The Chargé des Affaires47 in the Dominican Republic (Brewer) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 549

Sir: I have the honor to refer to your instruction No. 321 of December 10, 1919 (File No. 738.3915/201),48 relative to a note which the Military Government of Santo Domingo desired to present to the Government of Haiti proposing to submit to the arbitration of the Pope the definite settlement of the boundary question between the two Republics, and to say that I have taken up this matter by note with the Foreign Office (enclosure No. 1)49 and in its reply (enclosure No. 2)49 the Foreign Office informs me that the change from the plan discussed by the Military Governor of Santo Domingo, the American Minister at Port-au-Prince and the President of the Republic of Haiti was due to the fact that on the return of the Military Governor to this city a further study of the subject revealed that the Dominican Constitution, in its Article No. 3, provided for the rectification of the boundary line in accordance with the Plebiscite of 1895, which authorized the Government to submit the case to the Pope for arbitration.

This was the subject of the proposed note to the Haitian Government as forwarded for the approval of the Department in the Legation’s despatch No. 496 of August 20, 1919. Unfortunately the Military Government did not advise the Legation of the former plan discussed at Port-au-Prince, in order that the American Minister at Port-au-Prince might be advised of the change of plans, through the Department. In an interview I had with the Military Governor on this subject, I was shown copies of correspondence from the State Department to the Navy Department relative to this, and other questions of international policy. The reply of the Military Governor to the instruction from the Navy Department forwarding the copies of the correspondence above-mentioned has doubtless been duly transmitted to the Department.50

In regard to the suggestion of the American Minister at Port-au-Prince that the proposed note from the Military Government to the Haitian Government should not be sent, I have to report that the Foreign Minister states that the note was sent to the Haitian Minister here on December 24 [22], 1919, about one month previous to the receipt [Page 302] of my communication of January 21, 1920. The Department’s instruction No. 321 was received by me on January 20, 1920.

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I have [etc.]

John Brewer
  1. Term used to designate a clerk left in charge of an embassy or legation.
  2. Now filed under 738.3915/202.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Reference is apparently made to the Military Governor’s letter of Jan. 14, to the Secretary of the Navy, p. 299.