Discussions regarding United States–Dominican treaty obligations with respect to claims and trade relations

[Claims: On January 9, 1946, the Foreign Office of the Dominican Republic addressed a note to the American Embassy indicating that that Government had made payment of the final balance of all bona fide American claims in accordance with the Hull–Trujillo Convention signed at Washington on September 24, 1940 (Department of State Treaty Series No. 965; 55 Stat. (pt. 2) 1114). The Dominican Government rejected the contention of the United States Government that, under the exchange of notes at the time of the Hull-Trujillo Convention, the Dominican Government should continue to set aside the sum of $125,000.00 annually until all bona fide claims of American nationals had been liquidated. The Dominican Government maintained that only those claims approved for payment at the time of the exchange of notes and those known to the Government at that time, although not then approved, were comprehended under the terms of the exchange and that all such claims had been liquidated; the United States Government maintained that certain claims known to the Dominican Government at the time of the exchange and subsequently approved for payment remained outstanding. The Dominican Government did not include the $125,000 item in the 1946 budget for bona fide claims payments.

In response to the Secretary’s inquiry of December 9, Ambassador George H. Butler noted in despatch 275, December 12, 1946, that it [Page 835] was reasonable to anticipate (in the event that the annual appropriations were not continued) that approved claims would be paid by specific appropriations or by allotments from specially appropriated funds, and the Embassy knew of no reason why existing procedures of submitting claims to the Dominican Claims Commission should not be continued (439.11/12–1246).

Trade Relations: The most-favored-nation commitment in the Agreement of September 25, 1924, between the United States and the Dominican Republic (Foreign Relations, 1924, volume i, pages 666670) was explicitly contingent upon the ability of either party to discharge the obligation under domestic legislation not inconsistent therewith. The Philippine Trade Act approved April 30, 1946 (Public Law No. 371, 79th Congress) clearly precluded the discharge of the obligation on the part of the United States by requiring that preferential tariff treatment prescribed for products of the Republic of the Philippines “shall not, by reason of any … existing … agreement with any third country, be extended to such country, or its products, citizens, or subjects.” The Department in its note of May 4, 1946, to the Dominican Embassy, proposed a prospective agreement that the 1924 Agreement “shall not be understood to require the extension to the Dominican Republic of advantages accorded by the United States to the Philippines.” The Dominican Embassy in its note of October 7, 1946, accepted the Department’s proposal. For texts of the exchange of notes by the United States and the Dominican Republic on May 4 and October 7, 1946, on trade relations with the Philippines, see Department of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1572, or 61 Stat. (pt. 3) 2441.]