The Minister in Ecuador (Hartman) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 3.]
Sir: Referring to my despatch No. 466, of November 12, 1919, with which I transmitted to Department triplicate copies, with translation, of a law passed by Congress and approved November 3, 1919, authorizing the President to make an ad referendum contract for a loan to Ecuador with a company which the Government of Italy will organize, I have the honor to inform the Department that the newspapers of this morning publish a cable from Rome under date of June 23, of which the following is a translation:
Rome, June 23. The General Company, which will carry out the provisions of the contract proposed to Ecuador by Colonel Accorsi, has just been organized. This company, which is organized for the special object indicated, was formed with the approval and under the responsibility of the Italian Government, in whose name the contract will be made.
The voyage of the various commissions, of which Colonel Accorsi will be a member, will take place in July.
It is expected that the Government of Ecuador will promptly designate the corresponding commissions, in order to hasten the performance of the definite contract.
The entire law mentioned will be of interest to the Department, but I particularly invite attention to the 14th section of Article 1, the translation of which reads as follows: [Page 184]
Fourteenth. The companies of Italian nationality may obtain, if the Government of Ecuador deems it convenient, preference in contracts for the exploitation of forests and of petroleum and coal mines, etc., in the interior, on the coast, and in the Archipelago of Colon. (Galapagos Islands).
It appears to me that this section is open to the objection that it is a discrimination against the nationals of all countries except Italy.
If there be any further developments, I will advise the Department.
I have [etc.]