Similar discriminations against foreigners have been attempted by nearly all the administrations during the past forty years; and even now foreigners suffer petty discriminations which are generally accepted as scarcely warranting protest. The last serious attempt to discriminate against foreigners was by the executive decree of President Dominque, which was reported at length by Mr. Bassett, then U. S. minister to Haiti, in dispatches to Mr. Fish, No. 426, January 28, 1876; No. 428, February 7, 1876; No. 443, April 10, 1876.

Mr. Fish's instruction No. 261, of March 13, 1876, states clearly the Department's views as to the purpose and extent of Article V of the treaty between Haiti and the United States.

I am inclined to think that the project will not pass both branches of Congress; but should it become a law and its application attempted, I shall be guided by the correspondence above quoted until I shall have received instructions from you. I have, etc.,


(Inclosure in No. 235. - Translation. )

In view of article 69 of the constitution:

Considering that it is urgent to reestablish the equilibrium between public receipts and expenses; that it is conformable with justice and equity that the charges of state should be assessed on all those who dwell in the territory of the Republic, whatever may be their nationality;

Considering that experience has shown that the greater part of the impost is borne only by Haitian citizens; that it is the duty of the Government to devise the means to do away with this injustice in the assessment of the public contributions, and to determine the ratio of the foreign contributor in a manner proportionate to the ability of each one;

Upon the proposition of the secretary of state for finances, and according to the recommendation of the council of the secretaries of state the legislative corps has enacted the following law :

ART. 1. From the 1st of October, 1893, all foreigners dwelling in the territory of the Republic, with the exception of the diplomatic agents accredited near to the Government, outside of the license tax already established by law, shall pay a personal tax conformable to the tariff specitied in article 8 of tho present law.

Art. 2. This tax shall be paid into the public treasury by the debtor in virtue of the laws and regulations of the public administration conformable to the list which shall be drawn up to that effect by the competent authority.

ART. 3. The list above mentioned shall be drawn up by the chief administrators of finances from the necessary schedules and documents to be furnished by the communal magistrates with the assistance of the secretary of state for the interior to the secretary of state for finances and commerce.

The secretary of state for finances shall address himself directly to the communal magistrates for certain data when he shall deem such necessary.

ART. 4. The schedule of this personal tax shall be revised and regularly drawn up in the form that shall be adopted by the department of finances by the 1st of September of each year, beginning with current one.

ART. 5. No foreigner shall practise a trade or profession except by virtue of a license from the chief magistrate of the Republic. This license shall be issued only on a receipt from the national bank, countersigned by the chiet administrator of finance at the place of his residence, certifying to the entire payment of the new tax into the treasury.

ART. 6. In regard to foreigners employed in the capacity of clerks, or under any other title, in the service of merchants, inanufacturers, or artisans, either natives or foreigners, those who employ them are and remain respousible for the payment of the tax.

ART. 7. This personal tax shall be paid, so far as olne, from the 1st of October to the 10th of November at the latest.

Any person who within the period above mentioned shall not have made his payments to the treasury, shall, on demand of the chief administrator of finance at the place of his residence and on the responsibility of the latter, be subject to the penalties and fines provided in article 18 of the law of October 24, 1876, governing the collection of direct taxes.

ART. 8. The quota of this contribution is established as follows:


Gold. I. Foreign consignees engaged in the export trade or banking business, annually, and without distinction of class ..

$300 II. Foreign consignees engaged in import trade, annually and without distinction of class...

