The Secretary of State to the Chargé des Affaires2 in the Dominican Republic (Brewer)

No. 350

Sir: From a study of the situation in the Dominican Republic, the Department is convinced that one of the important steps in the further progress of the country is the formulation and ultimate enactment of certain basic laws, especially those relating to elections, education and sanitation. It is, therefore, a matter of very great importance that definite steps be taken without delay toward the formulation of such legislation.

The Department is convinced that it would have an excellent effect, not only in Santo Domingo but throughout Latin America, if, as a first step, the Military Government were to appoint a commission composed of the leading men of Santo Domingo, and entrust this commission with the formulation of the above mentioned legislation and such other laws as may be deemed essential. It is understood, of course, that the report of this commission would in no sense be binding upon the Military Government. For this reason the Department feels that it would be best to confine this commission exclusively to citizens of the Dominican Republic.

You are therefore directed to take up this matter with the Military Governor and to secure a decision with the least possible delay.

The Department has been in consultation with Mr. Russell3 with reference to this matter, and he has suggested that the commission be selected from the following list of persons.

[Page 111]
  • Francisco Henriquez y Carvajal
  • Manuel deJ. Troncoso de la Concha
  • One good man from the North (Cibao)
  • Federico Velasquez y Hernandez
  • Jacinto de Castro (Lawyer)
  • Dr. Eliseo Grullón (Physician)
  • Eliseo Espaillat (Commerce)
  • Genaro Perez (Lawyer)
  • Francisco J. Peynado (Lawyer, Ex-Dominican Minister at Washington)
  • Pelegrin Castillo (Lawyer)

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Frank L. Polk
  1. Designation used for a clerk left in charge of a legation or embassy.
  2. William W. Russell, Minister in the Dominican Republic; at that time in the United States.