The Minister in the Dominican Republic ( Scotten ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:53 p.m.]
148. From Wilson. Referring to my 144, August 27, 5 p.m., we had a further meeting with the Dominicans this afternoon. An examination of texts prepared by them in Spanish and ourselves in English revealed no important differences other than the elimination of the phrase in article III relating to pensions.
Despradel explained that the Dominican Government recognized its responsibility for carrying out these pensions, that there was no divergence between us as to the necessity for fulfilling this obligation. The only question was one of “form”. The Minister explained that there were constitutional difficulties in incorporating such a provision in an international agreement. I feel that this was a facade, however, since it emerged that the Dominicans were unwilling to include in a treaty dealing with foreign debt an item which they considered a domestic responsibility. Despradel proposed that at the time of the signature of the treaty there should be an exchange of notes by which the Dominican Government would guarantee to pay throughout their lifetime the present pensions of the two Americans involved, Pulliam and Orme. The Dominican Government would further guarantee immediately to pass the necessary legislation to make these payments effective.[Page 813]
We contested his position. I told him I felt sure that my Government would be disappointed and that I was unable to tell him what our position would be. I need not elaborate further my arguments.
I may add that other than these two only one American, Mr. Norris, has served for a long time in the receivership. He, however, is not entitled under the rules of the receivership to a pension. Speaking in personal capacity only I said yesterday that I thought the Dominican Government might feel under some obligation in respect to Mr. Norris in view of his length of service. Despradel told me today that they were disposed to take care of him by further employment or through some other method.
In respect to the other American employees of the receivership under the regulations of that body they would receive 6 months pay on notice of termination of services.
If you think well of the idea of a telephone conversation suggested in my 144 it would be advantageous to discuss the matter as well at that time. [Wilson.]