The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Navy ( Denby )

My Dear Mr. Secretary: With reference to the conferences which we have had regarding the proposed evacuation of the military forces of the United States from the Republic of Santo Domingo, [Page 835] and the time and terms of our withdrawal, I have the honor to transmit to you herewith the draft of the proposed Proclamation to be issued by the Military Governor of Santo Domingo, outlining, for the information of the Dominican people, the steps which are to be taken in fulfillment of the plan of withdrawal agreed upon in our conferences. …

Believe me [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes

Draft of Proclamation for Withdrawal of American Forces from the Dominican Republic 11

Whereas, by Proclamation of the Military Governor of Santo Domingo, dated December 23, 1920,12 it was announced to the people of the Dominican Republic that the Government of the United States desired to inaugurate the simple processes of its rapid withdrawal from the responsibilities assumed in connection with Dominican affairs; and

Whereas it is necessary that a duly constituted Government of the Dominican Republic exist before this withdrawal of the United States may become effective, in order that the functions of government may be resumed by it in an orderly manner,

Now, Therefore, I, , Military Governor of Santo Domingo, 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 proposes to withdraw its military forces from the Dominican Republic in accordance with the steps set forth herein. It is the desire of the Government of the United States to assure itself before its withdrawal is accomplished that the independence and territorial integrity of the Dominican Republic, the maintenance of public order, and the security of life and property, will be adequately safeguarded, and to turn over the administration of the Dominican Republic to a responsible Dominican Government duly established in accordance with the existing Constitution and laws. To this end, it calls upon the Dominican people to lend to it their helpful cooperation with the hope that the withdrawal of the military forces of the United States may be completed, if such cooperation is extended in the manner hereinafter provided, within a period of eight months.

[Page 836]

The Executive power vested by the Dominican Constitution in the President of the Republic shall be exercised by the Military Governor of Santo Domingo until a duly elected proclaimed President of the Republic shall have taken office and until a Treaty of Evacuation shall have been signed by the President and confirmed by the Dominican Congress.

Within one month from the date of this Proclamation the Military Governor will convene the primary assemblies to assemble thirty days after the date of the Decree of Convocation in conformity with articles 82 and 83 of the Constitution.13 These assemblies shall proceed to elect the electors as prescribed by Article 84 of the Constitution. In order that these elections may be held without disorder and in order that the will of the Dominican people may be freely expressed, these elections will be held under the supervision of the authorities designated by the Military Governor.

The electoral colleges thus elected by the primary assemblies shall, in accordance with Article 85 of the Constitution, proceed to elect Senators, Deputies, and alternates for the latter, and to prepare lists for the Justices of the Supreme Court, of the Appellate Courts, and the Tribunals and Courts of the First Instance, as prescribed by Article 85 of the Constitution.

The Military Governor, performing the functions of Chief Executive, will then appoint, in accordance with Article 53 of the Constitution, certain Dominican citizens as representatives of the Republic to negotiate a Treaty of Evacuation. In order that the enjoyment of individual rights may be insured, and in order that the peace and prosperity of the Republic may be conserved, the said Treaty of Evacuation shall contain the following provisions:

Ratification of all of the acts of the Military Government;
Validation of the final loan of $2,500,000,14 which is the minimum loan required in order to complete the public works which are now in actual course of construction, and which can be completed during the period required for the withdrawal of the Military Occupation and are deemed essential to the success of the new Government of the Republic and to the well-being of the Dominican people;
Extension of the duties of the General Receiver of Dominican Customs, appointed under the convention of 1907,15 to apply to the said loan;
Extension of the powers of the General Receiver of Dominican Customs to the collection and disbursement of such portion of the internal revenues of the Republic as may prove to be necessary, [Page 837] should the customs revenues at any time be insufficient to meet the service of the foreign debt of the Republic;
The obligation on the part of the Dominican Government, in order to preserve peace, to afford adequate protection to life and property, and to secure the proper discharge of all obligations of the Dominican Republic, to maintain an efficient Guardia Nacional, urban and rural, composed of native Dominicans. To this end, it shall also be agreed in said Treaty that the President of the Dominican Republic shall at once request the President of the United States to send a Military Mission to the Dominican Republic, charged with the duty of securing the competent organization of such Guardia Nacional; the Guardia Nacional to be officered by such Dominican Officers as may be competent to undertake such service, and, for such time as may be found necessary to effect the desired organization, with American Officers appointed by the President of the Dominican Republic upon the nomination of the President of the United States. The expenses of said Mission will be paid by the Dominican Republic, and the said Mission will be invested by the Executive of the Dominican Republic with proper and adequate authority to accomplish the purpose above stated.

The Military Governor will thereupon convene the Dominican Congress in extraordinary session to confirm the Treaty of Evacuation referred to above.

The Military Governor will then assemble the electoral colleges for the purpose of electing a President of the Dominican Republic in accordance with Article 85 of the Constitution, and simultaneously, officials other than the Senators and Deputies elected at the first convocation of the electoral colleges, will be installed in office.

The Dominican President so elected will then take office in accordance with Article 51 of the Constitution, at the same time signing the Treaty of Evacuation as confirmed by the Dominican Congress.

Upon this ratification of the Treaty of Evacuation, assuming that through the cooperation of the people of the Dominican Re-, public a condition of peace and good order obtains, the Military Governor will transfer to the duly elected President of the Republic all of his powers and the Military Government will cease; and thereupon, the forces of the United States will be at once withdrawn.

The further assistance of the Advisory Commission appointed under the Proclamation of December 23, 1920, being no longer required, it is hereby dissolved, with the expression of the grateful appreciation of the Government of the United States of the selfsacrificing services of the patriotic citizens of the Dominican Republic of whom it has been composed.

  1. On June 10 the Navy Department was requested to substitute the word “Convention” for the word “Treaty” throughout the text. The proclamation thus revised was issued June 14 by Rear Admiral Samuel S. Robison, who took office as Military Governor June 3.
  2. See telegram of Dec. 4, 1920, to the Minister in the Dominican Republic, Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. ii, p. 145.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1908, p. 260.
  4. For correspondence relating to the loan, see pp. 854 ff.
  5. Foreign Relations, 1907, pt. 1, p. 307.