How a Great Power Falls Apart
Decline Is Invisible From the Inside
THE Haitian problem has not been settled by the President's Commission. What we did was to suggest steps to be taken to restore to the Haitian people as rapidly as may be, and in any event by 1936 (the date of the expiration of our treaty with Haiti), complete control over their own affairs.
The political compromise by which the presidential succession was arranged and the reëstablishment of the legislative branch of the government provided for were incidental to the main task entrusted to the Commission by President Hoover. We were given no written instructions except a copy of the President's statement of February 4, 1930, in which he announced his intention of appointing a commission. But Mr. W. Cameron Forbes, who was subsequently named chairman, and I were summoned to Washington before the personnel of the Commission was announced, and we discussed very fully with the President and the Acting Secretary of State the work which the President desired us to do. We were to study the situation in Haiti and to formulate our national policy with respect to that republic. We were given an absolutely free hand.
As the readers of FOREIGN AFFAIRS will recall, the grewsome events of 1915 in Haiti marked the close of a decade of progressive political disintegration, culminating in our intervention. Black Democracy had failed. The second republic in the western world to declare and maintain its independence was politically and financially bankrupt. There had been seven Presidents in seven years. Simon served two years and seven months and was deposed; Leconte served one year and was blown up; Auguste, after serving nine months, died in office; Oreste, the first civilian President, resigned after eight months and went into exile; Zamor served nine months and was then deposed by Theodore, who was in turn overthrown three months later by Sam; after serving four months Sam was literally dismembered by the mob, as the result of a jail massacre of over 160 of his political opponents whom he had confined on suspicion of connection with the Bobo revolution then under way. In this disturbed decade foreign warships had on several occasions landed marines and bluejackets to protect their nationals or to enforce claims. The advent of the World War saved the United States from serious international difficulties on account of Haiti.
After the mob murder of President Sam and the ensuing collapse of organized government, Admiral Caperton landed marines and bluejackets on July 28, 1915. The United States had intervened. Immediate steps were taken to restore order. The Haitian National Assembly -- that is, both branches of the legislature -- convened under the protection of American forces and elected Sudre Dartiguenave as President of the Republic. The United States had made it clear to the National Assembly that it expected to be entrusted with the practical control of the customs and such financial supervision as might be necessary for an efficient administration, but that it had no designs upon the political or territorial integrity of Haiti.
As soon as President Dartiguenave was installed in office negotiations were begun which resulted in the present treaty governing the relations between the two countries. It was signed on September 16, 1915. The preamble states that the treaty has for its objects: 1. The strengthening of the amity existing between the two countries. 2. The remedying of the condition of the revenues and finances of Haiti. 3. The maintenance of order. 4. The carrying out of plans for Haiti's economic development and prosperity.
Accordingly, the United States engages itself by its good offices to aid the Haitian Government in the proper and efficient development of its agricultural, mineral and commercial resources, and in the establishment of the finances on a firm and solid basis. Provision is made for the appointment of a General Receiver of Customs and Financial Adviser (these two offices have since been consolidated), to be nominated by the President of the United States. The Receiver General collects and applies all custom duties on imports and exports. The duty of the Financial Adviser is to devise an adequate system of public accounting, aid in increasing the revenues and adjust them to expenses, inquire into the validity of the public debt, enlighten both governments with reference to all eventual debts, recommend improved methods of collection and application of the revenues, and make such other recommendations to the Minister of Finance of Haiti as may be deemed necessary to the welfare and prosperity of the country.
The treaty provides that the public debt is to be collated and classified as to character, maturity condition, interest and sinking fund requisite to its final discharge. The revenues of Haiti are to be applied to the payment of the salaries and allowances of the Receiver General-Financial Adviser's office, the interest and sinking fund of the public debt, and the maintenance of the Constabulary; with the remainder to go to the Haitian Government for current expenses. The Republic of Haiti agrees not to increase its public debt except by previous agreement with the President of the United States and not to contract any debt or assume any financial obligations unless the ordinary revenues available for that purpose, after defraying the expenses of the government, shall be adequate to pay the interest and provide a sinking fund for its final discharge. Customs duties will not, without previous agreement with the President of the United States, be modified in a manner to reduce revenues.
