Sacrificing His Core Supporters in a Race Against Defeat
AS a result of acute manifestations of chronic political instability in Haiti, United States troops were landed at Port au Prince on July 28, 1915. Since that time a special relationship has existed between the United States and Haiti, the legal basis for which is provided in the treaty made on September 16 of that same year. Meanwhile the organization and functioning of the American effort in Haiti has been defined and extended, quite necessarily and legitimately, by interpretation, mutual agreement, and Haitian legislation. Thus, the Haitian Government agreed not to enact any legislation without the prior approval of the Government of the United States. Again, since the aims of the treaty can be carried out only as funds are conserved and made available for constructive projects, the Financial Adviser has been recognized as vested with authority to veto proposed appropriations and expenditures.
The general policy of the United States toward Haiti was summed up by Mr. Hughes at the Havana Conference as follows: "It is our desire to encourage stability in the interest of independence. . . . We would leave Haiti at any time that we had reasonable expectations of stability, and could be assured that the withdrawal would not be the occasion for a recurrence of bloodshed. Meanwhile we are endeavoring in every important direction to assist in the establishment of conditions for stability and prosperity, not that we may stay in Haiti, but that we may get out at the earliest opportunity."
To establish conditions of permanent stability and at the same time to respect the sovereignty of Haiti, to prepare the Haitians for independent self-government and then to give it to them -- these are evidently our purposes and obligations. It is not intended in this article to question the legality or the practical and moral justification of the intervention. Neither is it intended to criticize what has been done since 1915 or what has been left undone. Criticisms aimed at the past without regard to the present or the future are not likely to be constructive. It is proposed therefore to speak of our action in Haiti not as a failure or a complete success, for it is neither, but as presenting a difficult but fairly definite problem which, due to its special conditions, requires clear understanding, sympathetic examination and speedy treatment.
Nominally the Government of the Republic has remained sovereign and constitutional. Disregarding momentarily the treaty and the American officials, the Government of Haiti is thoroughly centralized in the President of the Republic. On May 15, 1922, Louis Borno became President for a four-year term and in 1926 he was reëlected for a similar period. Outstanding among Haitians for intelligence and public spirit, he has consistently cooperated with the treaty officials. There should be no misunderstanding, however, with respect to President Borno's actual position. The Constitution of 1918 provides that the authority to choose the President and to make laws shall be vested in a National Assembly consisting of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies both elected by unrivesal and direct suffrage; but it is prescribed that the legislative authority, pending the reconvening of the National Assembly by the President, shall be exercised by an appointive Council of State. President Borno was elected by the Council of State; since 1922 he has himself appointed the Councillors; and he was reëlected in 1926 by the body which he appointed. In the exercise of their legislative function, the Councillors are subservient to the President; and the latter's acceptance of a project of law has generally insured its enactment. With regard to administration, Haitian ministers, appointed by the President, ordinarily look to him for direction even in minor administrative matters. Furthermore, the constitutional amendments voted in February 1928 give the President a substantial hold on the judiciary, which previously was independent.
American authority in Haitian affairs is effective though less visible. Through the functioning of the treaty services and the High Commissioner's right to veto legislation, American officials exercise practically complete power as regards the maintenance of order, over financial, economic and sanitation matters, and over the program of educational expansion; indirectly they possess a strong and potentially decisive influence in other fields.
Nominally, the treaty officials are responsible either to the President of Haiti or to their respective Ministers; in practice, they are directed by the High Commissioner who is at once an appointee of the President of the United States, the diplomatic representative of the United States Government, and the Commander of the Marines in Haiti. He not only vetoes but also drafts Haitian legislation. He negotiates contracts with American companies, determines the administrative attitude to be assumed toward them by the American treaty officers, and interests himself in the details of claims, the collection of revenue, road construction, and in agricultural, educational, and sanitary matters. American treaty officers have little official contact with the Haitian executive and their relations with the Ministers have necessarily become perfunctory or formal.
