File No. 763.72/3358
The Ecuadoran Minister ( Elizalde) to the Secretary of State
Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to inform your excellency that I have received the following telegram from my Government:
Quito, February 17, 1917.
Minister of Ecuador. Washington. We have answered the cablegram from Mexico as follows: The initiative that we, the American countries, took to secure the union of all in the matter of maintaining the rights of neutrals and allaying the rigors of war, is proof of the conviction they entertain that individual action is fruitless, as joint action will be fruitful. What is lacking is to determine in what form joint action is to be exercised. That may be determined through the immediate meeting of American congress in Uruguay, for instance, for the purpose of agreeing upon measures likely to guarantee the rights of the continental neutrality and allay the rigors of the struggle. Officially lay this idea before the Secretary of State of the United States and the American representatives at the capital where you reside and ask them to forward it to their respective Governments.
Minister of Foreign Relations
The text of the above inserted telegram will have shown to your excellency the object of this note, in the sense of submitting to your excellency’s Government’s consideration the idea of an immediate meeting of an American congress on continental cooperation in maintaining neutral rights and alleviating, as far as possible, the rigors of war.
None of the reasons on which my Government bases its proposition at the present time, or which lead it to believe that it may bring forward at this juncture the results of American continental union which it promotes, will surely escape your excellency’s high ability.
Should your excellency’s Government lend its weighty patronage to the defensive and altruistic undertaking the proposition implies, it may be presumed that the most complete success will very soon crown the joint efforts of all the American peoples.
I avail myself [etc.]