The Acting Secretary of State to the Special Representative of the Secretary of State (Wilson)

Sir: With reference to the instruction dated August 13, 1940,7 directing you to proceed to Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic, [Page 801] for the purpose of negotiating an agreement to modify or supersede the Convention of 1924, you are requested, after making yourself acquainted with the Dominican authorities authorized to negotiate, to say that the Secretary of State has directed you to proceed to Ciudad Trujillo, not with any idea of opening new negotiations, but rather of continuing those which have been in course during the past five years and, if possible, bringing them to a conclusion satisfactory to both governments. You should say that you feel it essential that your negotiations be brief, since the question at issue has already been thoroughly explored, and that your mission represents the sincere and final attempt of the Department to reach a happy solution of this long outstanding question.

It is believed that you should outline briefly the course of the negotiations, as well as emphasize the commitments which the United States has undertaken vis-à-vis the holders of the bonds of 1922 and 1926. Having in view these commitments, you may wish to explain in detail to the Dominican authorities why the proposals advanced in the Dominican note of December 18, 1939, and readvanced in the Dominican note of June 25, 1940, are unacceptable to the Government of the United States. Moreover, any convention agreed upon will require favorable action by the United States Senate, which would of course desire to give full consideration to the rights of the bondholders.

Thereafter, you may wish to take up the draft of the proposed convention (draft X) recently handed the Dominican Minister in Washington, and explain that this document has been developed after protracted study of the question at issue and represents a basis which it is hoped the Dominican Government will accept for the present discussion. For your confidential information, draft X represents in principle approximately the least which it is believed would be acceptable to the bondholders and the Senate.

You may then wish to inform the Dominican negotiators that you and your Government will of course be prepared to consider carefully any suggestions which they may wish to advance which, in their opinion, would make the proposed draft more acceptable to the Dominican Government. These, as they are submitted, should be referred to the Department for comment.

Should an agreement be reached, you will be authorized by the Department to initial ad referendum in order that it may later be incorporated in an official document and signed in Washington by the Secretary of State and a Dominican representative.

Very truly yours,

Sumner Welles
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