Minister Dawson to the Secretary of State.
Santo Domingo, October 19, 1905.
Sir: Referring to the subject of my Nos. 167 and 170, of September 26 and October 9 [not printed] respectively, the prevention by our naval authorities of the introduction of arms and ammunition into this Republic, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter sent by me to Admiral Bradford, informing him of the requests of the Dominican Government that the articles already seized be intrusted to it, and of some of the terms of the Dominican laws and regulations affected. This letter contains various details not given in my said No. 167, and which you may find interesting.
I have also the honor to confirm your telegram, as follows:
Washington, October 13, 1905.
Dawson, American Minister, Santo Domingo:
There is now some difficulty in lawfully preventing the exportation of arms and ammunition to Santo Domingo, which would be obviated by a proclamation by the President prohibiting such exportation under a resolution of Congress approved April 22, 1898. All such exportation would then become unlawful unless especially authorized by this government. We could give such authority in any cases desired by the Dominican Government. Ascertain whether it would be agreeable to that government to have the President issue such a proclamation.
Immediately on receiving it I called upon the minister of foreign affairs, who referred the matter to President Morales. They appreciated the value of the proposed proclamation by President Roosevelt, and were desirous that it be put into force as soon as possible, only asking for definite assurances that in case their government wishes to import, or permit the importation of, arms and ammunition from the United States in especial cases our government would honor its request to that effect. Your telegram authorized me to give such assurances, and I gave them verbally, promising to confirm them in writing. On this feature there only remains to be determined the most convenient form in which the Dominican Government shall make its requests for the issuance by our government of the special permits. I shall be glad to have the instructions of the Department on this point, for I know that this government will appreciate the indication of a channel which will insure the prompt and unembarrassed shipment of arms intended for its own use.
I confirm my reply to your telegram, as follows:
Santo Domingo, October 14, 1905.
Secretary of State, Washington:
Such a proclamation would be agreeable to the Dominican Government.
The same afternoon I sent a formal note to the minister of foreign affairs, to which he replied, saying that the issuance of such a proclamation would be agreeable to his government and expressing its gratitude at this new evidence of the American Government’s wish to aid in the maintenance of peace in this Republic. A copy of my note and a copy and translation of his reply are herewith inclosed.[Page 399]
I also confirm your telegram, as follows:
Washington, October 17, 1905.
American Legation, Santo Domingo:
President, on 14th instant, issued following proclamation:
“Whereas by a joint resolution, approved April 22, 1898 entitled ‘joint resolution to prohibit the export of coal or other material used in war from any seaport of the United States, the President ‘is authorized in his discretion, and with such limitation and exceptions as shall seem to him expedient, to prohibit the export of coal or other material used in war from any seaport of the United States until otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress.’
“Now, therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, for good and sufficient reasons unto me appearing, and by virtue of the authority conferred upon me by the said joint resolution, do hereby declare and proclaim that the export of arms, ammunition, and munitions of war of every kind, from any port in the United States or in Porto Rico to any port in the Dominican Republic, is prohibited, without limitation or exception, from and after the date of this my proclamation until otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress.
“And I do hereby enjoin all good citizens of the United States and of Porto Rico and all persons residing or being within the territory or jurisdiction thereof to be governed accordingly.”
Inform Dominican Government any exception desired by that government will be made by special order.
I thereupon sent a copy of said proclamation to the minister of foreign affairs and informed him that my government stood ready to make by special order any exception desired by his government. A copy of my note is herewith inclosed.
Not only will the issuance of the proclamation by President Roosevelt assist in lawfully preventing the exportation of arms and ammunition from the United States and Porto Rico into Santo Domingo, but it will greatly simplify the procedure of our officials on this island. Two matters mentioned in my No. 167 may possibly give rise to further correspondence—first, the disposition to be made of the articles already seized, and, second, the question whether our naval officers in making searches shall respect Dominican sanitary laws and regulations. The first matter is now pending on the request of the Dominican Government for the delivery to it of the articles seized from the Cherokee and Seminole; the second offers more difficulty.
I have, etc.,