836.48 1930 Hurricane/23: Telegram

The Dominican Government to the Dominican Legation at Washington17

[Translation]

Your cablegram received. Situation appalling. Cyclone destroyed 90 per cent of this city, with estimated loss of at least thirty millions. Up to the present, eight hundred bodies have been recovered and an immense number injured. We are going on recovering more dead and injured. It is necessary to cremate bodies for lack of time for burials. Families are sheltered in churches, schools and public buildings still habitable. No news from rest of country. Rivers are in high flood. Lack of food is being felt. Families without clothing. Medical supplies insufficient to care for so many injured. We are therefore in need of everything. It is urgent to [Page 728]communicate this to the American Government; to the representatives of friendly nations in your city, to the American Press, to the Red Cross and to the noble American people.

The National Congress, facing this great catastrophe has passed a law essentially as follows: there are hereby suspended such constitutional guarantees as may be so suspended under the Constitution. The President of the Republic is invested with authority to take such steps whether economic or of any other character, which may be necessary to aid the towns and persons and save property, raise funds on public credit, distribute relief supplies, and in general to do whatever he understands to be demanded under the present circumstances.

Act quickly. Ask the assistance of the Dominican Consuls there. We beg you to sound out the State Department as to their feeling as to the possible necessity of a loan. Communicate text of this to Mr. Gann, Advisor of Legation, in order to have his valuable cooperation.

  1. Left at the Department by the Dominican Chargé on September 5, 1930.