839.154/96: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in the Dominican Republic (Warren)4

A–22. The Department’s telegram no. 164, June 4, 19422 and the Legation’s telegram no. 233 of June 9, 1942 regarding the projected overland supply route to the eastern Caribbean. Precise details of this project have yet to be worked out but the Army Engineers’ survey recommends the route from Port-au-Prince over the existing road system through Azua and Ciudad Trujillo to San Pedro de Macorís as the most desirable one. The Department, therefore, wishes to obtain the approval and cooperation of the governments concerned in the first and most important of the steps to be taken in this joint war effort in the hope that work may commence on the highway in the near future.

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A good many details of the plan remain to be worked out. However, it is desired that you discuss the project with President Trujillo along general lines at an early opportunity pointing out that its realization will not only facilitate the moving of supplies to the eastern Caribbean area but will also be of great value in furnishing a supplementary route for Dominican exports and possibly for imports. The Department is confident, in view of the highly cooperative attitude which President Trujillo has demonstrated that he will wholeheartedly assist in the successful carrying out of this project. The lines along which such assistance might be rendered by the Dominican Government include (a) the simplification of formalities covering the storage of through shipments, (b) cooperation in permitting the acquisition of available trucks, (c) assistance to representatives of the Public Roads Administration or other agency of this Government who may proceed to the Dominican Republic in order to make detailed arrangements for road work. You may indicate that this Government will make provision for extraordinary repairs and maintenance costs resulting from truck movements over Dominican roads under the project.

In discussing this matter with President Trujillo you should state that the Department is not unmindful of the very serious restrictions which have been placed upon the movement of automobiles and trucks in the Dominican Republic due to the shortage of petroleum and petroleum products. Careful consideration is being given to this situation.

  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, as No. A–25, on the same date, to the Minister in Haiti.
  2. See footnote 1, p. 269.