840.48 Refugees/1312b: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Bullitt )

41. Hold for Rublee. Houston19 has returned from the Dominican Republic, where he was cordially received by the Foreign Minister, President Peynado and General Trujillo and presented to them a plan for the settlement of up to 100,000 refugees. Before his departure he received from President Peynado a memorandum along the following lines:

“The plan referred to, which if accepted by the Dominican Government would furnish the basis for a special agreement and for more attentive and careful consideration, has, in its general lines, the sympathy of the Dominican Government, which would be willing to approve it after a more detailed discussion of some details and of its modus operandi particularly with reference to the following questions:”

The questions raised were: (a) the necessity that the majority of the refugees should actually devote themselves to agriculture; (b) that the residence tax of six dollars a year should be paid by the refugees; (c) that the financing of the settlement should be on a sound basis to prevent their becoming a public charge; (d) that arrangements should be made to prevent these refugees from reclaiming German citizenship in the event of a change of regime in Germany and thus creating a minority problem.

The memorandum concluded with assurances that the Dominican Government would look with favor upon the admission of political refugees and that it would welcome an expert mission to make preliminary surveys.

General Trujillo emphasized to Mr. Houston that the Dominican Republic was prepared to take 100,000 refugees if not more. We cannot accept that figure without some reserve but an opportunity for the settlement of large numbers apparently does exist.

The refugee economic corporation is proceeding with plans for the financing of settlement in the Dominican Republic and plans are being made to send an expert mission. The Dominican authorities state that they do not intend to give this matter publicity but that they have no objection to Houston or his principals giving it publicity and that the Dominican representative in London will be in a position to give full information if questioned. After discussion with Houston [Page 71] we feel that the project should have as little publicity as possible. We note a story in the New York Times of January 17 quoting the Dominican Consul General in London as stating that his Government would accept 100,000 refugees.

  1. Alfred Houston, representative of the President’s Advisory Committee on Political Refugees.