1920) the secretaries of the
     various departments, in order to conform to the letter of
     Article 116 of the Constitution, and to assure continuity of
     public service in the matter of receipts and expenditures, set
     to work at the preparation of the budgets for their departments
     for 1920-21.

     By a dispatch dated March 22, 1920, the Department of Finance
     sent the draft budgets to Mr. A. J. Maumus, Acting Financial
     Adviser, for preliminary study by that official. But the Acting
     Adviser replied to the Department by a letter, of March 29: "I
     suggest that, in view of the early return of Mr. John
     McIlhenny, the Financial Adviser, measures be taken to postpone
     all discussion regarding the said draft budgets between the
     different departments and the Office [of the Financial Adviser]
     to permit him to take part in the discussions."

     Nevertheless, the regular session was opened on the
     constitutional date, Monday, April 5, 1920. Mr. John McIlhenny,
     the titular Financial Adviser, absent in the United States
     since October, 1919, on a financial mission for the Government,
     prolonged his stay in America, detained no doubt by the
     insurmountable difficulties in the accomplishment of his
     mission (the placing of a Haitian loan on the New York market).
     Since on the one hand the Adviser could not overcome these
     difficulties, and on the other hand his presence at
     Port-au-Prince was absolutely necessary for the preparation of
     the budget in conformity with the Constitution and the
     Haitian-American Convention, the Government deemed it essential
     to ask him to return to Port-au-Prince for that purpose. The
     Government in so doing secured the good offices of the American
     Legation, and Mr. McIlhenny returned from the United States
     about the first of June. The Legislature had already been in
     session almost two months.

     About June 15 the Adviser began the study of the budget with
     the secretaries. The conferences lasted about twelve days, and
     in that time, after courteous discussions, after some cuts,
     modifications, and additions, plans for the following budgets
     were agreed upon:

       1. Ways and Means
       2. Foreign Relations
       3. Finance and Commerce
       4. Interior

     On Monday, July 12, at 3.30, the hour agreed upon between the
     ministers and the Adviser, the ministers met to continue the
     study of the budget which they wanted to finish quickly....
     Between 4 and 4:30 the Secretary of Finance received a letter
     from the Adviser which reads as follows:

     "I find myself obliged to stop all study of the budget until
     certain affairs of considerable importance for the welfare of
     the country shall have been finally settled according to the
     recommendations made by me to the Haitian Government.

     "Please accept, Mr. Secretary, the assurance of my highest
     consideration,
         JOHN MCILHENNY"

     Such an unanticipated and unjustifiable decision on the part of
     Mr. McIlhenny, an official attached to the Ministry of Finance,
     caused the whole Government profound surprise and warranted
     dissatisfaction....

     On July 13 the Department of Finance replied to the Financial
     Adviser as follows:

     "I beg to acknowledge your letter of July 12, in which you say,
     'I find myself obliged, etc....'

     "In taking note of this declaration, the importance and gravity
     of which certainly cannot escape you, I can only regret in the
     name of the Government:

     "1. That you omitted to tell me with the precision which such
     an emergency demands what are the affairs of an importance so
     considerable for the welfare of the country and the settlement
     of which, according to the recommendations made by you, is of
     such great moment that you can subordinate to that settlement
     the continuation of the work on the budget?

     "2. That you have taken such a serious step without considering
     that in so doing you have divested yourself of one of the
     essential functions which devolves upon you as Financial
     Adviser attached to the Department of Finance.

     "The preparation of the budget of the state constitutes one of
     the principal obligations of those intrusted with it by law,
     because the very life of the nation depends upon its
     elaboration. The Legislature has been in session since April 5
     last. By the Constitution the draft budgets and the general
     accounts should be submitted to the legislative body within
     eight days after the opening of the session, that is to say by
     April 13. The draft budgets were sent to your office on March
     22.

     "By reason of your absence from the country, the examination of
     these drafts was postponed, the acting Financial Adviser not
     being willing to shoulder the responsibility; we refer you to
     his letters of March 29 and of April 17 and 24. Finally ... you
     came back to Port-au-Prince, and after some two weeks, you
     began with the secretaries to study the draft budgets.

     "The Government therefore experiences a very disagreeable
     surprise on reading your letter of July 12. It becomes my duty
     to inform you of that disagreeable surprise, to formulate the
     legal reservations in the case, and to inform you finally that
     you bear the sole responsibility for the failure to present the
     budget in due time.
         "FLEURY FEQUIERE, Secretary of Finance"

     On July 19, Mr. Bailly-Blanchard, the American Minister, placed
     in the hands of the President of the Republic a memorandum
     emanating from Mr. McIlhenny, in which the latter formulates
     against the Government complaints sufficient, according to him,
     to explain and justify the discontinuance of the preparation of
     the budget, announced in his letter of July 12.


