The Department of State to the Dominican Embassy

Aide-Mémoire 35

The Department’s note of today’s date informed the Dominican Embassy that it will not be possible for this Government to grant the necessary export permits for the ammunition requested in the Embassy’s note of November 29, 1945.36

This decision was taken only after extended and careful consideration of the many factors involved. In the first place, it was felt that the large amount of ammunition sought by the Dominican Government could be used for only one of two purposes: either against a neighboring republic or against the people of the Dominican Republic; in neither case would the furnishing of these munitions contribute to the cause of peace on the Island of Hispaniola. In the second place, it would not appear that the supplying of these munitions is essential to hemisphere defense. Finally, it does not appear that such action would be conducive to the development of democracy and freedom in the New World, but rather that it might tend to subvert the objectives for the attainment of which so much blood and treasure have been expended by the United Nations.

The Government and people of the United States necessarily have a warmer feeling of friendship for and a greater desire to cooperate with those governments which rest upon the periodically and freely expressed consent of the governed. This Government has over the past years observed the situation in the Dominican Republic and has been unable to perceive that democratic principles have been observed there in theory or in practice. The foregoing conclusion is based upon the lack of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly, as well as upon the suppression of all political opposition and the existence of a one-party system. To furnish large amounts of ammunition in the face of such a situation might be held to constitute both intervention in the internal political affairs of the Dominican Republic and support for the practices just mentioned.

In the opinion of the Government of the United States, the foregoing observations constitute sufficient reason to refuse to furnish the arms and ammunition requested.

  1. By instruction 477, December 28, 1945, the Department directed the Chargé in the Dominican Republic to hand a copy of this aide-mémoire to the Dominican Foreign Minister, to impart its contents to him orally, and to inform him that the aide-mémoire had been handed to the Dominican Ambassador in Washington (839.24/12–2845).
  2. Not printed.