The Acting Chief of the Division of Latin American Affairs, Department of State (White) to the Dominican Representatives (Velasquez, Vasquez, and Peynado)

Gentlemen: Referring to the recent conversations held in the Latin-American Division of the Department of State between yourselves and Mr. Sumner Welles, Dr. Munro, and me, I take pleasure in enclosing herewith a memorandum, together with a suggested Spanish translation, of the plan discussed in the course of those interviews.26 I shall be very glad to have you examine this memorandum and signify to me, at your early convenience, your several acceptances of the arrangement proposed therein.

As regards the terminology of the Convention, I must inform you that it will be necessary for the Department of State to reserve the right, after receiving the opinions of its legal advisers and those of the legal advisers of the Military Government in Santo Domingo, to make such modifications, if any, as they may feel to be necessary to protect the rights acquired by third persons under the Military Government and which they may feel are not amply protected under the [Page 29] wording of the present draft treaty. It is understood, of course, that such changes, if any, as may be deemed necessary will be for the objects above stated.

I would also suggest that the memorandum enclosed herewith be regarded as confidential until further notice.

I am [etc.]

Francis White

Draft Memorandum of June 29, 1922, Providing for the Withdrawal of the Military Government

1. Announcement by the Military Government that a Provisional Government will be set up for the purpose of promulgating legislation to regulate the holding of elections, and to provide for the reorganization of the provincial and municipal governments, and to enable the Dominican people to make such amendments to the Constitution as they may deem appropriate and hold elections without the intervention of the Military Government. At the same time, the Military Government will announce that it will delegate to the Provisional Government administrative powers to carry out freely the aforesaid purposes.

2. Choice of a Provisional President and his Cabinet by a majority vote of a committee composed of the leaders of each political party of the Dominican Republic constituted on or before June 30, 1922. The Committee of Political Leaders, in appointing the Provisional Government, will determine the conditions placed upon the exercise of that Government and the said committee, by a majority vote, will fill the vacancies that may occur in that Government on account of death, resignation, or disability of any of its members. Upon the inauguration of the Provisional Government, the Executive Departments of the Dominican Republic shall be turned over to the members of the Cabinet thus designated. There shall be no change in the personnel of these Departments during the term of the Provisional Government, except for duly proved cause. Officials in charge of the Executive Departments of the Military Government will lend their assistance to the respective Secretaries of State of the Provisional Government. There shall be no payment made by the Department of Finance except in accordance with the Budget in force, nor will any payment be made otherwise than as customary. Any necessary item of expenditure not provided for in the Budget will be appropriated by the Provisional Government in accord with the Military Governor. Immediately upon the installation of the Provisional Government, the Military Government will deliver to that Government the National Palace, and, at the same time, the [Page 30] Military Forces of the United States in the Dominican Republic will be concentrated at one, two, or three places, as may be determined by the Military Government. From that date order will be maintained by the Dominican National Police under the orders of the Provisional Government, except in the case of serious disturbances which, in the opinion of the Provisional Government and of the Military Governor, cannot be suppressed by the Forces of the Dominican Police.

3. The Provisional President will promulgate the legislation above referred to concerning the holding of elections and the reorganization of the Government of the Provinces and Communes.

4. The Provisional President will convene the Primary Assemblies in accordance with the provisions of the new election law and those assemblies will elect the electors as provided by Article 84 of the present Constitution.

5. The Electoral Colleges so elected by the Primary Assemblies will elect the members of the Senate and of the Chamber of Deputies and will prepare the lists of the members of the Judiciary to be submitted to the National Senate.

6. The Congress will vote the necessary amendments to the Constitution and will issue the call for the election of the Constituent Assembly, to which the proposed amendments will be submitted.

7. The Provisional President will designate plenipotentiaries to negotiate a Convention of Evacuation reading as follows:

“I. The Dominican Government hereby recognizes the validity of all the Executive and Departmental Orders promulgated by the Military Government and published in the Official Gazette, which may have levied taxes, authorized expenditures, or established rights on behalf of third persons, and the contracts which may have been entered into in accordance with those Orders or with any law of the Republic. These Orders and Contracts are those listed below:27

“The Dominican Government likewise recognizes the Executive and Departmental orders above mentioned as having been laws of the Republic from the date of their promulgation and agrees that they shall remain in full force and effect unless and until they are severally and lawfully abrogated. The Dominican Government further agrees that neither the subsequent abrogation of these orders, nor any law, executive order or other official act of the Dominican Government, shall affect the validity and security of rights acquired in accordance with those orders and contracts of the Military Government.

“II. The Dominican Government, in accordance with the provisions of Article I, specifically recognizes the bond issue of 1918 and the twenty-year five and one-half percent Customs Administration Sinking Fund Gold Bond Issue authorized in 1922, as legal, binding, [Page 31] and irrevocable obligations of the Republic, and pledges its full faith and credit to the maintenance of the service of these bond issues, and to the complete execution of the contracts in accordance with which the bonds were issued.

“III. The Dominican Government and the Government of the United States agree that the Convention signed on February 8, 1907, between the United States and the Dominican Republic, shall remain in force so long as any bonds of the issues of 1918 and 1922 shall remain unpaid, and that the duties of the General Receiver of Dominican Customs appointed in accordance with that Convention shall be extended to include the collection and application of the revenues pledged for the service of these bond issues in accordance with the terms of the Executive Orders and of the contracts under which the bonds were issued.

“IV. This agreement shall take effect after its approval by the Senate of the United States and the Congress of the Dominican Republic.[”]

[This Convention will be referred to the Dominican Congress for its approval. The Congress will, in addition, pass a law recognizing, independently of the Convention of Ratification, the validity of the orders referred to in the said Convention.]28

8. The members of the Judicial Power will be elected in accordance with the Constitution.

9. After all the steps specified in the foregoing articles have been taken, and after the Dominican Congress has approved the Convention and enacted the law referred to in Article 7, the members of the Executive Power will be elected in accordance with the Constitution. Immediately upon taking possession of his office, the President will sign the law ratifying the Executive Orders and the Convention of Evacuation, and the Military Forces of the United States will then leave the Dominican Republic.

  1. English draft of memorandum not found in Department files; the text printed infra is a translation of the Spanish version.
  2. List omitted from the original.
  3. This paragraph appears in all the earlier drafts of the memorandum. That it was inadvertently omitted from the Spanish version, here translated, is evinced by the text of article 9, infra.