     _Memorandum of Mr. McIlhenny_

     I had instructions from the Department of State of the United
     States just before my departure for Haiti, in a passage of a
     letter of May 20, to declare to the Haitian Government that it
     was necessary to give its immediate and formal approval:

     1. To a modification of the Bank Contract agreed upon by the
     Department of State and the National City Bank of New York.

     2. To the transfer of the National Bank of the Republic of
     Haiti to a new bank registered under the laws of Haiti to be
     known as the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti.

     3. To the execution of Article 15 of the Contract of
     Withdrawal, prohibiting the importation and exportation of
     non-Haitian money, except that which might be necessary for the
     needs of commerce in the opinion of the Financial Adviser.

     4. To the immediate vote of a territorial law which has been
     submitted to the Department of State of the United States and
     which has its approval.

     On my arrival in Haiti I visited the President with the
     American Minister and learned that the modifications of the
     bank contract and the transfer of the bank had been agreed to
     and the only reason why the measure had not been made official
     was because the National City Bank and the National Bank of
     Haiti had not yet presented to the Government their full
     powers. He declared that the Government did not agree to the
     publication of a decree executing the Contract of Withdrawal
     because it did not consider that the economic condition of the
     country justified it at that time. To which I replied that the
     Government of the United States expected the execution of
     Article 15 of the Contract of Withdrawal as a direct and solemn
     engagement of the Haitian Government, to which it was a party,
     and I had instructions to insist upon its being put into
     execution at once....


     _The Counter Memoir_

     To this memorandum the Executive Authority replied by a counter
     memoir which read in part as follows:

     "The modifications proposed by the Department of State [of the
     United States] to the bank contract, studied by the Haitian
     Government, gave rise to counter propositions on the part of
     the latter, which the Department of State would not accept. The
     Haitian Government then accepted these modifications in nine
     articles in the form in which they had been concluded and
     signed at Washington, on Friday, February 6, 1920, by the
     Financial Adviser, the Haitian Minister, and the [Haitian]
     Secretary of Finance. But when Messrs. Scarpa and Williams,
     representing respectively and officially the National Bank of
     Haiti and the National City Bank of New York, came before the
     Secretary of Finance for his signature to the papers relative
     to the transfer of the National Bank of Haiti to the National
     City Bank of New York, the Secretary of Finance experienced a
     disagreeable surprise in finding out that to Article 9 of the
     document signed at Washington, February 6, 1920, and closed as
     stated above, there had been added an amendment bearing on the
     prohibition of non-Haitian money. The Secretary could only
     decline the responsibility of this added paragraph of which he
     had not the slightest knowledge and which consequently had not
     been submitted to the Government for its agreement. It is for
     this reason alone that the agreement is not signed up to this
     time. The Government does not even yet know who was the author
     of this addition to the document to which its consent had never
     been asked."

     Today, gentlemen, you have come to the end of the regular
     session for this year. Four months have run by without the
     Government being able to present to you the budget for
     1920-1921.... Such are the facts, in brief, that have marked
     our relations recently with Mr. McIlhenny....

     FLEURY FEQUIERE, Secretary of Finance



The Businessmen's Protest


The protest printed below, against Article 15 of the Contract of
Withdrawal, was sent to the Haitian Secretary of Finance on July 30.

     The undersigned bankers, merchants, and representatives of the
     various branches of the financial and commercial activities in
     Haiti have the honor to submit to the high appreciation of the
     Secretary of State for Finance the following consideration:

     They have been advised from certain sources that pressing
     recommendations have been made to the Government of Haiti.

     1. That a law be immediately voted by which would be prohibited
     the importation or exportation of all money not Haitian, except
     that quantity of foreign money which, in the opinion of the
     Financial Adviser, would be sufficient for the needs of
     commerce.

     2. That in the charter of the Banque Nationale de la Republique
     d'Haiti there be inserted an article giving power to the
     Financial Adviser together with the Banque Nationale de la
     Republique d'Haiti to take all measures concerning the
     importation or exportation of non-Haitian monies.

