File No. 27/203–204.

Minister McCreery to the Secretary of State .

No. 33.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose copya and translation of the reply of the President of the Dominican Congress to the message of the President of the Dominican Republic.

The President’s message was sent to the Congress at the opening of the session, February 27 last. The reply, following the established custom, was made on June 26 last, the day of adjournment.

The reply states that Congress heartily supports the Executive in the efforts to bring about the proper organization of the public administration and urges stringent measures against disturbers of the peace. It also advocates assistance by the Government to the districts which have suffered most from civil disorder, and mentions the appropriation made for irrigation works in the district of Monte Cristi. It refers to the provision made for the Guardia Republicana, formerly called the Rural Guard.

The Republic has of late taken part in a number of international expositions and congresses. Mention is made of The Hague Conference. Reference is made to the treaties signed at the Pan-American Congress at Rio Janeiro in July, 1906, as follows:

Regarding the treaties signed by the States taking part in the Second Pan-American Conference held at Rio de Janeiro in July last, and which treaties were signed by our delegate, Emilio C. Joubert, excepting the treaty providing for a change of nationality of the citizens who return to reside within the national territory, it being contrary to our political constitution, the committee on foreign relations has reported favorably, and Congress has approved the treaty relative to the compilation of a code of international law to regulate relations among the American republics, and the congress regrets that a bulk of urgent matters have not permitted the discussion and approval of the said treaties in this session.

It is recommended that all the good will and patriotism of the Government be exerted to effect a settlement of the boundary question with Haiti.

The approval of the Dominican-American Convention by the Congress is mentioned, and it is stated that there remains only the formality of the exchange of ratifications to make the convention effective. The amendment of the bankers contracts by the Congress is referred to.

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Revision of the codes is favored, as well as more stringent treatment of the irregularities of officials.

Certain changes were made in the department of education, and reforms pointed out which should be considered by the next Congress.

The misuse in former years of funds voted for “public works” is pointed out and a more rigid accounting recommended.

The successful work of the several executive departments is referred to.

The president of the Congress, while mentioning that constitutional reforms can be enacted only by a constitutional convention or congress called for that special purpose, states that the present Congress enacted the following amendment to the constitution:

Article 112. The present electoral colleges will continue in operation until the 1st of November, 1908, the date upon which the next general elections will be proceeded with.

The present constitutional period will end on the 27th of February, 1909. From this date henceforth the usual periods will be counted as of four years, beginning and ending with the 27th of February. In case of extraordinary elections, no matter what date of same may be, the constitutional period will be reckoned from the 27th of February nearest to the election.

President Morales was elected in June, 1904, for a period of four years. He was succeeded by the Vice-President, Caceres, in December, 1905. The amendment passed by Congress extends the term of office of the Executive and deputies to February 27, 1909.

The reason given is that the present Congress desires to cooperate with the Executive in carrying out the terms of the convention and giving impetus to the development of the country, and the desire to make February 27 the beginning of the constitutional period.

This amendment has not yet been approved by the President and published in the Official Gazette.

The minister for foreign affairs tells me the amendment is not in force.

I have, etc.,

Fenton R. McCreery.
  1. Not printed.