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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 801

On Thursday, September ninth, I hoisted my flag on board the
U.S.S. Minnesota and proceeded to sea, arriving at Port au Prince
on Monday, September thirteenth, in the afternoon. I at once went
ashore and called upon the Minister, who returned my call the next
day. I did not seek an audience with the President at once as I
wished to familiarize myself with conditions by consultations with
the Minister and treaty officials. When I was ready to have an
audience with the President, I heard that he was recovering front
an illness and so the request for an audience was delayed until
Friday, September seventeenth. The audience was set for the
following morning. With the American Minister I called upon the
President, accompanied by Captain Hasbrouck of the Minnesota
and the members of my personal staff. As I expected, I found the
President surrounded by his cabinet, and I therefore turned the
visit into one of pure formality; but, on leaving, requested the
President to give me and the Minister a private audience on Monday,
which he did.
On Monday, September twentieth, the Minister and I had an
audience of over two hours with the President, at the end of which
he assured me that the wishes of the United States Government
would be met. I therefore trust that affairs are in a way to being
arranged satisfactorily. Upon arrival here I found that the Council
of State had been called to meet on the sixth instant, but that it had
not yet received the special message of the President outlining the
business before it. It, therefore, met only on Mondays, Wednesdays
and Fridays for the accomplishment of certain routine business
before it, but awaiting the President's special message. The Council
of State met yesterday in regular session, but I have not yet heard
whether the President's message was sent to it. A rumor from a
Haitian source considered ordinarily accurate is to the effect that
after the visit of Minister Bailly-Blanchard and myself on Monday
there was a meeting of the Cabinet at which it was decided to put
through the program of the United States. This is given for what
it may be worth.
I enclose a summary of the conversation held with the President.
After talking with well informed people here, I was quite prepared
for its outcome, as the opinion seemed to be general that the Haitian
Government was simply seeking to get out of the bad situation with-
out too much loss of face. There is, of course, still a chance of a
hitch in the proceedings on the part of the Haitians; but, on the
whole, I think the situation may be regarded with optimism.
In pursuit of the discretion given mne, and after discussing the
point with the Minister and Mr. McIlhenny, it was considered wise
to pay the suspended salaries for the months of July and August.

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