     The undersigned declare that the adoption of such a measure,
     under whatever form it may be, would be of a nature generally
     contrary to the collective interests of the Haitian people and
     the industry of Haiti. It would be dangerous to substitute the
     will of a single man, however eminent he might be, however
     honorable, however infallible, for a natural law which
     regulates the movements of the monetary circulation in a
     country.

     It would be more dangerous yet to introduce in the contract of
     the Banque Nationale de la Republique d'Haiti a clause which
     would assure this establishment a sort of monopoly in the
     foreign money market, which constitutes the principal base of
     the operations of high commerce, when it has already the
     exclusive privilege of emission of bank notes. Such a clause
     would make of all other bankers and merchants its humble
     tributaries, obeying its law and its caprices....

     (Signed) THE ROYAL BANK OF CANADA; AMERICAN FOREIGN BANKING
     CORPORATION; HAITIAN AMERICAN SUGAR CO.; RAPOREL S.S. LINE;
     P. C. S.; ELECTRIC LIGHT CO.; PANAMA LINE; ED. ESTEVE & CO.;
     CLYDE LINE; COMPTOIR COMMERCIAL; GEBARA & CO.; ALFRED VIEUX;
     V. G. MAKHLOUF; N. SILVERA; SIMMONDS FRERES; ROBERTS, DUTTON &
     CO.; WEST INDIES TRADING CO.; J. FADOUL & CO.; R. BROUARD; A. DE
     MATTEIS & CO.; J. M. RICHARDSON & CO.; COMPTOIR FRANCAIS; H.
     DEREIX; E. ROBELIN; F. CHERIEZ; I. J. BIGIO, AND GEO. H.
     MACFADDEN.



"By Order of the American Minister"


Correspondence regarding the refusal of the Financial Adviser of Haiti,
an American, but an official of the Haitian Department of Finance, to
pay the salaries for the month of July, 1920, of the President and
certain other officials of the Haitian Republic, revealing that the
action was taken by order of the American Minister to Haiti, without
explanation and without authority in the Haitian Constitution or in the
Haiti-American Convention, was printed in the _Moniteur_ for August 14.


     I.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 2, 1920.

     MR. A. J. MAUMUS, Receiver General of Customs

     In accordance with the suggestion made to the Financial Adviser
     on July 24, your office began on the morning of July 30 to pay
     the salaries for that month to the officials and public
     employees at Port-au-Prince.

     Nevertheless up to this morning, August 2, no checks have been
     delivered to His Excellency the President of the Republic, the
     secretaries of the various departments, the state councilors,
     and the palace interpreter.

     In calling your attention to this fact I ask that you will
     please inform me of the reasons for it.

     FLEURY FEQUIERE, Secretary of Finance.


     II.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 2, 1920.

     TO THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE AND COMMERCE

     I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of
     August 2 in which you ask this office to inform you regarding
     the reasons for the non-delivery, up to the present time, of
     the checks for His Excellency the President of the Republic,
     for the departmental secretaries, the state councilors, and
     the palace interpreter, for the month of July.

     In reply this office hastens to inform you that up to the
     present time it has not been put in possession of the mandates
     and orders regarding these payments.

     A. J. MAUMUS, Receiver General.


     III.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 2, 1920.

     TO THE FINANCIAL ADVISER

     The Department of Finance, informed that checks for His
     Excellency the President of the Republic, the departmental
     secretaries, the state councilors, and the palace interpreter
     had not been delivered up to this morning, August 2, reported
     the fact to the Receiver General of Customs asking to be
     informed regarding the reasons. The Receiver General replied
     immediately that the delay was due to his failure to receive
     the necessary mandates and orders. But these papers were sent
     to you by the Department of Finance on July 21, and were
     returned by the payment service of the Department of the
     Interior on July 26, a week ago.

     I inclose copies of the note from the Department of Finance to
     the Receiver General, and of Mr. Maumus's reply.

     I should like to believe that bringing this matter to your
     attention would be sufficient to remedy it.

     FLEURY FEQUIERE, Secretary of Finance.


     IV.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 5, 1920.

     TO THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE AND COMMERCE

     I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of
     August 2, regarding the delay in payment of the salaries of the
     President of the Republic, secretaries, and state councilors.

     In reply I have the honor to inform you that the payment of
     these salaries has been suspended by order of the American
     Minister until further orders are received from him.

     J. MCILHENNY, Financial Adviser.


     V.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 10, 1920.

     TO THE FINANCIAL ADVISER

     I acknowledge receipt of your note of August 5 in reply to mine
     of August 2 asking information regarding the reasons for your
     non-payment of the salaries for last July due to His Excellency
     the President of the Republic, the secretaries, and state
     councilors, and the palace interpreter.

