File No. 839.00/777.

The Secretary of State to the American Minister.


The following, statement may be given to President Nouel as a message from me, to be made public if he sees fit:

The most sympathetic interest is felt by the President and Government of the United States in your unselfish and patriotic efforts to maintain lawful and orderly government and to introduce needful reforms, thus assuring to the Dominican nation the blessings of prosperity and peace. The President and Government of the United States sincerely wish that your patient endeavors may so succeed as to exclude the possibility of a recurrence of such disorders as have afflicted the Dominican people. Those disorders would by their recurrence make more onerous the duty of the United States under its conventional and moral obligations never to be indifferent to the peace and order of the Dominican Republic.

You will do everything in your power to hold up the hands of the President, Archbishop Nouel, and to impress him with the necessity of patiently continuing in office. It would be well to advert in your conversations to the fact that under the present electoral law it is apparently almost impossible to accomplish much in the direction of free elections, however willing the Government of the United States might be to lend its aid; and that as a prerequisite to free elections it would seem indispensable to provide some form of previous registration and some form of voting that would prevent fraud. You might also suggest in informal conversation that besides the electoral law other reforms seem to the Department to be urgently needed, and that these might possibly be accomplished without reform of the Constitution. For instance, reform of the laws relating to provincial and communal governments, tile law of conscription (so as to provide for an annual enlistment by lot instead of at the will of local military chiefs), and the creation of a right to question arrest by means of habeas corpus or other such proceedings.

You might also point out to the President how much easier it would be for the United States to lend its aid if necessary to assist in the conduct of free and orderly elections if such reforms were realized.