Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Latin American Affairs (Wilson)

Mr. Despradel, the Dominican Minister, came in under instructions from his Government to show a telegram he had received from the Dominican Minister for Foreign Affairs, which reads as follows:

“The Honorable President Trujillo, in an interview granted to La Information (of Santiago), declares emphatically that it is impossible [Page 618] that at any time the punctual payment of interest on the debt should be interrupted, and that the Dominican Government will always know how to honor its credit by fulfilling its obligations. The Ministry of Finance is publishing an official communication in the same sense, in view of the fact that the Listín Diario has suggested that it would be convenient to interrupt the payment of interest. Please inform the Department of State of the foregoing.”

I told Mr. Despradel that I had noted the article in the Listín Diario and that I was glad to be informed of the statement made by President Trujillo and by the Ministry of Finance.

Mr. Despradel then said, “speaking entirely personally and not as the representative of his Government”, that he had gone to New York a few days ago with Mr. Dunn, after the latter had visited the Department, that they had talked with the Guaranty Trust Company, which would be the new Fiscal Agent, and that they had found a “good atmosphere” for the general lines of the plan which the Dominican Government had in mind. He said that when Mr. Dunn came up on his last trip he had told Mr. Dunn that he felt that the approach to the State Department was the wrong way to go about it. He had felt at that time that the initial approach should be to representatives of the bondholders and he had so advised Mr. Dunn and his Government, and he was glad to know that this was now being done. Mr. Despradel also said that he had advised his Government that it should move with the greatest care in this matter and that only on a showing of “absolute necessity” could they hope to get the approval of the bondholders and ultimately of the United States Government for an extension or possible modification of the Emergency Law.

E[dwin] C. W[ilson]