810.20 Defense/1815/10

The Minister in the Dominican Republic (Scotten) to the Secretary of State
No. 4

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a memorandum of the conversation held this evening between members of the American Military Mission and General Trujillo at which I was present. This memorandum was prepared with the concurrence of Colonel del Valle, Lt. Colonel Randolph and myself, and has my entire endorsement. It is requested that a copy of this memorandum be forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, and the Chief of War Plans Division, War Department.

Respectfully yours,

Robert M. Scotten
[Page 104]
Memorandum Report of Conference Between Representatives of the United States Government and Generalissimo Trujillo, June 21,

The conference took place at about 8:30 p.m. at the country seat of Generalissimo Trujillo. There were present in addition to the Generalissimo his Chief of Staff, General Hector Trujillo, and Lt. Colonel McLaughlin of the Dominican Army. Representing the United States were the Minister, Mr. Robert McGregor Scotten, Colonel del Valle of the United States Marine Corps, and Lt. Colonel Norman Randolph. It is worthy of noting that the Generalissimo received the representatives of the American Government at a time when he was suffering obviously from a serious operation, and the fact that he did receive us was in itself an indication of his good will. The American Minister introduced the general subject of the object of the Military Mission, and there followed a general conversation in the course of which the Generalissimo reiterated again and again that Santo Domingo was 100% with the United States insofar as concerns the necessary measures of hemisphere defense. He stated that anything that we should desire in this connection was ours, and even went so far as to emphasize that should it be necessary the Dominicans were willing to spill their blood in this cause. The Generalissimo showed active interest in the strategical aspects of the various bays and harbors, and the Members of the Mission indicated the possibility of expanding the aviation field at Santo Domingo, lighting it and adding radio direction control. In addition, it was brought out that various auxiliary fields within the radius of about fifty to sixty miles from the capital might be desirable, and particularly the areas about Puerto Plata, San Lorenzo (Samaná Bay) and Calderas Bay were mentioned. Upon his own initiative the Generalissimo set forth the desirability of the location situated on the bay south of La Romana sugar estate (Saona) for a naval and air base controlling the Mona Passage.

The impression gained by the Members of the Military Mission and the Minister was that the Generalissimo spoke without reservation of any sort, and that anything the United States Government desires him to do he will carry out without qualification.

The Minister and Members of the Military Mission noted that the Generalissimo placed considerable emphasis upon the location referred to above, Saona Bay, and feel that (from political, if not military reasons, although the two may be entirely compatible) attention should be given to carrying out his wishes.

The interview was terminated at about 9:30 p.m.