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In view, more particularly, of speeches that were being made by certain Haitians tending to incite the people against the existing government and the continued reports of plots against the members of that government, it became necessary, on August 4, 1922, to issue a proclamation reminding the people of the proclamation of May 26, 1921. The issuance of this proclamation had an excellent effect and it was hoped that it would be sufficient. Unfortunately one newspaper of Port-au-Prince, the Nouvelliste, which had been very bitter and personal against President Borno and his administration, although warned by me in answer to an inquiry on the part of the Editor as to the meaning of my proclamation, continued its attacks. Another paper, the Courrier Haitien, had repeatedly denied the existing government and refused to recognize it. This was in truth anarchy on its part and incited others to anarchy. ...
In the protection of members of the United States Forces in Haiti, Treaty Officials and members of the Haitian Government, it is my opinion that, at the present time, provost courts should be used at the discretion of the American High Commissioner, who should carefully and personally examine each case and employ such power most sparingly, in self-defense and only with a modicum of penalties, sufficient to prevent repetition.
It is my policy, as High Commissioner, to see that provost courts are used most sparingly and my orders have gradually reduced the frequency of them until now they are employed only on rare occasions. I have [etc.]
JOHN H. RUSSELL
Proclamation of May 26, 1921, by the Commander of the United States
Forces in Haiti (Russell)
TO ALL INHABITANTS:
The United States Forces in Haiti are engaged in aiding and supporting the Constitutional Government of Haiti and are your friends.
By their efforts and those of the Gendarmerie of Haiti, Peace and tranquility have been established throughout your land permitting you again to cultivate your gardens, conduct your business and earn an honest living.
The only agitation that is being carried on in all Haiti is that undertaken by a few newspapers in the large cities and by a few persons in so called political speeches.
This agitation, however, is a menace to the condition of Law and Order that has been given you and consequently it becomes necessary to issue the following order under the Power and Authority of Martial Law.
While the freedom of the press and of speech are practically unrestricted, articles or speeches that are of an incendiary nature or reflect adversely upon the United States Forces in Haiti, or tend to stir up an agitation against the United States Officials who are aiding and supporting the constitutional Governement [sic] of Haiti, or articles or speeches attacking the President of Haiti or the Haitien Governement are prohibited and offenders against this order will be brought to trial before a Military Tribunal.
JOHN H. RUSSELL
The Secretary of State to the High Commissioner in Haiti (Russell)
WASHINGTON, October 4, 1922. Sir: The Department has received and carefully considered your despatch of September 6, 1922, discussing the use of provost courts by the American occupation in Haiti.
It is fully recognized that provost courts must be used where their employment is necessary to protect the members of the American forces of occupation or the American treaty officials from personal violence or from newspaper attacks of a character which would entitle them to redress under the laws of any civilized country. The Department, however, agrees with you that provost courts should be employed most sparingly in such cases, and that Haitians should be brought to trial before them only in extremely aggravated cases where there is a clear and imperative necessity for the infliction of punishment.
On the other hand, the Department feels that provost courts should rarely, if ever, be employed for the punishment of offences against Haitian officials or individuals except, possibly, in cases where such offences, if allowed to go unpunished, would directly and unquestionably prevent the carrying out of the objects of the Treaty between the United States and Haiti. In cases of open rebellion, or of open incitement to commit attacks upon the constituted authorities, the punishment of offenders by provost courts would perhaps be justifiable, even if the forces of occupation were not directly involved. The Department does not, however, feel that newspaper attacks upon Haitian authorities, however unjust or violent, should be dealt with by provost courts, except in cases where the suppression of the newspaper propaganda is obviously necessary to maintain the peace. The newspaper articles transmitted by you in your despatch No. 57, of August 28, 1922,19 do not appear to the Department to be of such a dangerous nature as to justify the trial and punishment of the offenders by provost courts. The obvious means of preventing the abuses of the press would be the enactment of adequate laws for the punishment of libel and the suppression of other abuses, and the reorganization of the Haitian judiciary system to the point where the Haitian Government is in a position to enforce the laws through its own courts. The Department realizes that this reorganization will take time and that the employment of the provost courts in exceptional cases in the meantime must be determined upon in each case, as the necessity arises.
