Minister Dawson to the Secretary of State.
Santo Domingo, February 17, 1905.
Sir: I have the honor to confirm the Department’s telegram, as follows:
Washington, February 6, 1905.
Dawson, Minister, Santo Domingo:
Please advise the Department how much of the whole debt of the Dominican Republic is in the hands of European creditors.
and my reply thereto.
Santo Domingo, February 7, 1905.
Secretary of State, Washington:
I estimate debt owed to Europeans at twenty-two millions, not including English-owned bonds included in Improvement Company settlement.
In explanation, I have to say that the above can only be considered an approximate estimate, although it is based upon the completest information so far obtainable from this government and the representatives of all creditors. The Belgian and French bonds are included at their face value, although the government has the option of paying them in cash at 50 per cent.
Many foreign claims are unliquidated, and my estimate of their amount may be largely reduced by the findings of a commission. Another element of uncertainty arises from the fact that it is impossible to trace the owners of negotiable shares in liquidated claims, and still another in the fact that the nationality of various large creditors is not clear. For example, a domiciled Italian left heirs who were born in this Republic, but nevertheless claim to be Italian citizens, and these heirs have organized a corporation in New Jersey, U. S. A., and transferred to it certain of their claims.
On the other hand, I believe my estimate will be found to be not far wrong after the tangle is straightened out, because I have made myself personally familiar with almost every claim which is made against the government. My investigations and computations lead me to believe that just about two-thirds of the total debt is held by Europeans.
I have, etc.,