250 III. Foreign consignees engaged in banking, export and import trade.. 500 IV. Foreign clerks employed in banking or export houses

80 V. Foreign clerks employed in houses engaged in import trade

50 VI. Foreign clerks employed in houses engaged in banking, export and import trade...

100 VII. Agents of lines of steamers in all the ports of the Republic.

150 VIII. Apothecaries, druggists, and doctors...

100 IX. Restaurant keepers who furnish meals and who keep an open house... 100 X. Coffee-house keepers.

100 XI. Coffee-house keepers who have a billiard saloon annexed

150 XII. Architects engaged in all manner of building

80 XIII. Confectioners

100 XIV. Shoemakers who employ workmen.

25 XV. Shoemakers working alone.. XVI. Clock and watchmakers...

20 XVII. Photographers having an establishment. XVIII. Carriage-makers, painters, gilders of carriages, etc.

20 XIX. Tailors who employ workinen

30 XX. Merchant tailors

150 XXI. Journeymen tailors XXII. Proprietors of livery stables and busses.

100 XXIII. Drivers of carriages and busses to hire..

10 XXIV. Drivers of private carriages or busses.. XXV. Hair dressers and barbers having a saloon.

25 XXVI. Hair dressers and barbers without saloons..

In all the professions or industries not provided for in the present tariff and open to foreigners, foreigners shall pay twice the amount of the license tax paid by a Hai. tian, in virtue of the law of October 24, 1876, governing the collection of direct taxes.

ART. 9. The present law shall be published and executed by the secretaries of state for finance and commerce, and for the interior, each so far as concerns him.

Mr. Gresham to Mr. Smythe. No. 7.1


Washington, Norember 27, 1893. SIR: Idesire to call your attention to Mr. Durham's No.235, of August 28 last, inclosing a copy of a bill pending before the Haitian Chamber of Deputies, proposing to levy taxes which appear to discriminate against foreign residents in the Republic.

The preamble of the bill recites that equity and justice require that the charges of the state should be borne by all inhabitants, without regard to nationality. As an abstract proposition this would justify imposing all business license taxes uniformly on foreigners as well as natives, the character and extent of the business transactions affording an equitable basis for the respective license tax.

If, as appears from the draft bill, the proposal is to levy a personal tax on aliens, in addition to all other business taxes they may pay in common with native Haitians, it departs wholly from the just principle laid down as the motive of the measure, substitutes an inequitable and discriminatory treatment at variance with its declared precepts, and results in discrimination against our citizens. The provisions of Article V specifically prohibit the subjection of the citizens of the United States in Haiti to “any contributions whatever higher or other than those that are or may be paid by native citizens."

From every point of view, so far as citizens of the United States established in business in Haiti are concerned, the proposed act appears to violate the reciprocal equality of treatment stipulated by international treaty, and should be so dealt with by you in the event that it becomes a law and an attempt is made to apply it to citizens of the United States. I am, etc.,


Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 16.)

Port au Prince, Haiti, December 13, 1893.

(Received December 26.) SIR: Replying to your No. 7, reciting Mr. Durham's 235, I have the honor to report that the bill was not presented to the Chamber of Deputies, and this I learn was in consequence of the same arguments presented in your dispatch. The Government realized that the law could not be enforced in reference to American citizens, and as they have similar conventions with other countries it was deemed impracticable and dropped. I have, etc.,



Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 22.

Port au Prince, Haiti, January 10, 1894.

(Received January 24.) SIR: In an interview to-day with the secretary of state for foreign affairs (at his instance) he stated that certain small whalers and other American vessels had been habitually invading Haitian territory, and in the prosecution of their business frequently putting in at closed ports, and presumably carrying on a contraband trade. He stated further, that he desired to give notice to this legation before proceeding to extreme measures. I answered that the U. S. Government could not be expected to patrol Haitian territory, and that the only course open to the Haitian Government in this behalf was to protect its territory in the usual manner, and in that case the only interest of my Govern. ment would be to see that the delinquent parties had a fair and impartial trial, in case they proved to be American vessels.

Since returning to the legation I find the same subject came up some years ago, and that this view (practically) seems to have been sustained by the Department. If my reply needs any modification please advise me. I am, et,


Mr. Uhl to Mr. Smythe, ,

No. 19.)


Washington, January 26, 1894. SIR: Your No. 22, of the 10th instant, reporting the intention of the Haitian Government to adopt extreme measures against whaling and other vessels of the United States putting into closed ports of Haiti and presumably carrying on a contraband trade, has been received. A copy thereof has been sent to the Secretary of the Treasury for commu. nication to shipmasters, and the matter has been given publicity through

the press.

