839.00/2564: Telegram

The Commissioner in the Dominican Republic (Welles) to the Secretary of State

6. I have today received from Admiral Robison, Military Governor, two letters in which he advises me that he has informed the [Page 40] Navy Department that the following changes should be made in the plan as signed in Washington. The major changes recommended are as follows:

The substitution for fourth sentence of article 2 of following: [“] There should be no change in the personnel of these departments during the term of the Provisional Government except for duly proved cause satisfactory to the President of the Dominican Civil Service Commission (an American appointee of the Military Government) who himself cannot be removed without the consent of the Military Government”.
In addition to the three places of concentration for the American forces of occupation provided for in article 2, the addition of a supply base at Puerto Plata and the stationing of additional companies at two other points to be replaced by Dominican forces in the discretion of the Military Government.
Addition in article 2 of provision whereby Provisional Government must recognize rights of the Military Government to maintain United States military patrols wherever United States military forces may be stationed and the right of trial by its court of all cases arising between United States military forces and Dominican citizens and sojourners.
Now proposed [New proposal?] in article 2 whereby the Provisional Government promises to receive all Dominican political prisoners [and] agrees to subject them to Dominican laws now in force with reference to reduction of sentence and to grant no paroles without approval of the Military Government.
To change the last sentence of article 2 to the following: “From the date of the inauguration of the Provisional Government peace and order will be maintained by the Policia Nacional Dominicana except in the case of serious disturbances, which in the opinion of the Provisional President and the Military Governor, cannot be suppressed by the forces of the Policia Nacional Dominicana. From the date of the installation of the Provisional Government and until the completion of six months’ training of the class of Dominican cadets commencing on or about August 15th, 1922, the Policia Nacional Dominicana will be officered by the present corps of Dominican officers supplemented by the necessary United States officers and will be under the command of the Military Governor who will make such disposition of the troops as is desired by the Provisional President and which the Provisional President may consider necessary to preserve peace and order. At the conclusion of the six months’ training and not later than February 23rd, 1923, all commissions of United States Marine and United States Navy medical officers in the Policia Nacional Dominicana will be vacated, all connection with the Military Government of the Policia Nacional Dominicana will be severed and the command of the Policia Nacional Dominicana will be turned over to the command of the Provisional President.”
Insertion between articles 2 and 3 of an additional article providing that all [administrative regulations?] and orders in force upon inauguration of Provisional Government shall continue in force during the term of that Government except that the Provisional [Page 41] President will be empowered to promulgate legislation necessary to accomplish the purposes for which the Provisional Government is installed.
Addition of two articles at the end of the present plan “should the steps specified in the foregoing articles not have been taken and a duly constituted Dominican Government elected and ready to take office by March 1st, 1924, the United States Government will again assume control of the Dominican Government. The Provisional President and Ministers of the Provisional Government shall take the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution and shall take also oath to abide by the terms the present plan.”

The Military Governor likewise states that provision should be made in the plan for continuation of the work on the east and west roads and that the Provisional Government should be required to limit the budget for the year 1923 to 90% of the best estimates of revenue.

With regard to these proposed amendments, I beg to lay before you the following considerations which I believe is [are] of vital importance at this time. The Dominican leaders who signed the agreement in Washington were officially and definitely informed on June 30th that the only changes which the Government of the United States reserved the right to make in the plan were such as might be deemed necessary to protect the rights of [third] persons not amply protected in the words of the present draft convention, it being specifically stated that any changes which might be made would be solely for the object above stated. The Dominican people throughout the Republic have been informed of this assurance by the Dominican leaders. Under the circumstances I believe the amendments to the plan proposed by the Military Governor would be regarded by the signers of the agreement and by the Dominican people generally as [a breach of faith] and will inevitably destroy all the work of the United States. I am confident that if I were instructed to insist upon any of these amendments to the plan negotiations would at once be terminated by the Dominican leaders.

If however I were to be instructed to discuss with the members of the committee the substance of amendments number 2, number 3, number 6, the first portion of number 4 and the latter portion of number 7, I am hopeful that they would consent to these requirements as the subject of an exchange of notes between them and the Department of State through its representatives here by which the members of the Provisional Government selected by them would likewise be bound. The other amendments proposed would I feel sure be accepted neither as insertions in the plan nor as the subject for an agreement of the nature above described. Amendment number 5 in particular would be regarded as the requirement in a [Page 42] new guise of the military mission proposed in the plan published June 14th, 1921,37 which was unanimously rejected by the Dominican people.

I hope therefore that representatives may be advised by cable without delay that the Department is unwilling to cancel the assurances given to the Dominican leaders that the provisions of the plan as signed in Washington would not be changed except for the one reason stipulated at that time and that the Navy Department may be requested to instruct the Military Governor that the plan as signed is final except in the one instance above noted and not open to further modification (except perhaps in phraseology with the consent of the Department of State and the Dominican leaders) and that the disposition of the Military Government must therefore be adapted to conform to the provisions of the plan as now constituted.