File No. 738.3915/50.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Minister.
Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the courteous note No. 18 which you were pleased to address me on the 24th instant, to inform me that you had been instructed by your Government to say that [etc.].
In reply I deem it proper before all to state—regarding the assertion that the recent incident between the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti may cause a rupture of relations and even acts of hostility and bloodshed—that the Dominican Government sent soldiers to the southern frontier for the sole reason that the Haitian Government had stationed strong detachments of troops in the same region for the ostensible purpose of preventing the continuance of the work of construction of a road the Dominican Government is opening on territory indisputably within its jurisdiction to facilitate the transit of the guards for the prevention of contraband; but as the Haitian Government withdrew its troops and so informed me through its minister here, the Dominican Government opportunely issued orders for the withdrawal of our troops. For this reason the Dominican Government thought that all probability of a rupture of relations must disappear and, much more, acts of hostility and bloodshed; and it is so profoundly convinced of this from the faith it puts in the declarations of cordiality and desires for peace recently made to it by the Haitian Government, that it views without alarm the actual massing of troops by said Government in localities near the frontier. For the above reason and because, at the initiative of the Government of the neighboring Republic, my Government had just accepted, in principle, that the whole frontier question be submitted to arbitration, it can not but cause surprise that the Haitian Government should ask for the good offices of the Government of your excellency.
This surprise, however, does not lessen the feeling of gratitude with which my Government accepts the offer which your excellency [Page 157] makes in the name of your Government; since, in view of the relations of unalterable friendship which have ever united the Dominican people with the people of the United States, and of the spirit of impartiality which has always characterized the conduct of the Great Republic in similar cases, there can only come from those good offices now offered a decorous and lasting settlement for the two countries that share the dominion of this island.
I can then state to your excellency that my Government accepts those good offices with the sole reserve due to the limitations of the constitution, which is the source of all its powers, and within that limitation my Government will exhaust every effort to reach a definite solution of the now vexing problem of its frontier question.