Minister Dawson to the Secretary of State.

No. 120.]


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A copy and translation of the message of the President is inclosed, and to it I invite the careful attention of the Department. Instead of the usual comfortable generalities President Morales frankly exposes the real situation of the Republic and points out specific reforms.

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I have, etc.,

T. C. Dawson.


foreign relations.

It has been an arudous labor—that of the Dominican foreign office—in what refers to the solution of the many problems which have completely absorbed the attention of this Department. It can be said that it has been a continual struggle, undertaken with the patriotic purpose of freeing the Republic from grave international complications by defending energetically, though discreetly, its interests and endeavoring to maintain relations of the closest cordiality with all foreign nations.

The arbitral award in the case of the Dominican Republic with the Improvement Company and its associates required our government to make well-founded protests before the Washington foreign office. The government over which I preside thought that the arbiters had not kept within the bounds of the document giving them authority, and since their capacity was fundamentally derived from the document, when the power conferred was exceeded, the decision fell into one of those exceptional cases which, in matters of arbitration are provided for by international law. It took effective measures in regard to this, and while its negotiations for this purpose were proceeding the convention of January 20 last was concluded, which was amplified by the additional act of the 7th of the current month. This convention and the said additional act are the immediate consequence, on one side, of the administrative errors committed by former administrations, and of the urgent necessity of attending to the peremptory complaints made by foreign creditors.

The moment has come to declare solemnly to you, honorable representatives of the people, and in this august place before the face of the country, that I am and will be under all circumstances the most jealous guardian of the national independence, and that there can be nothing which will make me vacillate in the least when the question is one of the territorial integrity or the political autonomy of the Republic.

The convention is a work of necessity and the method of coming to an agreement which will put it within the power of the country to resolve the problem of its debt.

In submitting it to your high approbation I am confident that your patriotism, going to the bottom of the mountain of events which have brought the Republic to its present pass, will take its inspiration in the reality of our surrounding circumstances.

Only that patriotism is fecund which shows itself in deeds of practical usefulness, and not that which, under pretense of flattering the populace, precipitates the Republic into grave and unavoidable conflicts. Civic virtue does not consist in provoking events, but in rectifying the past by force of virtue, of moderation, and of persistent dedication toward making our nationality inviolable by the prestige of its credit and by the development of its civilization and culture.

I repeat it to you, citizen deputies, in this grave and solemn hour of the Republic, I will be at my post maintaining unblemished the national honor.

The Republic of the United States of America and that of Cuba have raised their respective representatives, the former to the rank of minister resident and the latter to chargé d’affaires, and this shows their desire of drawing closer each day the existing bands of mutual cordiality between us and them.

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It is an earnest ambition of the Executive to open to our educated young men the diplomatic and consular careers, in order that the country by means of a worthy representation abroad may consolidate the relations that bind us to friendly nations, and, thanks to the expansion of ideas, make our nationality really known in all the organs of its internal life.

Desirous as it is of always preserving the closest harmony between the secular power and the Holy See, the government has received with profound pleasure the selection of Monseigneur Nouel, a man full of learning and virtues, as coadjutor of the most worthy archbishop of Santo Domingo, the learned prelate Monseigneur de Moriño, who has known how to maintain with the splendor of the faith the venerable religious belief of the Dominican people.