Memorandum of Mr. J. C. Dunn of the Division of Latin American Affairs of the Department of State

Señor Henriquez y Carvajal of Santo Domingo, accompanied by his two sons, called at the Division this afternoon in company with Señor Galvan, Dominican Minister in Washington. They were received by Mr. Johnson and myself.

Señor Carvajal presented a memorandum containing certain suggestions with regard to Santo Domingo.9 His first suggestion was the abolishing of the Provost Court and the reestablishing of civil order. His second suggestion was to establish Judges of Correction, having persons who committed offenses brought before them first instead of before the Police Judges or Alcaldias. His third suggestion [Page 131] was the creation of a Consultative Body to prepare organic laws for the country as to elections; the organization of municipalities and provinces; the regulation of the budget; the executive power, and the different branches of the Government.

He also said that if it were not possible at this time to abolish the Provost Court all over the Republic, it would be advisable to block out certain zones where there had not been an excess of lawlessness, which zones might be considered to be worthy of withdrawing the Marine patrol and the Provost Courts.

Señor Carvajal stated that in the matter of banditry the men who are now practicing banditry in his country would give up this lawlessness upon finding that the Provost Courts were abolished and there was more freedom for the Dominican people. He gave as his opinion that if the Guardia Nacional were increased to 1500 there would be no necessity for Marines, except possibly some in the eastern provinces. He drew a parallel between the situation in Santo Domingo and the situation in Cuba, especially during the second intervention, and gave as his opinion that if this Consultative Commission were organized and were to formulate the basic laws for the country, it would be the best method to better the present conditions in the Republic.

Discussion of the main points, the abolition of the Provost Courts, and the formation of the Consultative Commission, brought us to the conclusion that it would seem wise to have the action of the Provost Courts reduced as much as possible, reserving the use of such courts only for crimes against our military forces or emergency cases requiring expeditious treatment.

. . . . . . .

J. C. Dunn
  1. Memorandum of Sept. 5, p. 128.