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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1920

Haiti,   pp. 760-853 PDF (33.4 MB)

Page 764

of Haiti to a new corporation to be called the National Bank of
Haiti but incorporated under the Haitian laws.7 He stated in a
very emphatic way that all of the delay since Mr. Farnham's8
absence was due to the dilatory tactics of the banks which in spite
of repeated requests had failed to appear before the Haitian Govern-
ment with the proper credentials, that the modifications of the
charter would be approved without further question, and that the
transfer of the bank would be consummated immediately upon the
appearance before the government with the proper papers of the
accredited representatives of the banks. I left him then with further
assurance that the program that we had decided upon would go
through with the least possible delay, and centered my efforts on
seeing that the bank appeared properly before the government and
on the drafting of the law concerning section 15 of the retrait. As
soon as the law was drafted I presented it to the President and he
accepted it and told me he would study it and let me know his views
later. I [A] few days later I received a memorandum from the
Minister of Finance, who said that the law had been handed to him
by the Council of Ministers with the request that he give an opinion
upon it for their consideration, that the opinion which he handed to
me in the form of a memroire had been submitted to the Council of
Ministers and had met with their approval, and he therefore handed
it to me as the final judgment of the government. In this mrremroire
he makes the final and definite statement that section 15 of the
retrait is not approved, and also finally and definitely states that the
government does not approve of the maintenance of the gourde as the
legal tender money of the republic. A few days later I went to see
him with the Receiver General of Customs and told him that while
the putting into operation of section 15 of the contract of the retrait
was not a question on which I felt I could enter into a debate with
him as the Government of the United States was of the definite
opinion that it must be put in operation, still I desired to explain to
him the reasons for putting the section into operation and for main-
taining the gourde as the legal tender money of the republic. At the
end of my interview he asked me to place my statements in writing
so that he might get them before the Council of Ministers, and this
was done by me shortly after. A few days later the bank people
having presented their credentials in proper form before the govern-
ment he notified them that a committee of ministers composed of
himself, Mr. Roy, the Minister of Public Works, and Mr. Bellegarde,
the Minister of Public Instruction, had been appointed to consult
with the bank as to the provisions of the laws authorizing the transfer
'For papers relating to this subject, see pp. 816 ff.
"R. L. Farnham, Vice President of the Banque Nationale de la Republique
d'Haiti and of the National City Bank of New York.

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