Mr. Powell to Mr. Hay.

No. 182.]

Sir: I respectfully, under this cover, give the result of an interview held with the President, Mr. J. Jimenez, this morning.

[Page 427]

After stating to him that in behalf of the President, Mr. McKinley, I congratulated him upon being called by the citizens of his Republic to the responsible position as the Chief Executive of this nation, and trusted under his wise and liberal policy the greatest prosperity to his country would be attained in all that pertained to the welfare of this Republic, and that our citizens were equally interested in their prosperity; that during the time I had the honor to represent my country at his capital I would be glad to assist in spreading that cement that united different nations and makes of them one family; that I also hoped the cordial feelings that had existed in the past between our respective countries would continue to exist and be strengthened, bringing each nation closer and closer to the other; that I would assure him of the wish of the President, Mr. McKinley, that they would look upon the people of the United States as being their warmest friends, standing ever ready to assist them.

The President in reply stated he desired to have the friendly feeling of the people of the United States, in which country he had lived many years, and had been a close observer of the manner and customs of its rulers and people, and trusted, in the exercise of his duties as the President of this Republic, to profit and put in force the results of his observations; that he had been unanimously the choice of the people of the Republic, making itself manifested in the Legislative Assembly; that it was his intention to govern the country according to its constitution and its enacted laws, unlike that of General Heureaux, through fear; that he would like to have the confidence of our citizens; that injurious reports had been circulated in the United States and sent to the President, Mr. McKinley, in reference to the bad faith of the Dominican people, in order to create a bad impression, but that it should be his aim to bring about a better state of affairs.

It was his intention that the foreign creditors should be paid as soon as possible, especially the American creditors.

He spoke of the misrule in the Santo Domingo Improvement Company and the desire of the people of the Republic to cancel the concession given them; that for years they had not lived up to the contract made with the Government, and that they were the ones that were spreading the injurious reports in the United States in regard to the Dominican people; finally, they had happily adjusted during the past week the troubles they had had with France, and that the economic (financial) question was still in an acute stage.

In reply to the statements made by him, I hoped within a few days to arrange with the minister of foreign affairs the payment of certain claims now due to American citizens, and that I trusted they would immediately meet the same.

In regard to the Santo Domingo Improvement Company, I could not discuss an abridgment of their contract or of the concession granted them, but I would send any grievance or complaint that they might make in writing to me to the President through the Department of State. Further than this I was powerless to act, and requested to be excused in speaking further upon this subject.

I congratulated him upon the amicable adjustment of the French difficulties. After some further conversation, which was merely a repetition of the President’s intended policy, I took my leave.

I have, etc.,

W. F. Powell.