Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (White)

The Dominican Minister and Señor Despradel called by virtue of an appointment made by Mrs. Gann on behalf of her husband who is ill, Mr. Gann being the attorney for the Dominican Financial Commission.1 They had an extract of a letter written by Brache stating that Mr. Gann had said that the Vice President had said that the Secretary had intimated that a loan of $5,000,000 or $10,000,000 would be all right and they exhibited a telegram from President Trujillo desiring to know the definite amount that would be authorized by this Government.

Mr. David Hunter Miller2 was present at this interview as well as at the previous one with Mr. Andres Pastoriza.3 The Dominicans were told that if they would submit a concrete proposal then they could be given a definite statement. They were told that our position is as outlined to them some days ago by Mr. Cotton, namely that the proposal for a $50,000,000 loan is objectionable on several grounds, among them being that the service of such a loan requires too great a proportion of the Government’s income and that the amount is too large. Mr. Cotton had said that no permanent financing should be undertaken at this time but that it might be possible to arrange some temporary financing. The Minister wanted a definite authorization from the Department for a stipulated number of dollars so that he could go to the bankers and say that the Department of State would authorize a loan in that sum. He was told that this could not be done; that if [Page 85] he would get a definite proposal from any banker this would be given careful consideration to see whether the Department could give its consent or not, but that the Department could not consider a hypothetical case. The terms and purposes of the loan would have great effect on determining the Department in its decision as to how much it would authorize.

F[rancis] W[hite]
  1. Composed of Elias Brache, Jr., President of the Commission; Roberto Despradel; and Rafael Brache, Dominican Minister at Washington.

    On January 10, 1931, the Under Secretary of State, Joseph P. Cotton, received the Commission to discuss, and pass upon, the Memorial which had been presented to the President by the Commission and referred to the Department of State. The Department declined to accede to the Dominican request for a loan of $5,000,000 from the Government of the United States and for an authorization to contract a loan of $50,000,000. (839.51 Economic Mission/12)

  2. Editor of Treaties, Office of the Historical Adviser, “who has the question of Dominican finances under study.” (839.51 Economic Mission/2)
  3. Counsel for the Dominican Government.