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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 789

easy for the Department of State to verify their accuracy by having
investigations conducted on the ground by impartial and conscien-
tious men.
The Haitian Government does not ask that its assertions be
accepted; it asks to have its statements verified and that credit be
not given. to its accusers' statements only. Strict justice so demands,
and the Government still cherishes too great a confidence in the
sentiment of justice which animates the great American people not to
remain convinced that its good cause will finally triumph.
Indeed the Haitians trust that the Government of the United
States will decide for right and justice, for it was in the defense of
those ideals that it launched its enthusiastic youth on the battle-
fields of Europe, and that so many brave Americans, fell at Chateau-
Thierry, in the Bois, Belleau, and on the plains of Woevre!
As a complement to the note handed to the Haitian Government
under the instructions of the Department of State, the Legation of
the United States at Port au Prince adds that the American Minister
is quite ready to pay the salaries, so forcibly withheld, of the
members of the Government and the Council of State, on condition
that the Haitian Government will immediately pledge itself to repeal
eleven laws enumerated under numbers 1 to 11 and to procure the
enactment of four other laws mentioned under the letters a, b, c,
and d.
The greater part of the laws whose repeal is demanded, as for
instance that on surveys and that on firearms and munitions, which
were never promulgated, was only mentioned to swell the number
and lengthen the list of grievances which the Legation of the United
States has been pleased to bring against the Haitian Government.
Yet in further evidence of its good faith, if it were needed, and to
give additional proof of its wish to agree with the Government of the
United States, the Haitian Government will now furnish the most
complete explanations about the eleven laws, the repeal of which
would be forced upon it:
1. Law relative to the right of foreign residents to hold real estate
in Haiti
The law of July 21, 1920, relative to the right of foreigners resid-
ing in Haiti to hold real estate was communicated as a matter of mere
courtesy to the Legation of the United States at Port au Prince in a
note dated June 9, 1920. That communication was only acknowledged
to the Department of Foreign Affairs in a letter dated July 21st
which was not delivered until the 27th of the same month, after the
law had been promulgated on July 24th.
It is quite clear that if the Legation of the United States at Port au
Prince did not offer its remarks in good time, the blame lies upon
others than the Department of Foreign Affairs.

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