839.00/2270a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in the Dominican Republic (Russell)

42. The Department has decided that the proper time has come to take certain steps preliminary to a change in our present position vis-a-vis the Dominican Republic.15 To that end the Secretary of the Navy is instructing the Military Governor by mail to publish the following proclamation:16

“Whereas, the friendly purposes of the United States in the employment, pursuant to rights derived from the Treaty of 1907, of its military forces within the Dominican Republic for the restoration of public order and the protection of life and property have been substantially achieved, and,

Whereas, it has always been the desire and intention of the Government of the United States to withdraw its aid as soon as it could do so consistently with the said purposes and as soon as the improved conditions in Santo Domingo to which the United States has sought to contribute gave promise of permanence,

Now, therefore, I, Thomas Snowden, Rear-Admiral, U.S.N., Military Governor of the Dominican Republic, acting under the authority and by direction of the Government of the United States, declare and announce to all concerned that the Government of the United States believes the time has arrived when it may, with a due sense of its responsibility to the people of the Dominican Republic, inaugurate the simple processes of its rapid withdrawal from the responsibilities assumed in connection with Dominican affairs.

Announcement is therefore made that a Commission of representative Dominican citizens will be appointed, the personnel of which will shortly be announced, to which it is my purpose to attach a Technical Adviser. This Commission will be entrusted with the formulation of amendments to the Constitution and a general revision of the laws of the Republic, including the drafting of a new Election Law. Such amendments to the Constitution and such laws, or such revision of existing laws, as may be recommended by the Commission, upon approval by the military Government in occupation, will be submitted to a Constitutional Convention and to the National Congress [of the Dominican Republic] respectively.”

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A more detailed mail instruction goes forward to you by todays mail.17

  1. In a letter to Horace G. Knowles of New York City, dated Feb. 7, 1921, the Acting Secretary of State made the following statement: “Prior to the adoption by this Government of its policy regarding the steps to be taken preliminary to the withdrawal of the United States from its responsibilities in the Dominican Republic, published by the Military Governor in his Proclamation of December 23, 1920, repeated conferences were held at the Department of State with Señor Henriquez y Carvajal. The entire proposed program was frankly discussed with him at these conferences. His opinion was sought and lie was found to be in accord with the policy projected.” (File no. 839.00/2326.)
  2. Published Dec. 23, 1920, with the addition of the four bracketed words in the last sentence (file no. 839.00/2355).
  3. Not printed.