     I note the second paragraph of your letter, in which you say,
     "In reply, etc."

     I do not know by what authority the American Minister can have
     given you such instructions or by what authority you
     acquiesced. The non-payment of the salaries due the members of
     the Government constitutes a confiscation vexatious for them
     and for the entire country. It is not the function of this
     department to judge the motives which led the American Minister
     to take so exceptionally serious a step; but it is the opinion
     of the Government that the Financial Adviser, a Haitian
     official, was not authorized to acquiesce.

     FLEURY FEQUIERE, Secretary of Finance.


     VI.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 5, 1920.

     MR. A. BAILLY-BLANCHARD, American Minister

     I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the offices of
     the Financial Adviser and of the Receiver General have not yet
     delivered the checks for the July salaries of His Excellency
     the President of the Republic, of the secretaries, state
     councilors, and palace interpreter, although all other
     officials were paid on July 30.

     The Secretary of Finance wrote to the Receiver General asking
     information on the subject, and was informed that he had not
     received the necessary mandates and orders. The fact of the
     non-delivery of the checks and the reply of the Receiver
     General were then brought to the attention of the Financial
     Adviser, who has not yet replied.

     In informing your Legation of this situation, I call the
     attention of Your Excellency to this new attitude of the
     Financial Adviser, a Haitian official, to the President of the
     Republic and the other members of the Government, an attitude
     which is an insult to the entire nation.

     J. BARAU, Secretary of Foreign Affairs.


     VII.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 6, 1920.

     MR. A. BAILLY-BLANCHARD, American Minister

     I have the honor to inclose a copy of a note from the Financial
     Adviser to the Secretary of Finance, replying to a request for
     information regarding the non-payment of checks....

     In his reply the Financial Adviser informs the Department of
     Finance that "the payment of these salaries has been suspended
     by order of the American Minister until further orders are
     received from him."

     My Government protests against this act of violence which is an
     attack upon the dignity of the people and Government of Haiti.

     J. BARAU, Secretary of Foreign Affairs.


     VIII.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 6, 1920.

     MR. J. BARAU, Secretary of Foreign Affairs

     I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your
     Excellency's note under date of August 5.

     In reply I have to state that the action of the Financial
     Adviser therein referred to was taken by direction of this
     Legation.

     A. BAILLY-BLANCHARD, American Minister.


     IX.

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 7, 1920.

     MR. A. BAILLY-BLANCHARD, American Minister

     In reply to my letter of August 5 in which I had the honor to
     inform Your Excellency of the non-payment of checks, ... Your
     Excellency informs me that it is by direction of the Legation
     of the United States that the Financial Adviser acted.

     My Government takes note of your declaration.

     J. BARAU, Secretary of Foreign Affairs.



The Concession of the National City Bank


Simultaneously with the non-payment of the July salaries of the
President and other officials of the Haitian Republic, the Haitian
Minister of Finance received from the Financial Adviser, an American,
nominally a Haitian official, but acting under instructions from the
American Government, the following letter urging immediate ratification
of a modified form of agreement between the United States Department of
State and the National City Bank of New York. It was widely assumed in
Haiti that this letter supplied the key to the unexplained non-payment
of salaries, ordered by Mr. A. Bailly-Blanchard, the American Minister.
The letter was printed in the _Moniteur_ for August 14.

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, August 2, 1920

    TO THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE

    I have the honor to inform you that I have been instructed by my
    Government that in view of the continual delay in obtaining the
    consent of the Haitian Government to the transfer to the new bank of
    the modified concession as agreed upon between the Government of the
    United States and the National City Bank, the Government of the
    United States has agreed to let the operations of the National Bank
    of the Republic of Haiti continue indefinitely on the French
    contract at present existing, without amendment.

    I desire urgently to draw your attention to the fact that it would
    be most desirable in the interest of the Haitian people that the
    Government of Haiti should give its immediate consent to the
    proposed modifications of the contract and to accept the transfer of
    the bank rather than see the present contract continue with its
    present clauses.

    JOHN MCILHENNY, Financial Adviser



[Transcriber's Notes:

Spelling, punctuation and capitalization has been retained as in the
original publication except as follows:

Page 27: Changed "glaces" to "glacés"

Page 40: Added closing quotation mark to paragraph opening with the
words: "And Article 2 of the American-Haitian Convention"

Page 44: Added period to end of sentence "It is for this reason alone
that the agreement is not signed up to this time"]





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