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

No. 449

Sir: With reference to your despatch No. 3452, of August 5, last, enclosing a copy of a note dated July 30, 1936, from the Dominican Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in regard to the floating debt of the Dominican Government, and referring also to your despatch No. 3454 of the same date, reporting a conversation on this subject with the Foreign Secretary, the Department encloses a draft note with the request that you communicate its contents to the Dominican Government.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles

Draft of Note To Be Presented to the Dominican Minister for Foreign Affairs (Bonetti Burgos)

Excellency: By instruction of my Government, I have to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s note of July 30, last, which was in reply to my note of June 18, respecting the floating debt of the Dominican Government.

My Government desires me to say that it was not without surprise that it found in the penultimate paragraph of Your Excellency’s note the statement that the communication did not “in any wise carry with it either express or tacit acceptance of any expression” in my note of June 18 “which might be considered in conflict with the sovereignty of the Dominican State”. My Government is at a loss to understand how any expression or implication contained in my note could possibly be construed as being in any way inconsistent with the recognition of the full sovereignty of the Dominican Republic, a condition which my Government has consistently recognized. The communication which I had the honor to address to Your Excellency by instruction of my Government was confined solely to bringing to the attention of the Dominican Government in the most friendly spirit the question of the liquidation of a debt held largely by American nationals [Page 474] who have received small or no payments upon the amounts due them, notwithstanding the substantial amounts made available to the Dominican Government by the Emergency Law of October, 1931, and by the settlement with the Foreign Bondholders’ Protective Council, Incorporated, in August, 1934, and despite the materially increased income of the Dominican Government from other sources during the last five years. In this regard, my Government was reassured to note in Your Excellency’s communication under acknowledgment that the Dominican Government was making efforts to liquidate the floating debt within the shortest time possible.

With respect to Law No. 1096 of April 29, 1936, and its effect upon American claimants of the floating debt, I am directed by my Government to reiterate to Your Excellency what I said in my note of June 18, namely, that my Government will not regard failure of American claimants to re-submit claims already approved and evidenced by certificates or “analyses” as altering in any way the attitude of my Government concerning the claims or as changing the international responsibility of the Dominican Government in the matter. These claims had been submitted, it will be recalled, in accordance with the prescribed requirements of the Dominican Government, and after consideration by the appropriate Dominican authorities, they were approved for the amounts indicated in the certificates or “analyses”.