By Article X the Haitian Government undertakes to preserve domestic peace, the security of individual rights and full observance of the treaty by creating an efficient constabulary, urban and rural, composed of native Haitians. This force is to be organized and officered by Americans nominated by the President of the United States, but the American officers are to be replaced by Haitians as soon as the latter can qualify by examination. By Article XI Haiti agrees not to surrender any of its territory, or jurisdiction over such territory, by sale, lease or otherwise to any foreign government or power, and not to enter into any treaty or contract with any foreign power or powers that will impair or tend to impair the independence of Haiti. By Article XIV the United States promises, in case of necessity, efficient aid in the preservation of Haitian independence and the maintenance of a government adequate to the protection of life, property and individual liberty. The Haitian Government agrees, in Article XIII, to adopt and execute necessary measures for the sanitation and public improvement of the republic under the supervision of American engineers. The treaty makes no provision for our assistance in matters of justice and education.
The treaty went into effect on May 3, 1916, the date of exchange of ratifications. It was to endure ten years but could be extended for a further period of ten years. Very early in the life of the treaty this extension was agreed upon in order to make possible the issue of a foreign loan to effect the consolidation of Haiti's public debt on very advantageous terms.
In the interval of almost a year which elapsed from the beginning of our intervention until the ratification of the treaty, order was preserved and the principal functions of government exercised by United States naval and marine officers by virtue of the declaration of martial law. After the situation had been regularized by treaty, steps were taken to organize the American Occupation in what is now known as the Treaty Services. Since the date of our intervention, but more particularly since the organization of the Treaty Services, a dual government has, in fact, existed in Haiti. While the country has been governed by its President assisted by the usual ministers, and has remained a member of the League of Nations and maintained its diplomatic representatives abroad, much of the real power has been wielded by the treaty officials under General Russell. For some time after the treaty went into effect the legislative power was exercised by the regularly elected Senate and Chamber of Deputies. But when difficulties arose between the legislative bodies on the one hand and President Dartiguenave and the American officials on the other, the President decided to dissolve the legislature and his decree was enforced by the marines -- the only police force then existing in the republic.
In 1918, with the full approval (if not indeed the actual impulsion) of the American officials in Haiti, a new constitution was adopted by popular vote of the people. Practically all the subsequent political dissatisfaction and agitation are due to the fact that the new constitution was adopted by popular vote, and to the further fact that by its provisions -- or rather the President's interpretation of its provisions -- all political and legislative power has since been assumed and exercised by the President and the Council of State. This was made possible by the transitory provisions of the constitution, which provide that the first elections for the legislative body after the adoption of the constitution should take place on January 10 of an even numbered year, at the call of the President issued three months in advance. The Council of State was empowered to exercise the legislative power until the legislative body is set up, when the Council of State will cease to exist.
But before discussing this phase of the situation, let us examine the American half of the dual government. From 1916 until 1922 continual difficulties arose in the relations between the American officials and the Haitian Government, as well as amongst the Americans themselves. Coördination and unity of supervision were therefore decided upon, and Brigadier-General John H. Russell, who had previously served as commander of the marine brigade, was appointed High Commissioner with the rank of Ambassador. The post of American Minister was left vacant, so that the High Commissioner was the highest ranking American official in the country. He occupies the American Legation, where he meets at least once a week with the treaty officials -- his cabinet. A secretary of legation is assigned to Haiti, who for form's sake signs the official notes of our government and is called the Chargé d'Affaires. But General Russell not only supervises and coördinates the activities of the Treaty Services but also conducts the business of our government with the President and government of Haiti and is regarded by both governments as the responsible American diplomatic representative. As the highest ranking marine official he also directs and controls the marine brigade, the army of occupation, although it is nominally commanded by a colonel, a member of General Russell's staff.
It is really only since 1922 that the American Occupation has been able to make effective constructive progress. The first six years of our occupation were largely devoted to the suppression of the "Cacos" and the restoration of public order. By 1922 the claims against Haiti had been adjudicated and a foreign loan made possible.
