840.48 Refugees/2718

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Willard F. Barber of the Division of the American Republics

Participants: Dr. Dana Munro of Princeton University;
Mr. Leon Falk of the Dominican Republic Settlement Association;
Mr. Duggan;19 Mr. Bonsal;20
Mr. Maney of Eu; Mr. Barber.

Dr. Munro and Mr. Falk called to discuss the work and the prospects of the Dominican Republic Settlement Association. It was brought out that Mr. Falk may become President of the Association and devote all of his time to its work.

Dr. Munro inquired if the Department was disposed to cooperate in the settlement project, and was reassured by Messrs. Duggan and Bonsal that the Department’s fullest cooperation could be counted upon. There then ensued a general discussion of the problems that confront the Association, such as the attitude of the settlers to their Dominican neighbors, the nature of the settlers’ farm cooperatives, products that are being raised, etc.

The investigating commission of eight experts organized under the Brookings Institution, headed by Dr. Munro, is now preparing its report on the economic outlook for the settlement, and its recommendations for future activities.

In response to a question by Mr. Duggan, Mr. Falk stated that in his opinion there would be a very small percentage of the settlers who would look upon their stay in the Dominican Republic as a stepping stone to obtain admittance into the United States. Mr. Bonsal inquired [Page 444] as to the learning of Spanish by the refugees, and health, social, and labor conditions that prevailed in the Sosua settlement.

Mr. Falk stated that about eighty families were now self-supporting and that he hoped by the end of another year the remaining ones would become independent of the Association’s funds.

In response to a question, Mr. Falk was unable to state what numbers of settlers the Association expected within the next year, as the obtaining of proper papers for refugees, and getting their release from German-occupied countries made it impossible to estimate the number of persons who might be added to the 400 settlers who are now at Sosua.

  1. Laurence Duggan, Adviser on Political Relations.
  2. Philip W. Bonsal, Acting Chief of the Division of the American Republics.