Foreign Relations 8

71st Congress,
3d Session
House Document
No. 825, Vol. III

Papers Relating to the
Foreign Relations
of the
United States
1930
(In Three Volumes)
Volume III
United States
Government Printing Office Washington: 1945

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268 FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1930, VOLUME III

command to a Haitian officer is a much more radical experiment than merely promoting Haitians in organizations where they are constantly under the eye of an American superior, I believe that it will be advisable to watch the result of this experiment for a period before turning over other departments to complete Haitian control.
  II. The Office of the Financial Adviser-General Receiver.
  The Financial Adviser states that further extensive Haitianization of his service is practically impossible if he is to perform the duties placed upon his office by the Treaty. I am inclined to concur in this view. The Service is operated with Haitian employees except for a group of Americans who occupy key positions where any dishonesty or break-down in efficiency might mean a serious financial loss to the Government. The situation of the financial service is different from that of the other Treaty Services because of its special responsibility toward the foreign bond-holders and because the Service must continue in existence under the Protocol of 1919 (56) and the loan contracts after the expiration of the Treaty. It obviously be particularly unwise to undermine the efficiency of this service in the face of the present difficult economic situation.
  There will, however, undoubtedly be an insistent demand by the Haitian public and probably by the Government, for the removal of the Internal Revenue Service from American control. The Haitianization of the Internal Revenue Service would be a calamity for Haiti because it would further reduce the Government’s now inadequate revenue and would probably prevent the ultimate abolition of the onerous export taxes which the new internal revenue were intended to replace. On the other hand, from our own view, there would be obvious advantages in taking American Treaty officials altogether out of the business of collecting taxes from the people. To do so would remove one of the principal causes of ill feeling against the Treaty Services. I am not yet prepared to express a final opinion on this subject as a matter of policy.
  There is, however, a legal side to the internal revenue question which should receive the Department’s consideration. It would appear that the United States Government could not relinquish the control of the internal revenues without violating obligations assumed toward the holders of Haiti’s bonds in the Protocol of 1919. It be very helpful to have a study of this question made by the Solicitor’s Office in the near future and to have definite instructions from the Department on this particular phase of the internal revenue question for use when the Haitian Government brings it up.

The activity of the Financial Adviser’s Office which can best be given up if desired as a matter of policy is the administration of State


(56) Foreign Relations, 1919, vol. zx, p. 347.

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269 HAITI

lands. The reclaiming of State property for the Government and the collection of rents from tenants thereon has caused much friction and was the immediate occasion, though not the cause, of some of the unfortunate incidents which occurred last year. There are now reports that propaganda is being spread in the interior to induce tenants to refuse to pay their rents and this propaganda if it becomes serious will involve the Internal Revenue Service and the Legation in further difficulties. I am inclined to believe that we may find it advisable to abandon this phase of the Financial Adviser’s work even though such action will entail the loss of much property and considerable revenue and will thus be seriously harmful to the of the Haitian Government.
  III. Public Works Service.
  The Public Works Service has eight important departments or district offices as follows: Cape Haitien, Port de Paix, Oonaives, St. Petitgoave, Cayes, Jacmel, and Jeremie. All except those at the Cayes and Jeremie, are now under the administration of Haitian engineers. It will probably be possible to turn over the office at within three or four months. There is no Haitian engineer immediately available to take over the office at Jeremie, but one is being trained for this position.
  At the main office at Port-au-Prince, the work is divided into eight irrigation, public buildings, telegraphs, roads, municipal engineering, shop supply and transport, cadastre, and general administration. Haitian engineers are now being trained to become the heads of these services and the first two years above mentioned can probably be turned over in the very near future. If present plans can be carried out, two additional services will be placed under Haitian engineers in each year between now and 1933. The Engineer believes that it will be essential so long as we retain any responsibility for the administration of Public Works in Haiti to the eleven Naval engineers now detailed to his department, as they will all be necessary for purposes of supervision and control. The Service also employs a number of American civilians and it is this group that the Engineer in Chief plans to relieve as Haitianization There are at present eleven such American technical employees as compared with twenty-six in 1927. Three of the eleven during the next few weeks and two or three others during the coming year.
  IV. The Public Health Service.
  The Haitianization of the Public Health Service has already proceeded somewhat farther than in the case of the other Services. The Republic is divided into ten sanitary districts of which four, at Port de Paix, St. Marc, Jeremie and Petitgoave, have already been placed under Haitian officials. The Hinche district will be Haitian-

Informer's Comment:
Very interesting use of the term Internal Revenue Service in that it is capitalized meaning a specific Service. Ours or theirs? Interesting that they want to remove the IRS from American control.