The substantial material accomplishments of the Occupation are worthy of the highest praise and have been of undoubted benefit to Haiti. I can refer to them only briefly. Under American auspices peace and order have been restored. Roads have been built where only practically impassable trails existed previously, and efficient telegraph and telephone services have been installed. The finances have been straightened out, and thievery and peculation stopped. The customs are now collected and administered honestly. Important public works and public buildings have been constructed, and public health and sanitary measures intensively and extensively applied. It is a record of which Americans may well be proud. American officials have been guided only by a sincere desire to serve the interests of Haiti and the Haitian people. The loose insinuations against them were unsupported and entirely unconvincing. I did not find a single instance where Haitian interests have been sacrificed to the interests of the United States or of citizens of the United States. Even as regards the change in the Haitian constitution (undoubtedly recommended by American officials) so that a foreigner could own land in the republic, we found no evidence that Americans or any other foreigners had taken advantage of this to any appreciable extent. That this change was made in the hope of promoting the agricultural development of Haiti, upon which its prosperity depends to such a great extent, cannot be doubted. Nor can it be doubted that it failed of its purpose and was politically a mistake.
In accordance with the provisions of the treaty, an efficient constabulary force has been organized. It is now known as the Garde d'Haiti. The men and non-commissioned officers are Haitians. All the officers above the grade of first lieutenant, with the exception of five captains, are Americans detailed from the United States Navy or Marine Corps. The Garde not only does the ordinary police work of the country but also helps the municipal and communal officers in local administration. We were much impressed by the good discipline and the fine soldierly appearance of the men.
The Marine Brigade, the backbone of our occupation, a force of about eight hundred officers and men, is almost invisible. It plays in Haiti much the same rôle that the National Guard and Army do in the United States. It is there for emergencies. It is not unpopular. We heard no complaints regarding the presence of our marines except from the political point of view, and most of these complaints were made for public effect. In private we were assured that it would be necessary to keep the marines in Haiti for some time, at least for the treaty period. We could always identify the presidential candidates amongst those who testified or talked with us, for whatever they might say in public on the subject, in private they thought it would be unwise to withdraw the marines for some time. The marines are paid entirely by the United States and their pay is mostly spent in Haiti. In a small country and especially in a time of trade depression like the present this is an important item.
The public health service has been the bright spot of our occupation. It is the creation of the United States Navy Medical Corps. Eleven years ago a law creating the National Public Health Service was passed under American influence and a modern sanitary code adopted. Of the 2,300 members of the service all are Haitians except 20 United States Navy Medical Corps officers, 14 Hospital Corps men, 4 American Red Cross nurses, 63 French nuns, 2 French priests, 1 French librarian, and 1 Jamaican plumber. Less than 2 percent of the personnel is American. Of the ten public health service districts three are functioning with entirely Haitian staffs. The cost of the public health service has averaged less than half a million dollars a year. Under its direction, hospitals have been built or remodeled, the National Medical School reorganized, and health centres, nurses training schools and rural clinics established. Furthermore, street cleaning and garbage collection have been instituted in all cities, towns and even villages, and measures looking to mosquito control have been adopted. There are 150 rural clinics scattered over the entire republic and they are doing excellent work. They are held weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, depending upon the accessibility of their location, and they provide free medical treatment for all. Last year the rural clinics traveled, in automobile, airplane, motor boat and on horseback, almost 134,000 miles; some American doctors, riding horseback 25 miles, attended to over five hundred cases in one day. Yaws, malignant malaria and intestinal parasites have for more than two centuries ravaged Haiti. The ignorant peasant was helpless before them. The Sanitary Service is doing valiant rescue work, and provision should certainly be made for its continuance.
On April 17, 1923, a protocol to the treaty of 1915 was signed providing for the appointment of an American Agricultural Engineer and the organization of a Technical Bureau of the Department of Agriculture, which became known as the Service Technique d'Agriculture. This was done with a view to developing agriculture and implanting a system of industrial and vocational training. For Haiti really has no artisans and no middle class. Her people have rarely learned to be mechanics, carpenters or plumbers. Even the chauffeurs are usually Jamaicans. The Service Technique, as it is usually spoken of, was confronted with a most important but a most difficult task. Agriculture is allimportant to Haiti, but it was and still is in a primitive state of development. So an ambitious program of agricultural and industrial education was inaugurated. A teachers training school and a number of industrial schools for both boys and girls were established. In six years the number of students grew from 50 to almost 11,500. New trade schools are being built which will accommodate 6,000 additional students. There are now 65 rural farm schools, with about 7,500 students.
