839.00/2740: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in the Dominican Republic (Russell)

41. Your 51, September 28, 5 p.m. and your despatch 893 of September 18.8

The Department views with the gravest concern any intention on the part of the Commission or the Provisional Government to amend further the electoral law. The law was considered fully and with the utmost deliberation and was adopted with the full consent of all the political parties represented in the coming elections. The Department is consequently unable to acquiesce in the introduction of any further amendments or modifications at this late date. If the apparent desire of the Commission to suppress the provision in the election law requiring all voters to present registration certificates be carried out, it would be impossible for a fair election to be held, and the coming election would be on a par with the elections held in the Dominican Republic in the past, which have, in large part, been [Page 902]responsible for the disturbed conditions existing in the Republic for so many years. The Provisional Government and the electoral boards have had ample opportunity to take all the steps required in Chapter 5 of the Election Law concerning the distribution of cedulas to the registered voters. Should the directors of the political parties and the voters affiliated with one or the other of the parties not have availed themselves of the provisions of the Law from Article 64 to Article 79, inclusive, the responsibility lies upon them. The Department, therefore, believes, in view of these circumstances, that it is far more in the true interest of the Dominican Republic to hold the coming elections in strict conformity with the Election Law as finally adopted last May, even though a considerable percentage of Dominican citizens should be prevented from voting because of their own negligence, than that the election law should be now further amended in a manner so unwise as to make it impossible for the coming elections to give any fair indication of the desires of the Dominican people.

Advise Commission and Provisional President immediately of Department’s views as above expressed.

Hughes
  1. Latter not printed.