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

No. 437

Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of your despatch No. 3373 of June 17, 1936, reporting your conversation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs relating to the interpretation to be given to Article III of the Dominican-American Convention of December 27, 1924.

The Department approves of the statements you made to the Foreign Minister and desires you to take the opportunity when again in conversation with the Foreign Minister to stress the point that the policy of this Government towards the Dominican Republic is in no way different from that being pursued with every other American Republic; that there is neither partiality nor prejudice but that inasmuch as a convention exists between the two countries it is the opinion of this Government that friendly relations can only be assured and promoted in the way in which it is assumed both Governments desire to further friendly relations if both Governments adhere scrupulously to their treaty obligations so long as the present treaty remains in force and effect. The interpretation given by this Government to Article III of the convention has been given for the purpose of avoiding misunderstandings and disagreements and has been laid down [Page 450] in no sense for the purpose of interfering in any way with the domestic concerns of the Dominican Government beyond the limits clearly established in the treaty itself.

For your confidential information, Señor Pastoriza43 stated to Assistant Secretary Welles on the sixth instant that he personally had already told Señor Bonetti Burgos that he believed the interpretation given to Article III by the United States was entirely sound and entirely in accord with the intent of the negotiators when the treaty was signed and that it was his opinion that Señor Bonetti Burgos coincided in this belief. Señor Pastoriza volunteered the statement that the interpretation given by this Government to Article III was based on “common sense”.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
  1. Andrés Pastoriza, Dominican Minister in the United States.