Doctor Henriquez y Carvajal to the Acting Chief of the Division of Latin American Affairs of the Department of State (Johnson)7


Memorandum on the Dominican Question

In order to perfect, in an appropriate manner, the reorganization of the Dominican Republic, the best method and modus operandi to be applied is that which the American Government followed in Cuba twice, especially in the second intervention. According to that plan the said modus operandi would, in its main lines, consist of the following measures:

1. Restoration of civil order with individual rights by relieving the army of occupation of all police duties. The custody of civil order will remain entirely in the hands of the police force, national and municipal.

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2. Although there are in the country police courts known by the name of Alcaldías, which also perform the duties of municipal courts, there should be created on the restoration of civil order police courts like those existing in Cuba which would try misdemeanors expeditiously and within a limited measure. The function of the Justices of the Peace of the present Alcaldías would be entrusted to municipal judges.

3. A general census of the Republic should then be taken at once under a law that would set the periods for the taking of the following censuses.

4. There should be appointed a Consulting Commission of Dominicans for the drafting of the most urgent organic laws, which Commission would be under the direction of one or two representatives of the North American authority.

The laws to be drafted in this way are:

Election law guaranteeing the representation of minorities.
Political parties law, the operation of which shall derive from popular vote and be comprised within the Constitutional principles and those of the election law.
Organic law for municipal governments which would amplify their sphere of action and maintain their autonomy as genuine representatives of the people.
Organic law of the provinces whose government, like the municipal government, will be elected by popular vote.
Organic law of the executive power which will determine the powers and duties and organization of each department and where the order of succession to the Presidency, should the case arise, should be clearly and precisely regulated.
Law of regulating the budget by which errors that may cause a deficit to the government will be foreseen and prevented and the creation of offices for the salaries of which there is no assured revenue, will be prohibited.
Law of the Treasury to prevent transgressions in the handling of public funds and establishing adequate penalties for such transgressions in each case.
Law of public accounting—laying down clear rules for a good system of accounting.
Law of civil service, preventing public officers from being subject to the vicissitudes of politics.
Law of National Health which will organize all services of Public Hygiene and defense against all epidemic illness.
Law of communications by land, sea and air.

5. After the census is taken and the laws relative to elections, parties and municipalities have been promulgated, the municipal councils or Ayuntamientos shall be elected. The next election will be that of the Governors of Province and it will be done at the end of a certain number of months and after evidence of the efficiency of the new electoral organization is sufficient.

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The third and last electoral course will have for its object the election of legislative chambers and of the President of the Republic.

6. As a guarantee that this new order of things will function with perfect regularity and that the Dominican people have become conscious of its being the only way to make them capable of fulfilling their international duties, the evacuation of the Army of occupation shall be effected in successive steps and within the time that the varied conditions of the country will permit justly to estimate.

Dr. Henriquez y Carvajal
  1. Presented at the interview of Sept. 8; see memorandum of Mr. Dunn, Sept. 8, p. 130.
  2. Substituted for file translation.