On its face the arrangement is characterized by division and confusion both of authority and responsibility; in practice it leads to a relationship between the President of Haiti and the representative of the Government of the United States which emphasizes the authority and responsibility of the United States in the domestic affairs of Haiti. This anomalous relationship, in effect confusing or fusing diplomatic representation and administrative authority, is unique in American international experience but bears an interesting resemblance to Great Britain's position in Egypt from 1882 to 1914. In both cases an illogical arrangement for governing a country was adopted in order to preserve the forms of sovereignty in the country governed. In both cases, the governing country either did not fully realize in the beginning the nature of its task or hesitated on account of public opinion to adopt thoroughgoing and efficient measures.
Our record under the treaty is one of substantial material accomplishment. Order and security have been established and maintained. The finances have been reorganized; revenues have increased; the public debt has been refunded and rapidly reduced; claims have been settled by orderly process; and the Treasury is now protected by an unobligated surplus which approximates 50 percent of the ordinary budget of the state. Exports have shown a gratifying increase. As a result of control over current expenditures, substantial sums have been made available for constructive projects. Through the Public Works Service, highways have been constructed and maintained, telegraph and telephone communication organized and extended, public buildings erected, wharves built, lighthouses and buoys installed, drainage and water-supply systems constructed. The Public Health Service has notably improved the sanitary conditions of the country. These accomplishments are important and in some respects remarkable. Nevertheless, they can be fairly appreciated only by considering them in the light of our ultimate objective in Haiti -- the establishment of enduring peace and stability.
In order that representative self-government may function in Haiti there obviously must be in the country a controlling opinion possessing the proper standards of public morality. In the United States, anything resembling a personally-conducted executive revolution is unthinkable because of characteristics which have slowly been developed in a preponderant section of the population. In Haiti, political power has been in the hands of a comparatively small class, the so-called élite, whose interests are particularistic and who in general look upon office as an opportunity for personal power and personal profit. The conception of social responsibility or of public office as a public trust is quite foreign to their minds. The Haitian masses are timid, credulous, and helpless, as one would expect a primitive and ignorant people to be. They have many attractive personal qualities and they are easily governed; but they are also easily manipulated. The negro race, however, has demonstrated its potential capacity for improvement, and cannot be condemned as innately incapable of satisfying the mental and moral conditions of stable self-government. Evidently, Haiti's political structure must be broadened and strengthened at its base. There must be more persons equipped by mentality, civic conscience and moral courage, not only to exercise governmental functions, but also to restrain those who may attempt to usurp political power. Under the most favorable conditions, any such psychological change, even in a part of the population, will be slow. In order that such favorable conditions may exist there must be a patient process of economic and social reconstruction. As Reinsch wrote in 1905: "It is only as we modify the structure, principles, and customs, of native societies, that we can exert any lasting influence upon individuals. . . . There is a life-purpose, unconscious though it may be, even in the lowest forms of civilization. This we cannot simply suppress by rough-shod measures, and substitute for it, point-blank and indiscriminately, the purposes and methods of our own civilization. Indeed, we can do no more than, by gradually substituting new economic forces and new social motives, to foster a development in the general direction of our own civilization."
The economic phase of the problem must be considered first. With the overthrow of the French colonial system the Haitians won individual freedom and national independence; but they destroyed the organized and large-scale agriculture from which the country had derived its prosperity. Plantations were cut up, in part distributed among former slaves and revolutionary soldiers, in part retained as state property. Agriculture and rural life, generally speaking, deteriorated to the primitive level and remained there. The resources of Haiti are almost solely agricultural, and probably 85 percent of the population is rural. Landholdings are small, numerous families living on garden plots of an acre or less, while farms of even moderate size are exceptional. The population (estimated at more than 2,000,000) is dense, amounting to about 200 per square mile in the entire country and probably exceeding that of any other West Indian, Central American, or South American country, except Porto Rico. It is estimated that about one-third of the area of Haiti is productive, or approximately 3,500 square miles -- only a little more than one acre of utilized land per capita. If the cultivable area were twice that now productive and if it could be wholly utilized by the present population, there would still be only about two and one-half acres of land per capita to support a population which is almost wholly dependent on agricultural resources.
