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

No. 3384

Sir: Referring to my despatch No. 3375 of June 18, 1936,56 reporting delivery to the Dominican Government of a note regarding the floating debt of the Dominican Republic, in pursuance of the Department’s airmail instruction No. 433 of June 13, I have the honor to inform the Department that in the course of a visit at the Foreign Office this morning the Minister for Foreign Affairs brought up the subject matter of my note and inquired as to the significance of this representation.

In response, I summarized the points of the note. In the ensuing conversation I received the impression that the Minister for Foreign Affairs had not adequately studied the language of the Dominican Law No. 1096 of April 29 last or of the related Treasury notice dated May 8, regarding the procedure to be followed by holders of so-called certificates of analyses of floating debt claims against the Dominican Government. The Minister referred to but showed no disposition to insist upon the alleged superior value of the proposed new Treasury certificates to be exchanged for existing certificates held by floating debt creditors. He asserted that the Dominican Government had already reduced its floating debt from approximately three and a quarter million dollars to less than two million dollars. He said it was difficult to set a time limit for the liquidation of the debt and then added that the Dominican Government had paid $1,600,000 on its floating debt. I did not pursue the discussion of figures but stated that the friendly representations we had made in our note of June 18 regarding the floating debt might, as we hoped, facilitate the Dominican Government’s further formulation of a practical administrative policy looking to the liquidation of its floating debt.

It was apparent from my conversation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs that, while he was not personally well informed regarding the floating debt question, this matter may now emerge from the relative obscurity to which it had been relegated among the problems of the Dominican Government to a more conspicuous place among the major problems which should have sustained attention. In this event, the representations we have made should be salutary for holders of admitted claims against the Dominican Government, as well as for the Dominican Government’s own guidance and for improved relations [Page 467] both with our Government and the governments of other foreign claimants.

Respectfully yours,

H. F. Arthur Schoenfeld
  1. Not printed.