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

No. 5

Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 550, dated February 17 [27], regarding the financial situation in the Dominican Republic, there is transmitted herewith for your information and comment a copy of a letter dated March 8, 1924,15 from the former Secretary of the Navy inviting the Department’s attention to the increasingly critical condition of the Republic’s finances. Mr. Denby also states that “an American financial adviser in the Dominican Government, with authority established by mutual assent of the two countries, somewhat along the lines of the arrangement in Haiti, is imperatively needed.”

The Department desires an expression of your opinion by cable, whether you consider the situation so serious as to make it advisable for the Department to authorize you to discuss this matter informally with the Provisional President in order to ascertain his views in the premises, and more especially whether he would make the suggestion to the Commission that the Provisional Government ask the United States to designate a suitable person as Financial Adviser. It is, of course, considered essential by the Department that the initiative in this matter should come from the Dominicans themselves, that any decision on this point should be arrived at by the Provisional Government of its own judgment and that the Commission should be committed to such a decision, so that there would be reasonable assurance that, later on, there would be no serious opposition to such a course either among the political leaders or the people in general. The Department considers it especially important that no unfounded suspicion should arise in the minds of the Dominican people that an attempt is being made to prolong the control of this Government over the Republic beyond the time of evacuation, other than that provided in the Treaty of 1907.16 [Page 647] The Department’s desire in this matter is merely to render suck assistance as it properly can to the Dominican Government and people in order that they may solve, in a satisfactory manner, their financial and other problems.

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes