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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 7, 1903

Dominican Republic,   pp. 390-405 PDF (6.3 MB)

Page 401

be a physical blockade established, as both of their naval vessels are at
this time in this port. Again, our Government does not recognize that its
commerce shall be crippled by what might be called a paper blockade; that
is, if such a blockade exists. 
 I can also say to you that the forcible prevention to your entering the
ports of Puerto Plata and Samana, and the order from the minister of war
of this Republic stating that you should not enter the ports named, were
wrong, and that in so doing he exceeded his right, as this Government had
not declared these ports to be in a state of blockade, and I shall place
these facts before the honorable Secretary of State. 
 In regard to the statement that if you do not land this cargo at this port,
you will not be allowed to leave, I do not think will be put into execution;
but if it should, and you feel confident that you can take the vessel over
the bar without imperiling the lives of passengers and crew, or endangering
the vessel, I suggest that you give the usual signal for pilot. If, after
a reasonable time none appears, or if one should appear and report and afterwards
leave your vessel before he has performed the duty he has been called to
do, by order of this Government, I, as the representative of your Government
to this Republic, would advise you to take your vessel out of the harbor,
after you have fulfilled all necessary and legal requirements, and in so
doing you have my official sanction. 
 In regard to the ports for which you have cargo, I would advise you to enter,
leaving it to this Government to forcibly prevent you. As a matter of right,
can not; as a matter of force, they might. 
    I have, etc.,    W. F. POWELL, 
United States Chargé d'Affaires. 
.[Inclosure 7.—Translation.J 
Mr. Galvan to Mr. Powell. 
Santo Domingo, November 1, 1903. 
 HONORABLE SIR: I have read the attentive note of your excellency, dated
October 31 last, relating to the interpretation that your excellency believes
to be given to clause 14 of the contract existing between the Dominican Government
and the shipping company of the United States, W. P. Clyde & Co., as
said clause is written, in the opinion of your excellency, in the exclusive
interest of the said company. 
 The Government of the writer differs notably in the opinion of that of your
excellency, and believes that as that clause has all the tenor of the contract
in its spirit and in its letter has been stipulated in the interest of both
parties, and never to injure the one nor the other, as it results injuriously
for the Republic as in the case that has provoked the controversy as to the
motive of the cargo destined to the ports occupied by the actual rebellion
in the Cibao against the legitimate Government of the~ Republic, as the Government
of your excellency understands it before the reserve of rights which the
Dominican Government establishes, before whom it makes a response especially
for the exercise of diplomatic action, by which are mixed several distinctive
jurisdictions intervening in the controversy of the parties, as manifested
in the infraction of article 22 of the clyde concession, that is the only
law of the parties by common exception to all civil contracts. 
I have the honor to reiterate, etc., 
[Inclosure 8.1 
Mr. Powell to Mr. Galvan. 
Santo Domingo LYity, 1\Tovember 3~ 1903. 
 SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's commnunition
of November 1, informing me that your excellency had, by a decree of October
30, closed the ports of Monte Cristi, Puerto Plata, Samana, and Sanchez to
all maritime commerce, in order to repress armed rebellion in that section.
 I have the honor to call to your excellency's attention that the closing
of these ports took place, according to your letter, two days before your
excellency had the honor to inform me. 

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