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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 766

expected, the government has taken violent exception to mny action
and in a formal letter has stated that I must assume all the respon-
sibility for the delay in the enactment of the budget. On July 14th
I went to see the President with American Minister and Colonel
Russell,9 to explain to him the reasons which had governed me in
taking the action and to again insist that the measures proposed
by me and agreed to by him on my first coming to Haiti be put
through without further delay. He stated that he could not possibly
carry in his memory all of my statements and requested that I make
my statement in writing, which I have done and it has been handed
to him by the American Minister.
I am sorry to say that I find the government at this time defi-
nitely and strongly anti-American, and am of the opinion that the
cabinet must be reorganized and the government made to understand
that it must cooperate with the Occupation both in the administration
of the government and in the enactment of such laws as are neces-
sary to assure the welfare and prosperity of the country. I enclose
you herewith a draft of the project of law which I prepared at the
request of the President; "I the clauses relative to the prohibition
the hoarding of gourdes and the speculation in gourdes were lifted
almost verbatim from a law proposed by Minister Fequiere, which
included a clause establishing the American dollar as the legal tender
money for the country and which has been rejected both by the
American Minister and myself. While I was still in Washington
I was advised that Mr. Fequiere, the Minister of Finance, had since
his return from America gotten very fully under the influence of the
Royal Bank of Canada. Since I have been here I have gotten
closely in touch with the general situation and I am satisfied that
the information I received while in Washington is true. The Royal
Bank of Canada has taken as its legal adviser Louis Borno, who was
Minister of Finance just prior to Fequiere and who was removed
from the cabinet because- of his aggressively anti-American acts.
There is no doubt that the Royal Bank of Canada proposed to buy
the French stock in the Banque Nationale de la R6publique d'Haiti
if it could by any means prevent the purchase of that stock by the
National City Bank. With that end in view Borno, acting on [,with]
Fquiere and Bellegarde, the latter a close personal friend of Borno,
has persuaded the government to use every imaginable method to
delay and prevent the purchase of the stock by the National City
Bank and the same influence is now seeking to take from the Bank
the value of its concession, which gives it the sole right of emission
of paper money, by declaring that the gourde is not the legal money
'Col. John H. Russell, U.S.M.C., commanding the United States military
forces in Haiti.
"° Not printed.

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