The educational problem is one of the most important and from a political point of view the most difficult in Haiti. The adult rural population is illiterate, and is ignorant of sanitation and its relation to health. Nor do they know anything about the nature of the infectious or contagious diseases of themselves or their animals, or about insect pests and plant diseases. Such education as existed prior to 1915 was along so-called classical lines, producing an economically useless white collar class. It was in the hands of the state and of the church. The teachers in the state schools are poorly paid and inefficient, and the school buildings are hopelessly inadequate and miserably equipped. The church schools are better, but not ideal by any means.
The Service Technique has established, in addition to its schools, a model tropical dairy, a cattle breeding station, a Department of Markets, a Horticultural and a Veterinary Department, experimental farms and forestry experiment stations. It is one of the best and most constructive things we have done in Haiti and yet it is the most unpopular and very likely will be the first to be crippled and destroyed. For obvious reasons, the ruling class, the élite and the church look with bourbonesque disfavor on the whole scheme and everything and everybody connected with it.
Now let us return to the Haitian political situation brought about by eight years of joint Presidential-Council of State-treaty-official government. When President Borno last October proclaimed his unwillingness to revive the legislature, the opposition, faced with the prospect of at least two years more of wandering in the political wilderness while the Borno party enjoyed the fruits of dictatorship, decided to act. The Service Technique was selected as the target. A student strike was organized. It spread rapidly even to the Treaty Services. The strikers were joined by political agitators and, encouraged by the opposition press, perpetrated serious disorders culminating in the riot at Aux Cayes. Here a patrol of twenty United States Marines, attempting to hold in check an unruly mob of over a thousand intent on rushing them and entering the city, was finally compelled to fire; five Haitians were killed and twenty wounded. A full-fledged political crisis put Haiti on the front page. President Hoover asked for and received authority to send a Commission to investigate.
The Commission landed at Port au Prince on February 28. The town was in a flutter of excitement. The shore, the open spaces about the landing stage and the streets leading to the centre of the town were lined with men, women and children. The Haitian Garde maintained order and kept the streets cleared. Practically everyone carried either a small paper blue-and-red Haitian flag or a banner, usually of paper, bearing an inscription (in French, of course) calling for the "Termination of the Occupation," "Assembling of the Legislature," "Dissolution of the Council of State," "Liberty," "Justice," "Legislative Elections," or "Withdrawal of the Marines." A few banners proclaimed "Welcome to the Commission." The crowd was orderly, neither particularly friendly nor unfriendly, interested principally in displaying the banners. The demonstration had been extremely well organized by the political opponents of President Borno. The crowd followed us to our hotel and was massed in the Champ de Mars as we crossed to call on the President. Upon our return they filed by the hotel with their banners. We stood at the front gate and reviewed the procession. No untoward incident occurred.
Immediately afterwards the press descended upon us. "What are you going to do? Is it another McCormick Commission? Will you give us back our government? Will you dissolve the Council of State and tell Borno he cannot have it elect his successor? Will you withdraw the marines? We must have legislative elections immediately so that the new President can be elected by the chambers, constitutionally." We replied that we had come to study the situation with open minds and everyone would be heard and all complaints and suggestions studied.
We opened our public hearings at once. They soon became the centre of the greatest interest. The room in which they were held and the surrounding verandas were crowded long before the proceedings commenced. Over half the audience were ladies. The utmost decorum prevailed. Day after day for ten days from nine o'clock in the morning until five in the afternoon the taking of testimony continued. The morning sessions were always public, the afternoon sessions mostly private. After the first few witnesses were heard on the historical side of the question we asked that attention be concentrated on the present and future aspects of the situation. The proceedings were conducted in French, of course, and were made doubly long by the necessity of translating everything said.