Except for the elite and a comparatively small merchant and professional class, poverty, according to American standards of living, is universal. Nevertheless, the primary wants for shelter, clothing, and even food are satisfied in the climate of Haiti without much human effort. The peasants, living lives which to us seem indolent and shiftless, are enviably carefree and contented; but, if they are to be citizens of an independent self-governing nation, they must acquire, or at least a larger number of them must acquire, a new set of wants. From the point of view of citizenship, their average standard of living is at present wholly inadequate. The requirements of a higher standard of living can only be provided by the individual out of increased income or by the government out of increased revenue. In 1927-28 the revenues of Haiti were perhaps 20 percent of the national income. Taxation by the central government in proportion to income is apparently about three times as heavy in Haiti as in the United States. The power of the government to spend money for projects which contribute to stability, and the capacity of the individual Haitian to purchase for himself the essentials of better living, are rigidly conditioned upon an increase of national income. Evidently, any significant increase of income can only be obtained through the encouragement of agricultural production.
The fertile soil of Haiti will produce more abundant and more valuable crops when it is more intensively cultivated; and cultivation can be extended to areas not now utilized. Among the hills, tiny plots of ground are well enough for supplying local food needs, but in the plains the mere improvement or extension of peasant agriculture will not attain the ends of sound policy. In the first place, a reliance on small farming presupposes an intelligence and an incentive on the part of the peasant which he does not now possess. In the second place, small farms and gardens under individual management are not adapted to the production of tropical exports. Individualistic small farming pre-cludes the use of capital, of irrigation, of skilled management, and of efficient marketing. These are necessary if Haiti is to export its products in competition with other tropical countries.
It is estimated that at the present time the Haitian Government owns scattered tracts of land aggregating about 3,700,000 acres, almost half the total area of the country. Though much of this land is mountainous or otherwise of little agricultural value, it also comprises important cultivable tracts, especially in the north where in French colonial times the plantation system was highly developed, but where since the revolution the lack of native initiative has left extensive tracts uncultivated and unoccupied. In other parts of the country considerable areas of both state and privately-owned land lie idle, overgrown with brush, unproductive, and in part unoccupied. The state lands have been placed under American administration, and legislation enacted since 1915 has removed most of the opportunities for oppression and injustice which previously existed. Under present law squatters on state land are invited to become tenants and enjoy a preference over other applicants for three months from the date of the invitation; and only in case they refuse to become tenants can they be evicted. Tenants on state land are required to pay a rental which is fixed at 6 percent of the sale value of the property, substantially less than current rates of interest in Haiti on real-estate loans. Tenancy is permanent so long as the nominal rental is paid.
Haiti is overpopulated and has a large landless population. The landless consist in part of itinerant squatters who are in no sense cultivators or even settled occupiers. What this class obviously needs is agricultural employment. Nothing will be gained by agrarian legislation designed to transfer to private ownership state land now under lease, and little will be gained, except in selected regions, by an attempt to increase the number of peasant proprietors. Under Haitian conditions, ownership of land neither insures beneficial use nor contributes appreciably to political stability.
The most important means of increasing national income and thus taking an initial step toward stability is by the establishment of large-scale agricultural undertakings in appropriate regions. The development of this process need not necessarily be through foreign-owned plantations. In many cases it may come about by the organization of Haitian producers for the better cultivation, preparation and marketing of their crops. Foreign-managed plantations are advocated in Haiti primarily for the productive use of unoccupied state lands. In no case should a special privilege be accorded to foreign capital as such, and nothing savoring of dispossession or spoliation should be countenanced. The Haitians themselves are not unfriendly to foreign capital. At the present time there are a number of American agricultural enterprises in the country. Only two operate under concessions granted since the intervention; and the only privilege enjoyed by these companies is a preferential right to lease state lands.
