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TREATY SERIES No. 10
Settlement of the Dominican-Haitian
Reprinted from the March 1938 issue of the Bulletin of the Pan American Union
L. S. ROWE : : PEDRO DE ALBA
Director General Assistant Director
The PAN AMERICAN UNION WASHINGTON, D. C.
Settlement of the Dominican-Haitian Controversy
i Readers of the Bulletin will recall that early in 1935 the old and vexatious boundary question between the Dominican Republic and Haiti was finally settled by means of an agreement negotiated on j the most friendly basis in direct conversa-- tions between the Presidents of the two : republics.
The cordial relations that prevailed were I unfortunately broken last October by occurrences which gave rise to a dispute ; now happily terminated in accordance with the American tradition of concilia-j tion. On October 10 the Government of Haiti informed the Government of the | Dominican Republic that as the result of incidents which had occurred on the frontier earlier in the month the lives of Haitian citizens had been lost, and re-I quested an investigation for fixing respon-| sibility. A few days later, on the 15th, representatives of the two nations signed an agreement, contained in an official | communique to the press, in which the 1 Dominican Republic declared that it had immediately begun a detailed investigation preliminary to determining responsi-\ bility and applying the necessary penalties to those guilty in the incidents mentioned. On November 12, the President of Haiti addressed the Governments of Cuba, Mexico and the United States requesting : their good offices to settle the differences between the Governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The three Governments willingly proffered their good offices to the Presidents of the two Repub-, lies. On the 15th the President of the Dominican Republic replied to the Presidents of Cuba and the United States, and later to the President of Mexico, thanking
them for their offer and declaring that as soon as the Government of the Dominican Republic learned the point which, according to the Haitian Government, was the subject of controversy it would hasten to say whether it accepted mediation or good offices or whether they were in order.
The two Governments decided to appoint their respective commissioners to discuss the matter in unofficial meetings with the representatives of the three Governments invited by Haiti to offer their good offices, and consequently on December 2 a series of unofficial conversations was begun in Washington, looking towards a solution of the difficulty. The following day the Government of Haiti accepted the proposal of the Governments of Cuba, Mexico and the United States that a commission be named by them to facilitate the solution of the differences in question.
On December 11 the Government of the Dominican Republic proposed that Haiti and the Dominican Republic reaffirm the diplomatic agreement of October 15 and that the investigation already begun by the Dominican Government be continued. The representatives of the three mediating Governments suggested that if Haiti did not accept this proposal it should resort to the treaties in force between the two republics. Accordingly, on December 14 the Government of Haiti invoked the Treaty to Avoid or Prevent Conflicts between the American States (the Gondra Treaty) of 1923 and the General Convention of Inter-American Conciliation, and named representatives on the Commission of Investigation and Conciliation to be appointed in accordance with those pacts.
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The next day the Permanent Commission of Washington set up by these instruments and composed of the three Latin American diplomatic agents longest accredited in that capital met to consider the request made by the Haitian Government. This commission consisted of Dr. Adrian Recinos, Minister of Guatemala, Senor don Manuel de Freyre y Santander, Ambassador of Peru, and Dr. Felipe A. Espil, Ambassador of Argentina. The commission transmitted the request of the Haitian Government to the Dominican Government.
On December 22 the President of the Dominican Republic addressed the President of Haiti, inviting him to subscribe to a pact of honor declaring that the events which had occurred in Dominican territory in October should not give rise to war between the two sister republics. The President of Haiti replied that he welcomed the statement of the Dominican President.
On the 27th the Dominican Republic appointed its representatives on the Commission of Investigation and Conciliation.
On January 19, 1938, the Government of the Dominican Republic requested the Permanent Commission of Washington to exercise the functions of conciliation granted to it by Article 3 of the General Convention of Inter-American Conciliation; this proposal was accepted by the Haitian representatives. Consequently, on the same day the Permanent Commission invited the two delegations to come to a direct understanding concerning the basis for conciliation, so that on this basis they might reach an agreement designed to remove all grounds of controversy between the two republics. In accordance with this invitation, the two delegations formulated an agreement which was approved by the two Governments, thus giving additional proof of the devotion of
the American republics to peace and of their firm resolve to settle with fairness and good will any problem arising between them. This agreement is embodied in the text of the Final Act of the Permanent Commission as given below:
PERMANENT COMMISSION OF ] WASHINGTON '
Session of January 31, 1938, Held at tiie Pan American Union, at Four O'Clock in the Afternoon.