The Department has full confidence in your discretion in the matter of employing provost courts and approves of the general policy which you have followed. It desires, however, that you should be fully informed as to its views upon this subject, and that you should realize that the employment of the provost courts in any case affecting Haitian citizens, however necessary such employment may be, is a source of embarrassment to the Department and is likely to subject the Department's policy in Haiti to very serious criticism. I am [etc.]
CHARLES E. HUGHES
BOUNDARY DISPUTE WITH THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
(See volume I, pp. 434 ff.)
INCURSIONS OF REVOLUTIONARY BANDS INTO HONDURAS!
815.00/2286 : Telegram
The Minister in Honduras (Morales) to the Secretary of State
TEGUCIGALPA, January 29, 1922—10 a.m.
[Received 9:15 p.m.] 13. The following sent to American Legation Managua:
“ January 28, 10 p.m. Urgent. The President of Honduras informs me that about four hundred Honduranean political refugees are gathered on the Nicaraguan-Honduranean frontier in the Department of Chinandega near San Pedro, Cinco Pinos and other villages preparing to invade Honduras. It would appear that the commandant of Chinandega, Colonel Tijerino, is aiding these revolutionists.
If you find basis for this report I suggest that you urge the President of Nicaragua to take energetic steps to capture and reconcentrate these refugees”.
This telegram sent at the request of the President of Honduras who has requested that Department be informed of situation trusting that representations may be made to Chamorro ? to take measures against these refugees.
815.00/2286 : Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Nicaragua (Ramer)
WASHINGTON, January 30, 1922—6 p.m. 5. Reference to American Legation, Tegucigalpa's telegram to you of January 28, 10 p.m.,' and to Depariment's telegram of January 5, 2 p.m.Inform President Chamorro that this Government is unwilling to give any credence to a report that Nicaraguan Officials are in any way abetting revolutionary activities in Honduras. Any action
*For papers relating to previous revolutionary activities on Honduras frontiers, see Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. II, p. 854; see also ibid., 1921, vol. 11, chapter on Nicaragua, p. 554.
Diego M. Chamorro, President of Nicaragua.
. Transmitted in telegram no. 13, Jan. 29, from the Minister in Honduras, supra. Not printed. 32604 vol. 11-38-36
of this nature would not only constitute a violation of Nicaragua's treaty obligations to her neighbors, but would necessarily be viewed as an act of bad faith toward the United States which has recently provided Nicaragua with large quantity of armaments in the confident assumption that the Nicaraguan Government would use it only for the maintenance of internal order. The reports received by this Government are nevertheless of such a nature that it feels compelled urgently to request that the Nicaraguan Government make every possible effort to prevent any officials or individuals within her territory from giving aid to conspirators against the Government of a neighboring country. This Government confidently expects that the Nicaraguan Government will show itself able to perform its international obligations to the fullest extent.
815.00/2285 : Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Salvador (Schuyler)
WASHINGTON, January 30, 1922—6 p.m. 2. Department has received most alarming reports concerning revolutionary activities against Government of Honduras. There is strong evidence that these are being fomented from neighboring countries. You will call on President Meléndez and emphatically urge him to take every possible measure to prevent either officials or individuals in Salvador from abetting in any way revolutionary activities in Honduras.
General Eulogio Flores, who is said to have been in Guatemala as personal representative of President of Salvador, is now reported to be on Honduran boundary assisting in preparations.
The Minister in Salvador (Schuyler) to the Secretary of State
SAN SALVADOR, January 31, 1922–5 p.m.
[Received February 2–10:35 a.m.] 3. In reply to your telegram January 30, 6 p.m., the President states that he has been and is taking every possible precaution and telegraphing orders to departmental commanders to arrest any persons attempting revolutionary activities against Honduras. It seems a band of 40 men armed with machetes has been observed on the
* See Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. II, pp. 564 ff.