File No. 422.11G93/824.

Minister Hartman to the Secretary of State.

No. 145.]

Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegram of October 11, 1915, 6 p.m., and to my telegram of October 13, 3 p.m., I have the honor to make the following report.

The first information this Legation received that the Congress of Ecuador was even considering such a resolution was furnished it on the evening of October 6, when a translation of the resolution, and of the report of the mixed committee reporting the same was delivered to the Legation. At the same time the Legation was informed that the resolutions had been considered in secret joint session of the Congress, but that they would probably be considered in open session before the close of Congress, which was to, and did, close on October 8. Accordingly, on October 7 I personally called upon President Plaza, brought the matter to his attention and requested him to use his good offices to prevent the passage of the resolutions. His answer to that request was that he would speak to Dr. Baquerizo Moreno, the President of the Senate, leaving the [Page 362]implication that his remarks to Dr. Baquerizo Moreno would be in harmony with my request.

The next information I received on the subject was that the resolutions had passed Congress at 11 o’clock on the morning of October 8.

Immediately upon receipt of the Department’s telegram of October 11, I prepared and delivered to the Minister for Foreign Affairs my note No. 154 of October 13, 1915, of which copies are herewith enclosed. To this note no answer has yet been received.

I also enclose herewith for the information of the Department Spanish copies of the resolutions and the committee report thereon, with translation.

I respectfully point out to the Department that the first paragraph of its telegram above mentioned is not entirely sustained by the resolutions in this, that the resolutions do not instruct the Defensor Fiscal to embargo the properties of the Railway Company in order to obtain immediate possession thereof. But the statement is sufficiently accurate, and certainly all the facts make a case which justify the protest made. Indeed, I should have felt entirely warranted in filing a note of protest even in the absence of any instruction from the Department.

I have [etc.]

Chas. S. Hartman.
[Inclosure 1.]

Minister Hartman to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

No. 154.]

Mr. Minister: In compliance with telegraphic instructions from my Government, I have the honor respectfully to invite your excellency’s attention to the following important subject, and to submit some views of my Government in relation thereto.

The fact of the passage by the Ecuadorian Congress of a resolution declaring that arbitration of differences between the Government of Ecuador and the Guayaquil & Quito Railway Company under the arbitration agreement stipulated for previously has lapsed, and instructing the Fiscal Attorney, in agreement with the Minister of Public Works, to bring and prosecute suit against the Railway Company in the courts of Ecuador, has been brought to the knowledge of the Department of State at Washington.

That action of this nature should have been taken by the Congress of Ecuador is a matter of great surprise to the Government of the United States; and in pursuance of my instructions it becomes my duty to make formal and earnest protest to your excellency’s Government against such action, which, if persisted in, would make it necessary for my Government to consider the adoption of such measures as will give adequate protection to this American corporation in its just rights.

That the Government of Ecuador should entertain or consider taking such a step is all the more surprising to the Department of State of my Government at this time when the exercise of its good offices has been requested to assist Ecuador in securing a loan in the United States, where the obvious effect of the reported proceedings against the Railway Company will be highly detrimental.

Your excellency’s well known high sense of just, equitable, and fair dealing induces me to believe, with great confidence that your excellency will after due deliberation agree with me, that the action of the Ecuadorian Congress above mentioned was unwarranted and unjustified and not in harmony with the customary friendly relations which, I am glad to say, have existed for so long a time between our respective Governments.

I avail [etc.]

Chas. S. Hartman
[Page 363]
[Inclosure 2—Translation.]

Resolution passed by Congress October 8, 1915.

Whereas the legal term of six months having expired within which the Arbitrators Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno and A. L. Miller should have pronounced on the controversy between the Government of Ecuador and the Guayaquil & Quito Railway Company respecting said railway, the arbitration agreement has lapsed; and

Whereas the arbitration agreement having lapsed, legal jurisdiction is restored, according to Article 77 and Clause 2 of Article 82 of the Organic Law of the Judicial Power. Therefore be it

Resolved by the Congress of the Republic of Ecuador:

  • Article 1. The Fiscal Attorney, in agreement with the Minister of Public Works, shall bring suit to compel the said Company to fulfill its obligations to Ecuador; without prejudice, however, to the negotiation of bases for an extrajudicial settlement or of bases for a new arbitration not open to the objections made to the previous one, said bases to be submitted to the Congress for its approval.
  • Article 2. With due reserve of rights and until final judgment is rendered, the Executive may provisionally agree with the Railway Company upon a friendly and equitable administration and operation of the railway, disbursement of the proceeds thereof, and application of contract provisions not in conflict with said agreement.
  • Article 3. The Executive shall publish in the national and foreign press the facts giving rise to the said controversy and the history thereof, and shall disburse for the purpose, out of the extraordinary expense fund, the amount necessary.