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The High Commissioner in Haiti (Russell) to the Secretary of State

No. 13

PORT AU PRINCE, April 10, 1922.

[Received April 18.] SIR: I have the honor to make the following report upon the political situation:

Shortly after my return to Haiti I learned from reliable sources that the President of Haiti had announced to the Council of State the Monday before my arrival at Port au Prince that I was returning to Haiti and that as soon as I arrived I would issue a declaration supporting him for the Presidency. I carefully avoided politics in my first talks with the President on my return and he did not announce officially his candidacy until about ten days ago. Two days after such announcement he sent for me very hurriedly at an early hour of the morning, stated that there was considerable feeling evidenced in the press against him and asked me if he should withdraw. I informed him that that was entirely a personal matter but that as far as I was concerned there was no reason for his withdrawal, that officially I must preserve an absolute neutrality regarding all candidates and that I wanted the election to be in accordance with the laws and Constitution of Haiti. He told me that he would gather his forces together and run for the Presidency.

About this time practically all the newspapers and organizations in Port au Prince united against Mr. Dartiguenave, even to the extent of attempting to hold a mass in the Cathedral for deliverance from his regime. The President frequently appeared before the Council of State, requested the votes of its members for himself and in the case of one member who announced his candidacy for the Presidency he took such announcement for the resignation of this gentleman. Such action, however, on the part of the President was not accepted by the Council of State, which directed his attention to a law prohibiting the dismissal of members of the Council of State while such body was in session. Five or six days ago the Minister of Foreign Affairs called at my house, informed me that he was desirous of seeing me accomplish my mission in Haiti and that he wanted to inform me that there was great feeling against the President, Mr. Dartiguenave, and that he thought someone else should be , put in office who would work in harmony and sympathy with the Americans. This gentleman then stated that in his opinion I should call a private session of the Council of State for Saturday afternoon, the eighth of April, and inform that body that they should select someone who was in entire sympathy with the United States in its work in Haiti and perhaps suggest to it one or two names. The

Minister of Foreign Affairs is himself a candidate for the Presidency.

I informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs that my attitude must be one of neutrality and that I was desirous of seeing a free and open election and that I did not deem it proper or fitting for me to appear before the Council of State in the manner he suggested. The Minister, however, repeated his visits to me during the week and on one occasion even wrote out a few words that he suggested I say to the Council of State. On Saturday morning, April 8th, so many reports were floating about concerning my attitude regarding the election and the situation was so tense, with possibilities of disorders in the city, that I deemed it proper and the time fitting to issue the following notice to the press:

It is my desire that you publish in your papers an earnest request to the people that during the coming election they conduct themselves in an orderly manner.

The people must learn that they must abide by the laws and the Constitution of their country and that a violation of the laws is not only not in the interests of their country but not in their own interests.

It is my hope that the moment the election is over we will all put our shoulder to the wheel and push together for the development of Haiti. “Push for Haiti” should be the slogan, the watchword of all.

If such is done in a short time Haiti will become a land of happiness and prosperity.

In the coming election I espouse the cause of no candidate. The obligations contained in the Treaty of 1915 between the Republic of Haiti and the United States must, naturally, be carried out to their fullest extent.

The above notice was published in the evening papers and before issuing I gave a copy of it to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and asked if the Government had any objection, to which he replied it had not. This action on my part it is believed was taken at exactly the right time and had a most beneficial effect in clearing the atmosphere, making all parties happy and contented, and the possibilities of disorder faded away.

The Council of State was immediately invited to meet the President at the Palace, where he again informed them that he desired to be elected and wanted its support. Only one member replied to him. Later on in the day a straw vote taken at a secret session held at the House of the President of the Council resulted in only four votes for the present incumbent. Accordingly a committee was appointed to notify Mr. Dartiguenave of the result of this vote, and I am informed he then withdrew his candidacy.

On Sunday morning, at an early hour, the Minister of Foreign Affairs visited me at my house and again urged me to go before the Council of State. This I flatly refused to do, telling him, as I had done before, that the Council of State must elect a President in accordance with the laws of Haiti, the Constitution and their own consciences, keeping in view the necessity for electing someone who would carry out to the fullest extent the Treaty of 1915. ...