Much has been said of the Haitian squatter. For more than sixty years the laws of Haiti have made it impossible to acquire title to state land by prescription or adverse possession. Now, in order to meet unfounded criticism that could be easily refuted by giving publicity to the facts, American officials are seriously proposing to amend long-established law so as to provide for prescription against the state. This might easily amount in practice to an indiscriminate transfer of lands from public to private ownership without regard to sound agricultural policy. It does not seem likely to contribute either to production or to stability. Assuming that the squatter has property rights -- although in Haitian law he has none -- he is less likely to benefit than some shyster lawyer or clever city resident who makes plausible allegations of "possession." Incidentally, too, the measure will give the courts an unlimited opportunity for corruption. There is no doubt that a law for the adjudication and registration of land-titles, has long been needed, but with only seven years left before the treaty expires the expediency of enacting such a law today seems highly questionable. Obviously, the execution of the law can scarcely be started during the treaty period. It will be expensive; it will arouse suspicion and opposition; its benefits will be remote; and its immediate effect may well be to intensify prejudice against American administration. It would seem that the productive use of private property now unoccupied could be stimulated by a land-tax, particularly a tax bearing solely or more heavily on uncultivated land; and such a measure might well have immediate consideration. During the past year provision was made by law for the substitution of excise taxes in place of the archaic export duties which have too long burdened Haitian agriculture, but though the excise taxes are now in operation the Haitian Government and American officials unfortunately are nevertheless understood to be contemplating the retention of export taxation.
But when all is said and done, the increase of production is only an initial means to a remote end. Although no census has been taken, it is certain that Haiti is already overpopulated even relative to its potential production, and population is apparently increasing. It is not impossible that with increasing production and improved sanitation a rising birth-rate and falling death-rate will tend to keep the masses near the level of primitive living. Even though the per capita income should increase, there is no positive assurance that augmented buying power will be used so as to contribute to good citizenship and political stability. If increases in income are employed for the satisfaction of new wants which bear no real relation to individual or social welfare, the Haitians will become no more fitted for a stable national existence and, worst of all, are likely to lose their present attractive contentment. We possibly shall have fostered a "development in the general direction of our own civilization;" but it may conceivably be toward those features of our civilization which bear the least relation to political capacity and national stability. Believing that the cause of instability in Egypt was the population's deficiency in character, Lord Milner observed: "For this the only true and permanent remedy is to elevate the moral standards of the masses by means of a statesmanlike educational policy." Increased income alone may be of little real advantage to the Haitian masses. Literary education for primitive people creates more mischief than benefit. Evidently the need in Haiti is for a strong and judicious educational effort which, while training the people to work and to produce, will also train them to better individual and social living.
When Americans took up their task in Haiti, they found a body of educational legislation and numerous schools. The laws, however, were never completely enforced. Government schools were inadequately financed, improperly housed, incompetently administered, and taught by underpaid and untrained teachers. Literary education was emphasized. About eight years after the intervention arrangements were made to establish vocational schools and to train vocational teachers in the central school of agriculture. These institutions are under American administration. In the development of a system of vocational instruction, the policy is to eliminate or "absorb" the Haitian schools, and to speed up this process the latter have been denied any material increase in appropriations. Until recently, however, the Department of Public Instructions was permitted to increase salaries and other current expenditures by means of savings effected when Haitian schools were reorganized, consolidated or abolished. Hereafter, it is understood, the Haitian schools are to be denied any financial means of improving themselves until they are absorbed.
