MID files, lot 58 D 738, “Protection”

The Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Cabot) to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs (Anderson)1


Dear Sam: I have received your letter of January 282 expressing your concern at recent developments affecting United States investments in the Dominican Republic. I share your concern and we shall have to consider what additional action should be taken by our Government if matters fail to improve following Ambassador Pheiffer’s recent exploratory talk with Generalissimo Trujillo.

You will by now have received a copy of despatch No. 673 dated January 20, 19543 from Ciudad Trujillo in which Ambassador Pheiffer describes his conversation with Generalissimo Trujillo on this subject. You will note from this despatch that Trujillo gave assurances that he would accord favorable treatment to existing and future American investments in the Dominican Republic and that American companies would not be required to sell or cede their lands to farmers. He also expressed the opinion that the companies should be able to work out their problems in direct negotiations with the Dominican Government, [Page 946] and he appointed an ad hoc Commission to carry on such negotiations with representatives of the companies. You will also note that our Ambassador was encouraged to believe that his representations would result in some short run improvement for the American companies but was not optimistic about the long run outlook.

Insufficient time has elapsed to judge whether any improvement has taken place. The strike threat indicated in Ciudad Trujillo’s telegram No. 82 of January 264 and the continuing, though somewhat abated, attacks against the companies in the controlled press, as described in recent despatches, do not augur well. On the other hand, these developments antedate the commencement of negotiations (if indeed they have commenced) between the companies and the ad hoc Commission. After these discussions have progressed a while, we should have a better idea of what the sugar companies may expect, at least for the immediate future.

I agree with Ambassador Pheiffer’s recommendation in the second paragraph under “Conclusions” of despatch 673 that unless direct negotiations between the companies and the Dominican Government prove fruitless we should not take any further action. If and when further action is indicated, we will consult with you.

Sincerely yours,

John M. Cabot
  1. Drafted by Mr. Connett.
  2. Not found in Department of State files.
  3. Not printed (811.05139/1–2054).
  4. Not printed (839.2351/1–2654).