810.20 Defense/1814/10

The Chargé in the Dominican Republic (Hinkle) to the Secretary of State
No. 1273

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a memorandum of the conversation held this afternoon between members of the American Military Mission and President Troncoso de la Concha at which I was present. This memorandum, prepared with the concurrence of Colonel Del Valle, Lieutenant Colonel Randolph and myself, has my entire endorsement. Copies of the memorandum have already been forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, and the Chief of War Plans Division, War Department.

Respectfully yours,

Eugene M. Hinkle
[Enclosure]
Memorandum Report of a Conference Held Monday, June 17, 1940, at the Presidential Office, Ciudad Trujillo
[Page 102]
Present:
President Troncoso of the Dominican Republic.
Brigadier-General Hector Trujillo, M. M., representing the Dominican Army;
Mr. Eugene M. Hinkle, Chargé d’Affaires, of the United States of America;
Colonel P. A. del Valle, U. S. Marine Corps, representing the United States Navy; and,
Lieutenant-Colonel Norman Randolph, U. S. Army, representing the United States Army.

The conference began about 5:00 p.m.

The American Chargé d’Affaires made an introduction of the subject and of the members of the Mission. Colonel del Valle as spokesman for the Mission set forth each of the points which the Mission had instructions to discuss beginning with the three main points, namely:

First

Preparation of the Dominican Republic for defense against attack.

Second

Assistance to the United States in case that government was obliged to undertake military operations in connection with hemisphere defense.

Third

Assistance required by the Dominican Republic for its defense against foreign aggression.

President Troncoso then was allowed time in which to formulate his reply in general to these questions.

President Troncoso replied that the state of their defense was known to us and that their military capacity was just sufficient for maintaining order; that they were willing to do anything in general to assist our operations as publicly stated by former President Trujillo, and that the details of these questions and of the question of the assistance required by the Republic from the United States for its defense would have to be worked out at a military conference later.

Colonel del Valle then continued with the remainder of the questions and they were all agreed to without demur by both the President and the Chief of Staff. It was fully agreed that at a later date staff conferences would be authorized between representatives of the United States Army and Navy and the military and naval representatives of the Dominican Republic for the purpose of formulating plans of mutual defense in case of foreign aggression.

The questions of the construction by our government of an air field at the expense of the United States with the proviso that we were to have the use of it in proceeding to and from our Puerto Rico bases, and in proceeding to the assistance of another Latin American Republic [Page 103]which was in danger were brought out and were accepted in principle including the proviso that defense and security measures would be jointly taken by both governments. Sovereignty would remain with the Dominican Government. Details of these measures were also to be discussed in the staff conferences.

President Troncoso assured us that the Generalissimo was in full accord with their acceptance of our proposals and that he had expressed a desire to have a conference with the members of the Mission as soon as the state of his health permitted.

The American Chargé d’Affaires assured the President that the officers of the Mission would remain here at his disposal awaiting the call to make the visit to the Generalissimo.

During the conference the President showed Mr. Hinkle a copy of a telegram his government had just received from the Dominican Minister in Haiti reporting that the Haitan government had been approached by us for the establishment of air bases in that country. The President seemed put out by the fact that this information should have been passed on presumably by the Haitians to his Minister.

The conference was terminated at about 7:00 p.m.

Eugene M. Hinkle

Chargé d’Affaires, of the United States of America
P. A. del valle

Colonel, U. S. Marine Corps
Norman Randolph

Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army