(A) Senor Adrian Recinos, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Guatemala; Seiior Manuel de Freyre y Santander, Ambassador of Peru; and Seiior Felipe A. Espil, Ambassador of Argentina, all three accredited to the Govern- ; ment of the United States of America; members of the Permanent Commission of Washington.
(B) Seiior Andres Pastoiiza, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Dominican Republic in the United States of America, and Seiior Manuel de Jesus Troncoso dc la Concha, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary on special mission for the Dominican Republic in the United States of America; representatives of the Dominican Government before the Permanent Commission of Washington.
(C) M. Abel Leger, Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration of The Hague, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Haiti, and Mr. Hoffman Philip, former Ambassador of the United States of America in Santiago, Chile, both plenipotentiary delegates of the Haitian Government before the Permanent Commission of Washington; assisted by M. Dantes Bellegarde and M. Edm6 Manigat, counsellors to the Delegation of Haiti.
The President of the Commission, Dr. Recinos, took the chair.
The President, speaking in Spanish: The meeting is called to order.
At our session of the 19th of January, 1938, the Permanent Commission invited the delegations of ; the Dominican Republic and of the Republic of Haiti to come to a direct understanding in regard to the bases of conciliation, so that, by means of such an understanding, they might reach an agreement which should remove every cause of difficulty between the two Republics. The Commission wishes to know whether the two delegations have any declarations to make in this connection.
settlement of the dominican-haitian controversy
The two delegations, through the intermediary of Seiior Manuel de Jesus Troncoso de la Concha, in the name of the Dominican Republic, and M. Abel L6ger, in the name of the Republic of Haiti, declare that in conformity with the invitation of the Permanent Commission suggesting a direct understanding on the bases of conciliation, an agreement has been drafted and has been approved by the two Governments, which literally transcribed reads as follows:
The President of the Republic of Haiti, represented by M. Abel N. Leger and Mr. Hoffman Philip, and the President of the Dominican Republic, represented by Seiior Manuel de Jesus Troncoso de la Concha and Seiior Andres Pastoriza:
Desirous of bringing to an end any difference between the two Governments resulting from the regrettable events which occurred on the territory of the Dominican Republic during the last months of the year 1937, have covenanted and agreed to the following:
Whereas, as a result of the above mentioned regrettable and deplorable events, certain persons of Haitian nationality residing in the territory of the Dominican Republic, lost their lives or received wounds or contusions or found it necessary to return to the territory of the Haitian Republic; and
Whereas, the Dominican Governmentwhich has already expressed its official reprobation of the aforesaid events and its obligation to undertake an investigation for the purpose of fixing responsibility and applying penaltiesbeing desirous of giving the most complete satisfaction to the Haitian Government to compensate for the damages caused by the said events, to avoid the regrettable situation created by the return in mass to Haitian territory of persons of Haitian nationality who lived in Dominican territory, and to prevent difficulties which might in the future alter the good relations existing between the two countries, is disposed to place the Haitian Government in a position to repair the losses suffered by its nationals as a result of the above mentioned events; and
Whereas, in assuming the above mentioned obligations, the Dominican Government (which on its part does not recognize any responsibility in so far as the Dominican State is concerned, and in this matter awaits the results of the judicial investigations which have not as yet been completed), understands that a compromise settlement is thereby made of all differences which might have existed between the two Governments in
connection with the events referred to in the two preceding paragraphs, and that in this way a definitive and final settlement is reached, by way of compromise, of whatever claim the Haitian Government or persons of Haitian nationality might have against the Dominican Government or against persons of Dominican nationality which might have their origin, mediately or immediately, in the said events; and
Whereas, it is equally "appropriate that the two Governments agree by means of the present accord, to establish the proper means by which the repetition of such regrettable events as the above mentioned, may be avoided.
For These Reasons: the said Plenipotentiaries, after having exchanged their full powers and found them to be in due and proper form have covenanted and agreed, in the name of the Republic of Haiti and in that of the Dominican Republic, as follows.
I. The Dominican Government reaffirms to the Haitian Government by means of the present agreement, the expression of its regrets and renews its reprobation of the deplorable events to which this agreement relates; it gives the Haitian Government the most complete assurances that the judicial procedure adopted for the clarification of the facts and for the punishment of any illegal acts of any nature which may be revealed thereby, will be prosecuted with all possible promptness compatible with the spirit of justice and the seriousness which the examination of such facts require, and that the application of the penalties shall be made without any distinction whatsoever against all those who may be found to be guilty under Dominican laws.