I am, etc.,


Acting Secretary.



Mr. Durham to Mr. Gresham.

事 #

· No. 228.

Port au Prince, Haiti, August 2, 1893.

(Received August 12.) SIR:

# * The question of the detention of sailing vessels for the payment of customs duties has been raised by the firm of Green, Knaebel & Co., copy of whose communication I inclose.'

I inclose also a copy of my reply, in which I inform Messrs. Green, Knaebel & Co. that I have no instructions concerning the suggestion that a test case be made.

The records at the Department are so complete on this subject that it does not seem necessary for me to enter into a detailed report of the case. It seems that the custom of detaining sailing vessels was based originally on an executive decree, not confirmed by Congressional leg. islation. In Mr. Douglass to Mr. Blaine, No. 179, diplomatic, of June 27, 1891, Mr. Douglass quotes from the annual message of the President of Haiti to the National Congress to the effect that the executive depart. ment admits that there is no law for the detention of sailing vessels for the payment of duties. The Congress failed to take any action, and I was instructed to exercise my good offices in the matter.

It has seemed to me that with this official statement from the Presi. dent that no law existed for the discrimination against sailing vessels, two remedies were possible: either a decree from the President annull. ing the decree under which the vessels are detained, or a decision from a Haitian court that the detention is without warrant at law. The latter seemed to me to be the more practical, and I ventured to make the observation to that effect in my No. 71, of June 10, 1892. Since that time I have had no word from the Department on the subject. I have, etc.,

JOHN S. DURHAM. Inclosures not printed.


非 *

Mr. Gresham to Mr. Smythe. No. 2.)


Washington, October 23, 1893. SIR: I desire to call your attention to Mr. Durham's No. 228, of August 2 last, inclosing copy of a letter from Messrs. Green, Knaebel & Co., protesting against the Haitian regulation requiring the detention of sailing vessels in the ports of the Republic until the import duties on their cargoes are paid by the consignees.

This subject has been discussed with your predecessors, Messrs. Douglass and Durham.

The principal objection to the Haitian rule in this regard is that it is irrational, because visiting the carrier of the goods with delays and virtual penalties with regard to the things carried when they have passed out of the carrier's hands with the fulfillment of his contract, and when the only relation remaining in respect to the goods is between the Government and the importer or consignee. In this latter transaction the goods themselves, being in the hands of the Government, furnish abundant security for the payment of the duties thereon. Were the goods delivered to the consignees by the customs officers in advance of payment of duties, the master of the vessel could not rightly be held responsible for any subsequent default of payment by the consignee. The rule is, moreover, unjust, because applied only to sailing vessels.

The instructions on file will enable you to deal with this unnecessary and unjustly discriminatory burden on the carrier under sail. I am, etc.,


Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 2.)

Port au Prince, November 2, 1893.

(Received November 14.) Sir: Replying to your No. 2, of 23d ultimo, it seems that the ques. tion of the detention of sailing vessels treated of in your dispatch was placed in an attitude of easy solution by the declaration of the Chief Executive of Haiti in his annual message promulgated in 1891, in which he says it has been found from an examination of the bureau of commerce that no law imposes the obligation to detain sailing vessels until the duties on their inward cargoes are paid. The message also recites that “the measure is perhaps only supported by the decree of 30th April, 1869, which was not inserted in the Official Moniteur nor in any law bulletin of the Republic, so that it is not known from what source it emanates. In any case, the date (30th April, 1869) recalls a troubled epoch of the Republic, when it was impossible to ren. der a decree in constitutional form.'” In the same document the Presi. dent says that he "regards the custody of the cargo as an ample safe. guard to the fiscal agents."

I can not but believe that upon the proper presentation of the subject in this light an executive decree or declaratory order will follow directing the customs officers to expedite the departure of sailing vessels in the way desired. A careful examination of the records here fails to disclose any instruction from the Department for the guidance of this legation, but I will accept your No. 2 as an instruction to proceed in the

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