The opponents of the Borno régime had engaged M. George Leger to conduct the presentation of their case. He was educated in the United States, is a lawyer and speaks French and English. He performed his task simply and skilfully. After a certain amount of rather scattered and not very well supported criticism of the occupation the opposition concentrated its fire on the political situation. The complaints covered the dissolution of the legislature by the marines under the order of President Dartiguenave; the new constitution of 1918, written as they claimed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, in charge of Haitian affairs; the method of its adoption, by plebiscite; the reëstablishment of the Council of State and its investiture with legislative functions; the usurpation of all real authority, executive, legislative and judicial, by President Borno and the Council of State, acting (it was charged) under the direction of General Russell and the American treaty officials.
President Borno, with the acquiescence of our State Department, had acted on the assumption that, under the constitution, the "even year" when legislative elections should be held, was left to his discretion. The opposition claimed that this nullified the constitution. Actually neither President Dartiguenave nor President Borno ever found it wise or expedient to call these elections and consequently governed the country with the Council of State acting, as provided in the constitution, as the legislative body. The Council of State consists of 21 members, one from each Department, appointed by and removable by the President. As a matter of fact, the President has frequently removed recalcitrant Councilors, replacing them by others more pliant. Ordinarily the two houses of the legislature sitting as a National Assembly elect the President of the Republic. But when the term of President Dartiguenave was about to expire in 1922, no National Assembly had been elected, and therefore the Council of State, in virtue of the "legislative" power conferred upon it, proceeded to elect his successor, thus establishing the precedent of presidential election by the Council of State.
M. Louis Borno, then Minister for Foreign Affairs, was chosen. For the past eight years he has governed practically as a dictator. He has coöperated whole-heartedly and in all sincerity with the American officials. He believes the occupation has saved Haiti and has been and is of the greatest benefit to his country. As Minister for Foreign Affairs under Dartiguenave he negotiated the present treaty and secured its ratification. He believes in it and in fulfilling it in spirit and in letter. This explains the bitterness of the opposition to him. We were surprised to find how bitter it was. Practically every witness produced by the opposition was convinced that Borno fully intended to have himself reëlected by the Council of State on April 14. Infuriated by Borno's failure to call for the legislative elections last autumn (to be held in January 1930), his enemies were desperate. They saw in this failure a scheme to continue the dictatorship. President Borno, on the contrary, proclaimed in a circular published broadcast that he considered that the country was not ready for and could not politically afford a legislative assembly.
Witness after witness publicly testified that the people of Haiti would not accept the choice of the Council of State as the next President of the Republic, and that if the Council of State attempted to elect anyone a revolution would ensue which only American force could quell. Unarmed as they were, they said, they would nevertheless rather bare their breasts to American machine guns than submit to a continuance of dictatorship. Refined ladies appeared and joined in these asseverations. If their sons and fathers had to die, as they undoubtedly would if some way were not found to prevent this Council of State election, then they also would die with them. A bit histrionic and "tropical" as the French say, but there it was.
The opposition practically monopolized the public hearings of the Commission not only at Port au Prince, but wherever we went. They demanded of the Commission immediate legislative elections, the dissolution of the Council of State and the end of the Borno dictatorship. Everywhere we saw the same banners and heard the same refrains which greeted us on landing; sometimes the same organizers appeared in the crowds.
The President's party and the office holders -- practically one and the same thing -- were entirely on the defensive. They appeared before us and presented their side of the case, but the tumult and the shouting did not die. General Russell and the American officers of the Garde were convinced that something had to be done to allay popular sentiment and find a way out of the electoral impasse. President Borno had previously told General Russell that he had deliberately allowed his opponents to believe that a relative of his, M. Dejean, was his choice for the succession, but that this was not the case. He said he did not wish to be reëlected but hoped to see chosen some one of high standing, a man aloof from party passion and prejudice, who would be fair to all parties. He even mentioned the name of such a man.