II. The Dominican Government assumes, likewise, the obligation to give full and complete satisfaction to the Haitian Government in connection with the exemplary publicity required by the condemnation and punishment accorded the guilty persons in accordance with present laws in effect in the Dominican Republic.
III. The Dominican Government agrees to pay the Haitian Government the sum of Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($750,000.00), in legal tender of the United States of America.
IV. The Government of Haiti shall use this sum as it sees proper in benefit of the interests of the victims or their families or assignees, and of all persons of Haitian nationality who, having returned to Haitian territory, have suffered damages during the occurrence of these events.
V. The Dominican Government is subrogated to all the rights and interests of the persons of
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Haitian nationality which have their origin in the lamentable events mentioned hereinabove, and shall recover to its benefit all the sums which the persons found to be responsible for the said events may be compelled to pay in favor of persons of Haitian nationality.
VI. In the determination of the responsibility for the events referred to in the preamble to this agreement and in the application of the corresponding penalties, the decisions of the competent Dominican tribunals shall be final and may not be impugned by any one of the High Parties.
VII. The persons of Haitian nationality who may have returned to their native territory as a consequence of the events referred to in the preamble to this agreement, shall not be deemed to have thereby renounced any rights to immovable property which they may have had in the Dominican Republic, and they will be entitled to exercise their rights and to continue in the possession of said property, and to receive their properties in the condition in which they are found at the present time. In the event they should encounter any obstacles to the exercise of these rights, they shall vindicate them in the manner provided for by the Dominican laws. The Dominican Government guarantees that these rightful owners shall receive, in the exercise of their rights, all the protection to which they are entitled under Dominican laws.
VIII. The payment of the sum stipulated in Article III of the present agreement, shall be made in the following manner:
1. $250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars) in legal tender of the United States of America, as soon as this agreement has been duly concluded and signed.
2. $100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars) in legal tender of the United States of America, the 31st of January, 1939, and an equal sum on the last day of the month of January of each subsequent year, until the entire debt has been paid.
IX. The two Governments, the Dominican and the Haitian, shall pass, and enforce due compliance therewith, each one within its own jurisdiction, all the administrative measures and all the executive regulations which may be useful or necessary to assure to the nationals of the other State, resident or present in their territories, the complete protection which the said nationals are guaranteed by the laws of the state in which they reside or are present, as well as the protection which they have in any event under international law.
X. For the purpose of preventing in the future any possibility of new difficulties, the High Parties agree:
1. That each of the said Governments shall adopt the measures which may be necessary to prevent the crossing of the frontiers by its nationals into the territory of the other State without the appropriate permission of its competent authorities.
2. That in accordance with the appropriate rules of international law, the nationals of each state who may be found in the territories of the other state, in contravention of the latter's ; laws, or who may be declared to be undesirable by its competent authorities, shall be repatriated.
3. That each of the two states shall enforce, through its own tribunals, the proper penalties against its nationals who, having committed : illegal acts in the other state, may have taken refuge in their native country.
The High Parties shall set-forth in a modus operandi which they agree to conclude immediately after the ratification of this accord, adequate regulations for the carrying into effect of the three foregoing reciprocal undertakings.
XI. With the object of better guaranteeing their future relations, the two Governments shall establish, by means of a subsequent agreement, their armaments, limiting them to the require- j ments of the security of the two countries.
XII. The present Agreement settles every dif- ference which may have existed or which may exist between the two Governments in connection with the events which occurred on Dominican \ territory during the last three months of the year 1937; and, likewise, it settles and terminates definitively, by way of compromise, every kind of claim of the Haitian Government or of persons of : Haitian nationality against the Dominican Government or against persons of Dominican nation- ality which may have their origin, mediately or immediately, in the said events.
XIII. The present Agreement has been prepared in six originals, in French and in Spanish, all of which have the same text and are equally authoritative; and three for each High Party.
XIV. The present Agreement shall be submitted to the Permanent Commission of Washington, D. C., constituted in accordance with the Gondra Treaty, for its definitive confirmation and shall be inserted textually in its minutes, in con- formity with the procedure which the said Commission may have adopted for the exercise of its
settlement ok the dominican-haitian controversy
conciliatory functions. After being thus confirmed by conciliation, the Agreement shall be submitted to the procedure provided for by the laws of the respective States for the ratification of international treaties, and the said ratifications shall be exchanged at the Apostolic Nunciature, located in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, within the period of one month after its signature by the Plenipotentiaries.
