Minister Dawson to the Secretary of State.

No. 140.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that on May 2 the minister of finance verbally notified the agents of the Belgian and French bondholders that he proposed to suppress, from and after April 1, the payment of the monthly installments of $833.33 provided by the Dominican budget law for the support of the Belgian and French agencies here, in Antwerp, and at Paris.

Such action would, of course, amount to an arbitrary suppression of the agencies and might produce serious alarm and suspicion among the bondholders, and even affect their willingness to accept the modus vivendi.

The Belgian and French agents determined not to telegraph Antwerp and Paris committees until after consulting me. They did so yesterday. I asked them if the communication from the minister of finance had been official. They answered that no formal note confirming his verbal statement had reached them. I thereupon suggested that it would be premature and useless to telegraph their principals until such a communication is in fact received.

The minister of finance is absent, but the President and minister of foreign affairs tell me that the matter has not been brought up in the cabinet. Minister Sanchez believes that such action would be unwise and likely to endanger the international status of the modus vivendi. It is my intention to suggest unofficially that it would be well to defer action until the Department can advise me of its opinion as to the likelihood of serious complaint on the part of the Belgian and French Governments.

The minister of finance’s motive is simply the desire of economizing. I do not think he has considered the matter in its broader aspect.

I shall be grateful for the prompt instructions of the Department.

I have, etc.,

T. C. Dawson.