According to the best figures available there was in 1924-25 a total enrollment in the schools of Haiti, including the ten American-directed vocational schools, of about 75,000 children, of whom 646 were in the vocational schools. As the average attendance was from 65 to 75 percent of the enrollment, it may be estimated that less than 15 percent of Haiti's youth were actually receiving elementary instruction. Indeed, it is probable that in 1924-25 Haiti was educationally one of the most backward countries in the world. The total expenditure for education in Haiti increased from 1924-25 to 1927-28 at an average annual rate of slightly less than 20 percent of the expenditures in the first-named year. In 1927-28, the Haitian Government assigned to education about 12 percent of its total appropriations for all purposes.[i] In that year there were 56 new vocational schools; in the present year, according to latest official figures, there are 65. It is believed that there are at least 400,000 children of elementary school age in Haiti. In July, 1928, 107,551 children were reported as enrolled in all schools -- government secular, communal, church, private, and vocation -- with an attendance of 82,187. Increased enrollment was only in part attributable to the establishment of vocational schools. Enrollment in these schools rose from 646 in 1924-25 to 6,636 in 1927-28, an increase of 5,990; but enrollment in other schools grew in the same period from 74,496 to 100,915 an increase of 26,519. The increase in population during this period is estimated at not less than 60,000. The increase in attendance attributable to the vocational schools therefore was apparently not more than one-half of the increase in the school population. In January 1929 the total enrollment in vocational schools was reported at exactly 7,000, representing an increase from last year to the present of only 364 pupils. The vocational schools are to be credited, it would seem, with an average increase during the last five years of 1,400 enrolled pupils per year.[ii]
There are valid reasons for the slow expansion of education in Haiti. Economic development required prior attention. The omission of education from the treaty was temporarily an obstacle. Furthermore, it is wise to build schools only so fast as trained teachers can be provided for them. Practically the only institution for the training of teachers in Haiti at present is the central school of agriculture, with an enrollment of 155. An addition to this institution has been recently completed and this is expected to bring its capacity up to 400 students. As this institution has a three-year course it may eventually succeed in producing 100 new teachers a year, or sufficient to instruct perhaps from 4,000 to 5,000 additional elementary pupils a year. Of course, the expansion of facilities for the training of teachers, like the whole school system in general, is limited by the financial resources available, but a careful survey indicates that it is now possible to finance vocational schools and adequate teacher-training institutions so that from 8,000 to 10,000 additional pupils a year may be enrolled, six or seven times the average increase of enrollment during the last five years. This can be done, it is believed, without curtailing any other essential activity. For any such substantial educational accomplishment, however, there should be strict coordination of all expenditure projects in the form of a carefully prepared long-term expenditure program.
Many serious questions call for consideration in connection with organizing and administering a system of education. Unfortunately they cannot be even summarized here. But it must be pointed out that unless the organization of public instruction is in some way brought into a coherent whole, unless legislation is revised and perfected in accordance with sound and workable principles, unless the Department of Public Instruction is prepared to assume eventually the administration of all the schools, there is grave danger that, when American control is removed, education in Haiti may suffer a quick reversion to the pre-intervention type. The problem is difficult but it does not appear insoluble. The adoption of the principle of vocational education was unquestionably sound; and it may be hoped that the vocational schools will stimulate production and in other directions contribute to national stability. Enough has been said to indicate the need of a thorough investigation on the ground by a competent and impartial commission of experts, with a view to the formulation of a well planned coördinated program of economic development and educational expansion.
There are many who believe that our task in Haiti has been completed, or at least that it will have been completed by the time the treaty expires. Until the occupation has actually terminated, and perhaps for some time thereafter, it may be impossible to prove that we have failed or succeeded in our effort to give Haiti stable self-government. History suggests that stability may arrive in a country when many of the theoretical conditions of stability are absent. In Haiti, stability may come because of our efforts, regardless of them, or in spite of them. The facts, however, do not justify optimism. It is doubtful whether we have yet appreciably strengthened or broadened any stabilizing element in the Haitian agricultural or mercantile class. We have not materially increased literacy or, what is more important, economic, social and political capacity. A candid consideration of all the facts leads to the conclusion that it may not be possible before the expiration of the treaty to create in Haiti the conditions which are believed to be essential to stability. The general opinion of competent observers is that if we withdraw in 1936 political conditions after our withdrawal will soon be as bad as before the intervention. We have sincerely endeavored to encourage stability in the interest of independence but unless something unforeseen happens there can be in 1936 no "reasonable expectations of stability."