With this information in our possession we acted on General Russell's suggestion and, after about a week of intensive study and patient listening, we invited M. Leger and four leaders of the opposition groups -- Messrs. Rigal, Pradel, Houdicourt and Sam -- to meet us in an informal conference at our hotel. They came. Chairman Forbes explained that we had come to Haiti without any political or administrative power whatever, and that our instructions were merely to study and report upon conditions as we found them. But, he continued, we were impressed by the delicate and dangerous political situation in which Haiti found herself, and we were willing, if desired by both parties, to use our good offices toward finding a solution. We had previously secured, through General Russell, President Borno's acquiescence in this move to effect, if possible, some compromise on a neutral candidate and meanwhile had also received President Hoover's approval of an attempt on our part to solve the crisis.
We informed the opposition leaders that we had been assured that M. Borno was not seeking reëlection and was willing to accept a neutral non-partisan as his successor. We said we were willing to help to find such a man. They all doubted that he could be found. M. Houdicourt asked with an air of finality: "Where are we to find this white blackbird?" But they agreed to think it over and return the next day with their answer. They returned the following day and said they were willing to try to reach a compromise and asked us what we had to propose. We then suggested that, as they were the leaders of the combined opposition and claimed to speak and act for their followers, they should prepare a list of five neutral men, any one of whom they would accept as Provisional President. M. Borno would be asked to prepare a similar list. If one man's name appeared on both lists, he would be the merle blanc [the white blackbird]; if no name appeared on both lists, we would endeavor to get an agreement on some man on one of the lists.
Our plan further contemplated that this man, once found, should be endorsed by a general convention of delegates, representing all the opposition groups, and afterwards elected by the Council of State as Provisional President. It would be further understood by him and all parties that he, the new President, would as soon as possible after assuming office on May 15, call for the elections to the legislative chambers; that he would then tender his resignation and the National Assembly would forthwith elect the new President for the regular constitutional term and the government of Haiti return to normal channels. Shortly afterward a list of five names was handed us. One of the names was that of Eugene Roy. When President Borno looked at the list he said that Roy would be acceptable to him and his party.
It looks fairly simple in print, but in practice it was not so easy. How could legislative elections be held legally before 1932? From the strictly constitutional point of view there seemed no way out. The constitution provides that these elections shall be held in an even year, to be called three months in advance by the President. They had not been so called, and in accordance with the precedent established by three presidential elections the Council of State in the absence of the legislature elects the President. Any other election would be irregular, revolutionary, and would run the risk of failure to receive the sanction of recognition by Washington. We had recognized in practice the right of the Council of State to elect the President in similar circumstances. From the State Department viewpoint it was the only legal way one could now be elected. It was also, of course, the Borno point of view, but it was not that of the opposition. In fact, it had built up its whole case on the theory that an election by the Council of State was illegal and would be entirely unacceptable to the people.
The election dilemma we solved by suggesting practically two elections of the same man -- one informal, but none the less effective, by the opposition convention, and the other formal, by the Council of State. The gap between the two positions as to when the new temporary President could legally call the elections for the legislature which would in turn elect the definitive President we closed with the simple formula of "as soon as possible." We did, however, take the precaution of receiving the assurance that if the new President held that he could constitutionally call the elections this year the State Department would neither question the regularity of his action nor withhold recognition of the President chosen by the National Assembly if the elections were fairly and freely conducted. After considerable discussion with both sides, our compromise was finally accepted. The delegates of the opposition met in convention in Port au Prince on March 20. Each Department was represented. The convention endorsed the selection of the leaders and nominated M. Eugene Roy as their candidate and in its exuberance passed a few extra resolutions not entirely agreeable to President Borno. It looked for a time as if he might balk, but the State Department stood firmly back of the Commission's plan and President Borno's indignation was soothed.
The next step in the program was M. Roy's election by the Council of State. The Council was to have met for this purpose on April 14, but a canvass of the situation in the Council showed that a certain number of members were reluctant to vote for M. Roy, as other more promising candidates had meantime appeared on the scene. The opposition leaders became very nervous as the time for the meeting of the Council approached and charges were made that President Borno was planning to upset the whole scheme by failing to secure M. Roy's election. But President Borno met the test. On the eve of the Council meeting he adjourned the session until April 21, and in the meantime dismissed ten of the recalcitrant members, filling their places with men who would vote for M. Roy. The Council met on April 21. M. Roy was elected. He assumed office on May 15.
