840.48 Refugees/2394: Telegram

The Minister in the Dominican Republic (Scotten) to the Secretary of State

18. From Pell.2 I found upon reaching here yesterday that the French had sent a full delegation headed by Barois, their Minister in Cuba, with instructions to use the meeting on January 303 as the occasion for presenting a plan whereby the American Government would undertake to receive a minimum of 60,000 German Jewish refugees a year from unoccupied France over a three years period. Barois, on whom I called, informed me that he was prepared to go into the plan in great detail and had an expert with him who could discuss such technical aspects as the financing and organization of the migration. Barois said that he would wish at least four sessions at which he would develop the project of the French Government and hoped that the other governmental representatives would request instructions in order that they might comment authoritatively on the French plan.

I replied that I had come to the Dominican Republic exclusively for the purpose of attending a ceremonial meeting called to mark the anniversary of the signing of the agreement between the Dominican Republic and Dominican Republic Settlement Association, that I [Page 435] had no authority to discuss the substance of the refugee problem, and that there was no intention on anyone’s part as far as I was aware of holding a working session of the Inter-Governmental Committee. Barois commented that he was under instructions to request a business session of the Intergovernmental Committee. He did not wish to appear discourteous and discuss the French viewpoint at the ceremonial meeting tomorrow.

This morning Mr. Scotten presented me to Foreign Minister Des Pradel and I informed him of the French intentions and emphasized that I had come to Ciudad Trujillo for the sole and specific purpose of marking our interest in the Sosua settlement which was being realized as a result of the generosity of the Dominican Government. Des Pradel said that his Government understood and appreciated this, that it had invited the Governments members of the Intergovernmental Committee to be represented on a ceremonial occasion and that it had no intention of holding and would not consent to the holding of a business session of the Intergovernmental Committee. He said that he would ask the French Minister and Barois to call this afternoon and would inform them to this effect.

I am giving you this information because I believe that the next move of the French will be to carry their case to the press. There are several American correspondents here as guests of the American [Dominican] Republic Settlement Association who are already aware in part of what is taking place. [Pell.]

  1. Robert T. Pell, personal representative of the chairman of the American delegation to the Intergovernmental Committee in negotiation of agreement for resettlement of refugees in the Dominican Republic, January 1940.
  2. A meeting at Ciudad Trujillo to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the contract between the Dominican Government and the Dominican Republic Settlement Association. See telegram No. 10, January 30, 1940, from the Chargé in the Dominican Republic, Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. ii, p. 212; also telegram No. 3768, December 11, 1940, ibid., p. 244.