File No. 738.3915/50.


Liber B. No. 37.]

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to refer to your excellency’s note of yesterday, in which you inform me that, in accordance with new instructions your excellency has received, the Government of the United States thinks that the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti should agree upon a compromis for the prompt settlement of their frontier difficulties and that in the meanwhile the status quo should be maintained, troops withdrawn from the frontier, and work on the road stopped until the question is definitey decided.

In regard to the first point, I already had the honor to say to your excellency in the note which I sent you yesterday in answer to the aforementioned one from your excellency on the 24th instant that the Dominican Government, “at the initiative of the Government of the neighboring Republic, has just accepted, in principle, that the whole frontier question should be submitted to arbitration”; for which, and because a rapid solution is of the greatest importance to the Dominican Republic, since that state of indecision and dispute favors contraband operations and the escape of criminals by keeping out of its jurisdiction a large part of the frontier region, my Government would be very glad if Haiti would be ready to draft a convention for that purpose, and hopes that the good offices of the United States will contribute to a realization of this in the shortest possible time.

In regard to the second point, the withdrawal of troops, I am pleased to report to your excellency what I had the honor to say in my note of yesterday: “That, as the Haitian Government withdrew its troops from the southern border, and I was so informed by its minister here, the Dominican Government opportunely issued orders for the withdrawal of our troops,” and to say to you that these orders have been carried out; it consequently being Haiti’s turn to withdraw those troops it is at present massing in the region near the frontiers of the north and center, thus complying with the laudable wishes of the Government of the United States.

In regard to the work on the road which the Dominican Government is building on the eastern bank of the river Pedernales, for the [Page 158] easier and more effective service of its frontier guards, I can say to you that, thanks to the valuable tender of good offices from the Government of your excellency, our frontier differences bid fair to be promptly solved, and that my Government agrees with great pleasure to suspend said work for a sufficient length of time for the rendering of an arbitral decision, but on account of the grave damages caused to the Dominican Republic while those frontier questions remain unsettled, it will be obliged to renew said work if for any reason attributable to the Government of Haiti there should be delays in arriving at a definite settlement.

Lastly I must say to your excellency that the status quo implies dominion and sovereignty of the Dominican Republic over the territory on the eastern bank of the river Pedernales.

I avail, etc.,

José M. Cabral y Baez.