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

No. 52

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that there appears to exist a concerted effort on the part of certain members of the Partido Nacional and of the Partido Progresista to induce the public to believe that Señor Peynado, the Presidential candidate of the National Coalition party, is favored for the Presidency by the Government of the United States and that his candidacy is supported financially by the American sugar companies in this Republic.

The object of the two parties first mentioned is undoubtedly to appeal to the prejudice of a considerable element among the Dominicans which is opposed to any individual or any measure which might be considered as favorably regarded by the American Government. Until recently, the members of all of the political parties made no attempt to gain the support of this “irreconcilable” element because of its opposition to the Plan of Evacuation. Political rivalry has, however, now become more intense, and each party is endeavoring to secure strength by every means within its power.

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I consider that this propaganda is principally dangerous because of the fact that it will probably cause the election campaign to develop along pro-American and anti-American lines. Should this be the case, the influence which the American Government may have with the coming Constitutional Government will be seriously diminished, no matter which of the candidates may be elected. I have spoken with the Presidential candidates of both the Partido Nacional and the Partido Progresista regarding this matter, and I have been advised by both that they have made every effort to combat the propaganda of this nature which is being carried on by some of their adherents.

In support of their declarations in this sense, I was advised yesterday by the American Manager of one of the sugar companies in the Province of San Pedro de Macoris, that General Vasquez, the candidate of the Partido Nacional, in several speeches which he made in Macoris and in Seybo in the course of the last week, took particular pains to announce publicly that he had entire confidence in my strict impartiality as regards the candidates in the coming elections and that he was convinced that the Government of the United States had no preference as between the three political parties of this Republic. Señor Velasquez advised me that in several speeches which he was due to make within the next few days in Santiago, La Vega and Moca, he would take occasion to make declarations of the same tenor.

I have [etc.]

Sumner Welles