File No. 839.00/912a.

The Secretary of State to the American Minister. 1

Sir: The President directs me to say for your instruction that the influence of this Government will be exerted for the support of lawful authorities in Santo Domingo, and for the discouragement of [Page 426] any and all insurrectionary methods. You will carry with you a copy of the President’s statement of last March which sets forth fully, and in such a way as to leave no doubt, his position on two important points, namely: First, that we can have no sympathy with those who seek to seize the power of government to advance their own personal interests or ambition; and, second, that the test of a republican form of government is to be found in its responsiveness to the will of the people, its just powers being derived from the consent of the governed.

It is not to be expected that those in power will be able to avoid mistakes but mistakes should be corrected by constitutional means. Neither is it to be supposed that reforms will in all cases be brought about as soon as they ought to be, but the remedy for this is agitation—not insurrection.

Say to any who may feel aggrieved or who may be disposed to resort to violence that the good offices of this Government can be counted upon at all times to assist in the establishment of justice, in the remedying of abuses, and in the promotion of the welfare of the people. We must depend, therefore, upon all the people of Santo Domingo, of whatever party or faction, to join together in securing justice through law and in the election by free and fair ballot of officials whom the people desire. You will make it known to those now in insurrection that this Government will employ every legitimate means to assist in the restoration of order and in the prevention of further insurrections, holding itself open at all times to advise with the government in behalf of those who feel that they have a grievance.

I am sure that when the disinterestedness of our Government is fully understood, its friendship will be appreciated and its advice sought.

I am [etc.]

W. J. Bryan.
  1. James M. Sullivan; appointed August 12, 1913, vice W. W. Russell, resigned.