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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 767

of the state and that the American dollar is. They ignore the fact
that the gourde has been established by repeated laws as the legal
tender money of the country from the time it gained its independ-
ence, and that in the contract of the retrait which was enacted into
law the definitive bills of the bank have again been declared as the
legal tender money of the republic, and they are determined to set
aside the contract of the bank in two of its most important features.
. . . You will recall that section 15 of the retrait, which reads as
" To avoid the possibility of any currency crises during the period
of the retirement of government paper money, as soon as [and as
long as] such retirement shall be in process the government obligates
itself to prohibit the importation and exportation of non-Haitian
currency except such as may be necessary to meet the requirements
of commerce in the judgment of the Financial Adviser."
does not absolutely prohibit the importation or exportation of non-
Haitian money, but does restrain the amount to be imported or
exported to the commercial requirements of the country in the judg-
ment of the Financial Adviser. Therefore the provision is not for-
mulated in favor of or against any bank, but as a safeguard to the
country. The contention of the Royal Bank of Canada to the British
Charge d'Affaires that it is to the detriment of that bank and places
it and all other banks in Haiti absolutely under the control of the
National Bank of Haiti is without any foundation in fact. The
.only other bank in Haiti, the American Foreign Banking Corpora-
tion, has no objection whatsoever to the enactment of the law, and
believes absolutely that the gourde should be maintained as the legal
tender money of Haiti and that the importation of foreign monies
should be restricted to the actual commercial needs of the country.
I have [etc.]                       JOHN A. MCILHENNY
The Haitian Charge (Blanchet) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, July 30, 1920.
MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: In compliance with instructions received,
I have the honor to transmit to Your Excellency the following com-
munication from the Secretary of State of Foreign Relations of
"The Government of Haiti is constrained to complain of the
Financial Adviser, who took upon himself to prevent a vote on the
budget, by declaring that he would put off any examination of the

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