Let us then return for a moment to the political and diplomatic aspects of the problem. We are being pressed, not merely to preserve the forms of independence, but, in view of the early expiration of the treaty, to restore to the Haitians a larger share of administrative responsibility and more of the realities of constitutionalism. Haitians should of course be made ready to take responsible posts in the administration; but technical training is not sufficient. So long as economic, social and political conditions retard the development of character in individuals, so long will Haitians be unfitted for the efficient performance of responsible administrative duties. Even if a sufficient number were fitted to succeed Americans in the various services, there exists no guarantee or probability that these qualified men would be retained by the politicians. No legislation, even the most rudimentary, has been enacted for the purpose of protecting meritorious employes. Outside the treaty services, the spoils system reigns unchecked; and when American control is removed the entire personnel of the government will be left exposed to the worst sort of political demoralization. Under existing conditions, to be sure, an elaborate civil service law would probably be impracticable; but a scale of salaries and a few simple checks on appointments, promotions and dismissals might sensibly improve conditions so long as financial control continues. When financial control ends, reasonably efficient administration must await political stability.
The Haitian constitution, embodying representative government based on universal manhood suffrage, was evidently copied from the constitutions of politically more advanced nations. Under the most favorable conditions, such a form of government is difficult to operate. To make things more difficult in Haiti government is highly centralized, and though with primitive peoples political experience naturally should begin in their local communities, the tendency since the intervention has been toward further centralization. As the treaty organization lacks control of the communes, it has undertaken numerous commendable local enterprises, but though these confer material benefits on the people they tend to weaken community feeling and community initiative. In the meantime, we have made the office of President more powerful and more attractive. The very efficiency of the constabulary renders it more dangerous as a potential instrument of revolution. Administrative offices from top to bottom are still the spoils of politics.
With regard to the legislature, however, an interesting change is impending. President Borno announced in 1928 that he would retire from the Presidency in May 1930 and would hold an election of the National Assembly in January of that year. What this announcement really means will be made clear by the events of next year. The new situation may have one advantage: if an independent legislature is established, the appearance of dictatorship by collusion may be partially avoided. Nevertheless, if the coming election is controlled by the Government or by the treaty organization, no practical good will be done to the Haitian people or to Haitian-American relations; whereas if the election is to be free of either sort of control it will be no less farcical and a number of new complications will also have been introduced. In the latter event, faced with a new President who is no longer the foster-child of the occupation, and with a double-barreled legislature responsible neither to the President or to the treaty organization, those who are called upon to do constructive work will find their situation radically changed. The Harrison régime in the Philippines illustrates the danger of a premature extension of representative institutions.
At this moment the Haitians are probably less prepared for self-government than the Filipinos. But in Haiti we have under tutelage an already independent nation; our qualified mandate bears a time-limit; and the treaty, which provides our opportunity, has only seven years more to run. We are thus entering a transitional period in our Haitian enterprise when it is necessary to take stock and prepare for the future. Our economic policy requires decision and energy. The educational situation demands expert investigation, a coördinated program, negotiation, organization, and legislation. Financial reorganization is still far from complete. The judiciary continues incompetent and corrupt. Time is drawing short and funds are limited. We must decide what shall be done and what shall be left undone. Each decision will involve a careful balancing of advantages against possible disadvantages. It is not too early now to begin shaping our course so that whatever action may be necessary in 1936 may be taken without repeating the distasteful incidents of 1915. While this does not in any way necessitate any further compromise of our constructive work, it is a serious question whether we can safely initiate long-term undertakings -- for example the adjudication of land-titles -- until there is assurance of the continuance of efficient administration for some time after 1936. It is possible even that the school-construction program should be postponed until education as a whole is organized on a practical, efficient, and reasonably permanent basis. In any event, nothing will be accomplished by abdicating our treaty authority or further prejudicing its exercise. Sound financial administration is the cornerstone of effective reform, and we shall gain nothing -- certainly not the respect of the Haitian people -- by sacrificing essential principles of financial control out of deference to the wishes of Haitian politicians.
