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no purpose or intention to make even the smallest acquisition of territory on the South American Continent or the islands adjacent. This voluntary and friendly declaration was afterwards repeated to the Secretary of State, and was received by the President and the people of the United States in the frank and cordial spirit in which it was offered. In the memorandum of the 11th of December, his Excellency the German Ambassador repeats these assurances as follows: "We declare especially that under no circumstances do we consider in our proceedings the acquisition or the permanent occupation of Venezuelan territory."

In the said memorandum of the 11th of December, the German Government informs that of the United States that it has certain just claims for money and for damages wrongfully withheld from German subjects by the Government of Venezuela, and that it proposes to take certain coercive measures described in the memorandum to enforce the payment of these just claims.

The President of the United States, appreciating the courtesy of the German Government in making him acquainted with the state of affairs referred to, and not regarding himself as called upon to enter into the consideration of the claims in question, believes that no measures will be taken in this matter by the agents of the German Government which are not in accordance with the well-known purpose, above set forth, of His Majesty the German Emperor. - (Moore, International Law Digest, VI, 590.)

36. President Roosevelt on the Monroe Doctrine, 1904 It is not true that the United States feels any land hunger or entertains any projects as regards the other nations of the Western Hemisphere save such as are for their welfare. All that this country desires is to see the neighbouring countries stable, orderly, and prosperous. Any country whose people conduct themselves well can count upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power. If every country washed by the Caribbean Sea would show the progress in stable and just civilization which with the aid of the Platt amendment Cuba has shown since our troops left the island, and which so many of the republics in both Americas are constantly and brilliantly showing, all question of interference by this nation with their affairs would be at an end. Our interests and those of our southern neighbours are in reality identical. They have great natural riches, and if within their borders the reign of law and justice obtains, prosperity is sure to come to them. While they thus obey the primary laws of civilized society they may rest assured that they will be treated by us in a spirit of cordial and helpful sympathy. We would interfere with them only in the last resort, and then only if it became evident that their inability or unwillingness to do justice at home and abroad had violated the rights of the United States or had invited foreign aggression to the detriment of the entire body of American nations. It is a mere truism to say that every nation, whether in America or anywhere else, which desires to maintain its freedom, and its independence, must ultimately realize that the right to such independence cannot be separated from the responsibility of making good use of it. — (Annual Message, Dec. 6, 1904.)

37. Responsibilities connected with the Monroe Doctrine



I submit herewith a protocol concluded between the Dominican Republic and the United States.

The conditions in the Republic of Santo Domingo have been growing steadily worse for many years. There have been many disturbances and revolutions, and debts have been contracted beyond the power of the Republic to repay. Some of these debts were properly contracted and are held by those who have a legitimate right to their money. Others are without question improper or exorbitant, constituting claims which should never be paid in full and perhaps only to the extent of a very small portion of their nominal value.

Certain foreign countries have long felt themselves aggrieved because of the non-payment of debts due their citizens. The only way by which foreign creditors could ever obtain from the Republic itself any guaranty of payment would be either by the acquisition of territory outright or temporarily, or else by taking possession of the custom-houses, which would of course in itself, in effect, be taking possession of a certain amount of territory.

It has for some time been obvious that those who profit by the Monroe doctrine must accept certain responsibilities along with the rights which it confers; and that the same statement applies to those who uphold the doctrine. It cannot be too often and too emphatically asserted that the United States has not the slightest desire for territorial aggrandizement at the expense of any of its southern neighbours, and will not treat the Monroe doctrine as an excuse for aggrandizement on its part. We do not propose to take any part of Santo Domingo, or exercise any other control over the island save what is necessary to its financial rehabilitation in connection with the collection of revenue, part of which will be turned over to the Government to meet the necessary expense of running it, and part of which will be distributed pro rata among the creditors of the Republic upon a basis of absolute equity. The justification for the United States taking this burden and incurring this responsibility is to be found in the fact that it is incompatible with international equity for the United States to refuse to allow other powers to take the only means at their disposal of satisfying the claims of their creditors and yet to refuse to take, itself, any such steps.

An aggrieved nation can without interfering with the Monroe doctrine take what action it sees fit in the adjustment of its disputes with American states, provided that action does not take the shape of interference with their form of government or of the despoilment of their territory under any disguise. But, short of this, when the question is one of a money claim, the only way which remains, finally, to collect it is a blockade, or bombardment, or the seizure of the custom-houses, and this means, as has been said above, what is in effect a possession, even though only a temporary possession, of territory. The United States then becomes a party in interest, because under the Monroe doctrine it cannot see any European power seize and permanently occupy the territory of one of these Republics; and yet such seizure of territory, disguised or undisguised, may eventually offer the only way in which the power in question can collect any debts, unless there is interference on the part of the United States.

One of the difficult and increasingly complicated problems, which often arise in Santo Domingo, grows out of the violations of contracts and concessions, sometimes improvidently granted, with valuable privileges and exemptions stipulated for upon grossly inadequate considerations which were burdensome to the state, and which are not infrequently disregarded and violated by the governing authorities. Citizens of the United States and of other governments holding these concessions and contracts appeal to their respective governments for active protection and intervention. Except for arbitrary wrong, done or sanctioned by superior authority, to persons or to vested property rights, the United States Government, following its traditional usage in such cases, aims to go no further than the mere use of its good offices, a measure which frequently proves ineffective. On the other hand, there are governments which do sometimes take energetic action for the protection of their subjects in the enforcement of merely contractual claims, and thereupon American concessionaries, supported by powerful influences, make loud appeal to the United States Government in similar cases for similar action. They complain that in the actual posture of affairs their valuable properties are practically confiscated, that American enterprize is paralyzed, and that unless they are fully protected, even by the enforcement of their merely contractual rights, it means the abandonment to the subjects of other governments of the interests of American trade and commerce through the sacrifice of their investments by excessive taxes imposed in violation of contract, and by other devices, and the sacrifice of the output of their mines and other industries, and even of their railway and shipping interests, which they have established in connection with the exploitation of their concessions. Thus the attempted solution of the complex problem by the ordinary methods of diplomacy reacts injuriously upon the United States Government itself, and in a measure paralyzes the action of the Executive in the direction of a sound and consistent policy. The United States Government is embarrassed in its efforts to foster American enterprise and the growth of our commerce through the cultivation of friendly relations with Santo Domingo, by the irritating effects on those relations, and the consequent injurious influence upon that commerce, of frequent interventions. As a method of solution of the complicated problem arbitration has become nugatory, inasmuch as, in the condition of its finances, an award against the Republic is worthless unless its payment is secured by the pledge of at least some portion of the customs revenues. This pledge is ineffectual without actual delivery over of the custom-houses to secure the appropriation of the pledged revenues to the payment of the award. This situation again reacts injuriously upon the relations of the United States with other nations. For when an award and such security are thus obtained, as in the case of the Santo Domingo Improvement Company, some foreign government complains that the award conflicts with its rights, as a creditor, to some portion of these revenues under an alleged prior pledge; and still other governments complain that an award in any considerable sum, secured by pledges of the customs revenues, is prejudicial to the payment of their equally meritorious claims out of the ordinary revenues; and thus controversies are begotten between

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