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, called at the Department September 12, in response to a suggestion by Mr. Johnson, that it was not necessary to wait longer for an expression of views as to his memorandum.

Mr. Johnson informed Señor Carvajal that his memorandum has been read and that considering [the] side of the question as presented by Doctor Carvajal, the suggestion as to the reducing of the [Page 132] action of the Provost Courts in Santo Domingo, seemed reasonable.* Mr. Johnson further informed Doctor Carvajal that if he would permit him to make a personal suggestion, he considered that the most effective method of bringing up a discussion leading to improvement in the administration of Dominican affairs would be for Doctor Carvajal to proceed to Santo Domingo, taking up the matters contained in his memorandum directly with the Military Governor. At the same time, he, Mr. Johnson, would forward to our Legation in Santo Domingo a copy of Doctor Carvajal’s memorandum with the request that it be brought to the attention of the Military Governor for an expression of his views.

Doctor Carvajal brought out the fact that the censorship as to speeches and publications of articles was so strict that he thought his going about would be too limited to accomplish very much along the line of finding the exact state of mind of the Dominican people. In reply to this Mr. Johnson said that he felt confident that Doctor Carvajal would be received by the Military Government, and that there would be no more restrictions put on his movements and actions than on any other Dominican citizen, further, that if Doctor Carvajal desired to make the trip to Santo Domingo and would let the Department know in advance, Mr. Johnson would undertake to notify the Military Government that Doctor Carvajal was coming, at the same time telling them the purposes for which he was making the trip.

Doctor Carvajal suggested that he be given a letter setting forth the purposes of his trip and requesting protection for him. This Mr. Johnson said he would not be able to do but would be very glad to take up directly with the Military Government the matter of allowing Doctor Carvajal to proceed to Santo Domingo.

Another point discussed at this conference was the fact that the Department had been informed that there are certain political chieftains and a great many business men and men of high standing in the community who would support the Military Government if they could be made to realize that there will be no immediate withdrawal by the United States Government of the American officials administering the affairs of the Dominican Republic. That because of a possibility that the control of the Government might be returned in the very near future to Dominicans, they feel that it is necessary to keep themselves before the public as what the public considers patriotic Dominicans, not as favoring a Government which the political agitators are against.

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Doctor Carvajal admitted that there were political chiefs who were endeavoring to keep their personalities before the public in this way, and gave as his view that a remedy for this condition would be the founding of political parties as means of carrying out principles instead of for use according to the personal wishes of the leaders of the parties.

Mr. Johnson told Doctor Carvajal that he could help a great deal toward the restoration of order in the Republic if he would convey to these political agitators the impression that it would be much better for them to assist the present Government than to oppose it, thereby influencing the people to respect the desire of the United States and its representative, the Military Government, to restore peace and order in the Dominican Republic which was the ultimate object of the Military Government.

J. C. Dunn
  1. Mr. Johnson stated, however, that it would be necessary to have the opinion of several people in this matter before presenting [it] to the Secretary of State for his decision, and he considered that on such a question as this it would be necessary to have the opinion and views of the American officials on the ground. [Footnote in the original.]