It is our plain duty, moreover, to give to the Haitian people the benefit of those scientific methods which we apply to our problems at home. It is surprising that we should have started a complicated constructive task -- economic, sociological, political, and administrative, -- a task bristling with difficult questions -- without a preliminary expert survey. Administrators on the ground may or may not be fitted for such a survey. However capable they may be, the presumption is against them, because the prestige and authority of their personal administrations may be involved. With or without such a survey, it is still more surprising that we should never have formulated any long-term and properly coördinated program of action. Efficiency presumes, furthermore, that adequate and accurate facts and statistics shall be collected and published, so that progress may be measured and publicly appraised. It is not too late -- perhaps it is even more essential now than ever -- to apply in Haiti the scientific methods which are fruitfully employed in other fields.
If we are to overcome the mounting difficulties of our problem and meet satisfactorily the peculiar demands of the transition period, we shall have to reconsider very carefully the spirit and form of our relationship to Haiti. For a short time the problem was largely military. It is now almost exclusively civil -- financial, economic, social, educational, political. The problem has not been solved; it still awaits solution. Means of solving it are not and can not be military; they are diplomatic and administrative. The Department of State is not organized or equipped to dictate the details of the government and administration of Haiti, and presumably it has no desire to do so. Any relationship which emphasizes direct domination by the Government of the United States over the domestic affairs of Haiti is not likely to be helpful during the next few years. When this domination bears a military aspect it becomes particularly unfortunate. Entirely regardless of the personal equipment of the present High Commissioner, the writer believes that the appointment to Haiti of a civilian representative of the United States Government would be distinctly beneficial and may be considered from many points of view absolutely indispensable. It is necessary, of course, that the treaty organization should be properly supported, held to a coördinated program, and properly supervised; but it seems a reasonable presumption that civilian activities can be more appropriately supported, coördinated and supervised by a civilian than by a military officer.
The United States has in Haiti a group of administrators, many of them exceptionally efficient and all of them honest and devoted. The example of such American officials to an imitative people like the Haitians should be in itself a powerful reconstructive and popularizing influence. To say that it is not is merely to state a fact and not to imply a criticism. There is naturally some color prejudice against Americans and as a group we shall never be personally loved. At the best, it is difficult, even with the utmost possible tact and sympathy, to win the attachment of an alien people. On such a matter, it is as hard to come to particulars as it is to define genius; but it is clear that Haiti will offer during the next few years a rare opportunity for great diplomacy.
While it will probably appear necessary to continue American assistance to Haiti in some modified form after the expiration of the treaty, it would be futile to attempt at this early date to forecast what should or can be done at that time. Non-political direction of the constabulary and of the entire financial administration is of prime importance. It is possible that, not only in these departments but also in public works, public health, agriculture and education, Haiti, like many other independent nations, may willingly employ American experts. No one can doubt the desirability of their continued employment for many years; but it is equally desirable that the renewal of our assistance should be accepted by Haitian opinion and that our work should be so planned and so conducted that, in the words of Mr. Hughes, "we may get out at the earliest opportunity."
[i] The average salary of 1,734 teachers in July, 1928, was $163 a year; the 81 teachers in the American-controlled schools received an average of $464 a year; the others, $147. There are many Haitian teachers who work for $5.00 or $6.00 a month.
[ii] During the last few months a fund amounting to about $600,000 previously reserved for irrigation has been appropriated for the construction of industrial schools in Port au Prince. Expansion is thus momentarily accelerated; but, while the new institutions may enroll approximately 6,000 children, they will supplant Haitian schools which at present enroll about 4,000. There is much to be said for modern school buildings in the capital; but it would seem that the relatively large sum available might have been better spent, at least in part, on rural schools in localities where such are urgently needed.