File No. 738.3915/50.

[Untitled]

No. 19.]

Mr. Minister: Referring to my communication of the 24th instant, I have the honor to inform your excellency that I am in receipt of further instructions1 from my Government in the matter of the Haitian frontier question.

Between the Dominican Government’s proposal of a Dominican-Haitian commission to decide whether the road being built by the Republic of Santo Domingo penetrates Haitian territory, with the stipulation that, pending a decision, all troops be withdrawn except a frontier guard, and the recent Haitian proposal of January 20 that there be prompt arbitration with a stipulation that the construction of the road be suspended, that all troops be withdrawn, thus maintaining the status quo and preserving peace, there appears to be no essential difference. The Government of the United States can not believe therefore that the minor points regarding the maintenance of the status quo and the cessation of work on the road pending a settlement can be regarded as sufficiently important to warrant any delay whatever in drawing up a suitable compromis for the settlement of the matter by arbitration, and much less as sufficient to warrant any further mention by either party of a resort to arms. The Government of the United States therefore feels that the two Governments should at once unite in framing a compromis providing for early adjustment of this question under the essential conditions that have now been agreed upon by both, meanwhile the status quo to be [Page 156] maintained, troops to withdrawn from the border, and work to cease on the road until the question is finally determined.

The close and special relations which the Government of the United States has to the Dominican Republic and its international administration by virtue of the rights granted to and obligations imposed upon it under the treaty of 1907, and the peculiar interest taken by it in the welfare of both the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti, impel it to press upon these two Republics the urgent necessity that an amicable adjustment of these differences be immediately secured. The Government of the United States will be glad to exercise its friendly good offices to facilitate such an arrangement should the two Governments so desire.

I take this occasion to renew to your excellency the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.

William W. Russell.
  1. Not printed; their exact terms are repeated in the following two paragraphs.↩