Sunday, the ninth, numerous straw votes were taken by the Council of State and it appears that they have decided upon the President of that body, Mr. Stephen Archer, as the next President of the Republic.

It is my intention, whoever is elected President this morning, to at once have him call on me and inform me regarding his policy. Mr. Archer has already stated his desire, if elected, to at once visit me and give me the above information. I have [etc.]


838.00/1855 : Telegram

The High Commissioner in Haiti (Russell) to the Secretary of State

PORT AU PRINCE, April 11, 1922noon.

[Received April 12–2:40 p.m.) 38. Louis Borno elected President by Council of State last night at 7:20...


838.00/1856 : Telegram

The High Commissioner in Haiti (Russell) to the Secretary of State

Port AU PRINCE, April 13, 1922noon.

[Received 8:25 p. m.] 39. My 38, April 11, noon. On investigation proceedings of Council of State appear to have been entirely legal regarding eligibility of Louis Borno for Presidency. Have had talk with Mr. Bonamy, Chief Justice Court of Cassation, who stated that laws passed by National Assembly or Council of State could if unconstitutional be referred to Court of Cassation but that action such body [sic] could not be so referred, its decision being final in Borno case. Eligibility was first considered and by unanimous vote of 14 members present he was considered eligible. Official election decree appears in yesterday's Moniteur. If practicable in view of above shall at once officially recognize Louis Borno as having been elected. No chance of present administration considering loan.


* For papers concerning loan, see pp. 472 ff.

838.00/1855 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Haiti (Dunn)

WASHINGTON, April 17, 1922—4 p. m. 35. For General Russell. Your April 13, noon.

If you are satisfied with the regularity and constitutionality of Borno's election, you are authorized to state that this Government will recognize him as having been elected President.


838.00/1875 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Haiti (Dunn)

WASHINGTON, May 12, 1922—4 p. m. 40. For General Russell: Your despatch No. 24, April 28.4

The Haitian Minister has made representations to the Secretary of State, setting before him the documents of which copies were transmitted by you, regarding the eligibility of Monsieur Borno. He was told that in view of the decision of the Council of State regarding Borno's eligibility, which decision is apparently not subject to review by any other body, the question of eligibility must be regarded as closed.


838.81/1400a : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Haiti (Dunn)

WASHINGTON, October 12, 1922—4 p. m. 88. For General Russell.

Mr. McIlhenny asks you to communicate following message to President Borno: “Please accept my resignation as Financial Adviser to be effective this date October 11th."


888.81/1403a : Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Haiti (Dunn)

WASHINGTON, October 14, 1922—5 p. m. 91. For General Russell.

Please inform President Borno that the President has nominated Mr. John S. Hord as Financial Adviser to Haiti in place of Mr.

• Not printed.

McIlhenny, and request that Hord's appointment, as in similar cases, be made effective from this date.



The High Commissioner in Haiti (Russell) to the Secretary of State

No. 81

PORT AU PRINCE, November 9, 1922.

[Received November 25.] Sir: I have the honor to report that the Financial Adviser, Mr. John S. Hord, has received his appointment from the Haitian Government and has assumed his duties as Financial Adviser to the Republic of Haiti. I have [etc.]





The Chargé in Haiti (Jordan) to the Secretary of State

No. 564

PORT AU PRINCE, January 4, 1922.

[Received January 14 (?).] Sir: Referring to my radio number 94 [92] of December 30 [28], 4 p. m.,' I have the honor to forward herewith the reply of the Haitian Government to the loan offers of the three banking houses transmitted to it through this Legation. The French text only is herewith enclosed as the translation has not been completed and I considered it imperative that a copy be forwarded to the Department by the first boat. As soon as the translation is complete I shall send it by first mail. I have [etc.]



The Haitian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Barau) to the

American Chargé (Jordan)

In the name of the Haitian Government, and in answer first, to the note verbale dated December 5, 1921,8 by which the Department

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For previous correspondence, see Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. II, pp. 205 ff. * Ibid., p. 222. 'File translation revised.

Based on Departinent's telegram no. 61, Nov. 18, 1921, Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. II, p. 220.

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