839.00/2462

The Secretary of State to the Minister in the Dominican Republic (Russell), temporarily in the United States

Sir: By direction of the President, you are instructed to return to your post at the earliest opportunity,8 and, in close cooperation with the Military Governor of Santo Domingo, who, it is understood, will return at the same time, to be governed by the following instructions:

As you are aware, upon June 14, last, the Military Governor of Santo Domingo issued, by instruction of this Government, a proclamation to the Dominican people, announcing the intention of the United States to effect an early withdrawal of its military forces from the Dominican Republic if this Government could be assured that the independence and territorial integrity of the Dominican Republic, the maintenance of public order, and the security of life and property, would be adequately safeguarded in the event of such withdrawal and if it were possible to turn over the administration of the Dominican Republic to a responsible Dominican Government, duly established in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Santo Domingo. The Military Governor further announced in that Proclamation the nature of the guarantees required by the United States and the steps to be taken to bring about the proposed evacuation. Unfortunately, the Dominican people have been unwilling to cooperate with the Representatives of this Government in accordance with the provisions of the Proclamation of June 14, and it has been impossible for this Government to make any advance in its program of withdrawal. The inability of the Government of the United States to take any action because of this attitude of the Dominican people is [Page 11]proving gravely prejudicial to our prestige, and the uncertainty which prevails as to the outcome of the situation is making the ultimate accomplishment of what we desire more difficult as time goes on, and is proving positively harmful to commercial and economic conditions in the Republic. This Government cannot permit this condition of uncertainty to continue. After a full consideration of the situation presented, and in pursuance of an attempt to reach the solution of the Dominican situation which will prove most beneficial to the Dominican people and leave no room for doubt that this Government’s only purpose in its relations with the Dominican Republic is to assist the Dominican people in restoring tranquillity and economic prosperity to the Republic and financial stability in their Government, you are instructed, immediately upon your return to Santo Domingo, in cooperation with the Military Governor of Santo Domingo, to call together, for conference, the political leaders of the various political parties in the Republic, as well as other representative Dominicans, and advise the Dominican leaders that the United States is unwilling to permit present conditions to continue any longer, and to inform them that unless they now request the issue of a call for elections as provided in the Proclamation of June 14, 1921, and agree to have their followers participate in such elections, the Proclamation of June 14th will be withdrawn and the administration of the Dominican Republic by the United States will then continue until such time as the urgent public works, now in process of construction, have been completed, and an adequate Dominican constabulary is functioning, and if, thereupon, the administration of the Republic can be turned over to a properly constituted Dominican Government.

You may advise the political leaders that the words “these elections will be held under the supervision of the authorities designated by the Military Governor” used in the Proclamation issued June 14, 1921, were not intended to imply that the authorities so designated should necessarily be officials of the Military Government or officials of the American forces now in the Dominican Republic, but that such authorities to be designated by the Military Governor might well be Dominican citizens recommended for such position by the Dominican political leaders.

You are also instructed to indicate to the party leaders the willingness of this Government to make a final concession as regards Article V of the Convention of Evacuation proposed in the Proclamation of June 14, regarding the sending to Santo Domingo of a Military Mission from the United States, against which Article Dominican opposition appears to have concentrated and that this concession take the form of the omission of that Article from the Convention of Evacuation, with the understanding that the United States Government will [Page 12]maintain a Legation Guard of American Marines until such time as the Government of the United States and the Dominican Government agree that public order is adequately safeguarded by the Dominican constabulary. (An understanding may well be reached, informally, whereby the officers of this Legation Guard may lend their services as instructors in the Dominican constabulary.)

You are further instructed to discuss with the political leaders, with the utmost frankness, the financial situation of the Dominican Government along the lines of the memorandum submitted by the Military Governor of Santo Domingo,9 a copy of which has already been furnished you. It should be made clear to the political leaders that permanent financing is essential to the Dominican Government, and that if such financing is not undertaken immediately by the Military Government, advantage cannot be taken of the terms specified for the redemption of the 1918 and 1921 loans, with consequent loss to the Dominican Treasury; that if such permanent financing is delayed until elections take place and a National Government has been installed, the Dominican Government, immediately upon assumption of office, will be forced to negotiate the flotation of such permanent loan, since it will thereupon encounter a deficit in the National Treasury; and that, therefore, in order that advantage may be taken of the terms provided for the redemption of the 1918 and 1921 loans, in order that Dominican finances may be stabilized, in order that the program of public improvements inaugurated by the Military Government may be continued, and in order that a Dominican Government may enter upon its duties with a balance in the Treasury, the Government of the United States will authorize the Military Government to negotiate, immediately, the flotation of a permanent loan of $10,000,000, the allocation of which will be in accord with the memorandum of the Military Governor.

The flotation by the Military Government of this permanent loan will necessarily entail the extension of the life of the Receivership General of Dominican Customs, the establishment of which was provided by the Convention of 1907 between the United States and the Dominican Republic. Such an extension of our control over Dominican finances will be necessary whether the permanent loan is floated by the Military Government or by a subsequent Dominican Government, since no loan, in all probability, could be obtained without an extension of the duties of the Receiver General in this manner.

Should the conference between you and the Military Governor and the Dominican political leaders result in an agreement on the [Page 13]part of the Dominican leaders to take part in the elections, a proclamation calling elections should then be issued by the Military Governor. Should the conference not result, however, in a request for elections, the Military Governor will be instructed to issue a proclamation substantially in the form of the proclamation enclosed herewith.10

It is contemplated that the Military Governor of Santo Domingo will receive instructions from the Secretary of the Navy similar to these given to you, and that you will cooperate in a spirit of harmony in their observance.

You are directed further to keep the Department fully and promptly advised of developments.

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. Mr. Russell arrived at Santo Domingo on Feb. 19.
  2. Memorandum of Jan. 21, supra.
  3. Not printed; as finally proclaimed, see p. 18.