Prepared and signed at Washington, D. C, United States of America, the 31st day of January, 1938.
(S) M. de J. Troncoso (S) Abel Leger
de la Concha (S) Hoffman Philip
(S) A. Pastoriza
The Permanent Commission confirms the conclusion of this Agreement, through which every difficulty which may exist between the Parties in connection with the events which occasioned this procedure of conciliation, is settled.
M. Leger declared that in submitting this Agreement to the Permanent Commission, the Haitian Delegation desired to explain that the said Agreement essentially constitutes a compromise of a practical character in which the Haitian Government has wished to abandon, on its part, every controversy of a juridical character.
M. Abel Leger, speaking in French said: Permit me to take advantage of this opportunity to express to the Honorable Members of the Permanent Commission, in the name of the Haitian Government, the most profound appreciation of its confidence, demonstrated from the beginning, in the possibility of a rapid and equitable settlement of the deplorable controversy which had arisen between the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti, and for facilitating the resumption under its high authority of the negotiations which have terminated in the
compromise agreement which we have just signed.
Doctor Troncoso de la Concha, speaking in Spanish, said: I join most heartily in the sentiments of gratitude expressed by the Haitian Delegation to the Permanent Commission.
The President, Senor Recinos, speaking in Spanish: The Permanent Commission receives with deep appreciation the declarations of the Delegations of the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti. We have experienced great pleasure in facilitating the direct understanding between these two countries. We express our sincere wishes that the execution of the agreement reached by the two countries will mark an increasingly closer bond in their friendly relations.
In witness whereof, The Permanent Commission of Washington has prepared this Act which it signs, jointly with the Delegations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in the presence of the Minister of Haiti in Washington, to give solemn testimony to the Republic of Haiti and to the Dominican Republic of the agreement which they have reached.
The minutes and documents relative to this matter shall remain in the archives of the Permanent Commission of Washington, which are kept in the Pan American Union. The Permanent Commission shall make available to each one of the High Parties the certified copies and the extracts which each may request of it.
Signed at Washington, at the Pan American L'nion, in Spanish and French, on this day, the 31st of January, 1938.
(S.) Adrian Recinos
(S.) M. de Freyre y S. (S.) Felipe A. Espil
(S.) A. Pastoriza (S.) Abel Leger
(S.) M. de J. Troncoso (S.) Hoffman Philip de la Concha
(S.) Dantes Bellegarde (S.) E. Manigat
THE PAN AMERICAN UNION
washington, d. c.
The pan american union, originally known as the International Bureau of the American Republics, was established in the year 1890 in accordance with resolutions passed at the First International Conference of American States, held at Washington in 1889-90, and presided over by James G. Blaine, then United States Secretary of State. Its work was greatly expanded by resolutions of the Second Conference at Mexico in 1901; the Third, at Rio de Janeiro in 1906; the Fourth, at Buenos Aires in 1910; the Fifth, at Santiago, Chile, in 1923; the Sixth, at Habana, Cuba, in 1928; and the Seventh at Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1933. It is an international organization created and maintained by the twenty-one American republics. Its purpose is to develop closer cultural, commercial, and financial relations between the Republics of the American Continent and to promote friendly intercourse, peace, and better understanding. It is supported by annual contributions from all the countries, in amounts proportional to population. Its affairs are administered by a Director General and Assistant Director, elected by and responsible to a Governing Board composed of the Secretary of State of the United States and the representatives in Washington of the other American governments.
The administrative divisions of the Pan American Union are organized so as to carry out the purposes for which it was created. Special divisions have been created on foreign trade, statistics, finance, agricultural cooperation, and travel, all of which maintain close relations with official and unofficial bodies in the countries, members of the Union. Particular attention is devoted to the development of closer intellectual and cultural relations among the nations of the American Continent, and an administrative division exists for this purpose.
The Pan American Union serves as the permanent organ of the International Conferences of American States, usually referred to as the Pan American Conferences. In addition to preparing the programs and regulations, the Union gives effect to the conclusions of the Conferences by conducting special inquiries and investigations and by convening or arranging for special or technical conferences in the intervals between the International Conferences.