So much for the acute phase of the situation. What of the main task entrusted to us? How and when are we to withdraw from Haiti? Our answer to this question is, in effect, as soon as the "Haitianization" of the agencies of government has been effected with a fair prospect of stable government under the control of the Haitians themselves. We believe this should be accomplished by 1936, perhaps sooner.
Speaking for myself only -- for this article has not been submitted to any of my colleagues before publication -- I believe that the element of our policy in Haiti most open to criticism consists in the failure to train the Haitians for a larger participation in the administration of their affairs and then gradually to entrust them with it. The answer to this criticism which was given to us was not altogether flattering to the pride of the Haitian élite. It was pointed out that the great mass of the Haitian people either preferred American control or were indifferent, and that the small educated class, certainly less than one-tenth of the population, accustomed to look principally to politics and public offices as a means of livelihood, were superficially brilliant, but visionary and impractical and sometimes dishonest in positions of responsibility. Given the history of Haiti, the circumstances of our intervention and the general attitude of the military mind, one can understand at least the reluctance of the Occupation to jeopardize the efficiency of its administration by experiments in Haitianization. At any rate it was not tried to any appreciable extent, except perhaps in the Service d'Hygiene, the Public Works, and the Service Technique.
As the marine and naval officers detailed for duty with the Haitian Government receive their full pay from the United States Government in addition to their salaries from Haiti, the positions were much sought after and were usually kept as a close preserve of the Navy Department. The filling of practically all government positions by two-salaried and high-salaried Americans has been bitterly resented by the Haitians of the political and educated class. It is one of the root causes of dissatisfaction with the present régime.
The lack of foresight as far as "Haitianization" is concerned is more conspicuous in regard to the Garde than any other service. The policy of the Marine Corps in this respect is, in my opinion, open to criticism. After fourteen years only five Haitians have attained the rank of captain in the Garde, and the treaty has only six more years to run. We found that the Marine Corps -- which is in actual control of the Garde through its commandant, always a marine officer -- had, with or without good reason, filled up all the higher grades from its own commissioned personnel. Most of the lower grades are filled with its non-commissioned officers, all of whom have rendered excellent service, some for as much as fourteen years. None of the latter have ever been promoted above the grade of captain. The result has been that a dam has been erected which holds back the American non-commissioned officers at the grade of captain and consequently holds back the Haitian lieutenants as well. There may be some satisfactory explanation of this but, if so, I never heard it. It must be corrected before any real progress toward "Haitianization" of the Garde can be made.
In general, the American Occupation has failed to take account of the time element in its stewardship. Much valuable time has been lost. The President's Commission has recommended à change of attitude and of approach, as well as definite steps to be taken with a view to our withdrawal.
In accordance with the recommendations of our Commission, which have received the President's approval, a non-military diplomatic representative will be sent to Haiti as United States Minister when General Russell voluntarily withdraws next autumn. He will exercise supervision and control of the treaty officials in Haiti and the marine forces as long as they remain. He will also have the duty and responsibility of negotiating with the new Haitian administration the progressive measures of our withdrawal and the "Haitianization" of the public services, and the degree and extent of American assistance to be rendered to Haiti after 1936. It will be one of our most difficult diplomatic posts.
Time alone will tell whether what the Commission has done in the way of restoring the legislative branch of the government and what we have recommended in the way of accelerated "Haitianization" of the public services will redound to the good of the greatest number of Haitians and to the ultimate benefit of the country. The foundations of democratic and truly representative government do not now exist in Haiti. It will be a long time before they can be created. Once the guiding hand of the United States is withdrawn I believe the "Haitianization" of Haiti will be accelerated. It may be that twenty years was all too short a time for the task of regeneration and the establishment there of stable government on a lasting basis. Our mandate of aid and assistance, unless continued in some form or other by the free will of the Haitian people, will expire in 1936. But interventions, mandates and protectorates of democracies by democracies for democracy are anomalies if not anathema these days. The native Demos has routed or is routing the imported idols of efficiency. Imperialism, no matter how unselfish and evangelistic, is on the defensive. "He travels fastest who travels alone."