422.11 G 93/1158

The Minister in Ecuador ( Hartman ) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 634

Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegram No. 41, of December 8,12 relating to the interview with the President of Ecuador recently published in the London Times, wherein the President is quoted as favoring foreclosure of the Guayaquil & Quito Railway by the British bondholders; referring also to my telegrams No. 80, of December 13, 6 p.m., No. 81 of December 16, 4 p.m., and No. 85 of December 23, 9 a.m.,13 and to my despatch No. 627 of December 21, 1920,14 I now have the honor to inform the Department that I have received a note from the Minister for Foreign Affairs in answer to my note to him, to which I made reference in the last paragraph of my said despatch No. 627, and I am enclosing, for the information of the Department, triplicate copies, with translation, of the Minister’s note, which is numbered 18, and bears date December 29, 1920.

I have [etc.]

Chas. S. Hartman

The Eucadoran Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Ponce ) to the American Minister ( Hartman )

No. 18

Mr. Minister: Yesterday I received the esteemed note no. 394, in which Your Excellency, under date of December 21, by direction of your Government, communicates the following:

[Page 883]

That in an interview with His Excellency Dr. José Luis Tamayo, President of Ecuador, published in the London Times some months ago, His Excellency Dr. Tamayo was quoted as favoring foreclosure action by the British bondholders of the Guayaquil and Quito Kailway, and that in an interview which Your Excellency had with His Excellency Dr. Tamayo on December 20, the President confirmed the statement attributed to him. Further, that in view of this confirmation, Your Excellency, under instructions from your Government, advises this Ministry of the regret with which the Department of State views this attitude of His Excellency the President of Ecuador with respect to a legitimate American enterprise, the affairs of which are conducted in accordance with the provisions of an award made by representatives of the Government of Ecuador and of the Government of the United States.

I immediately informed the President of the Republic of the contents of Your Excellency’s said note, and in compliance with instructions received from the President, I have the honor to advise Your Excellency of the surprise with which the President learned that the Department of State regrets that the President should express an opinion which is simply the recognition of a condition expressly stated in the said contract, a contract which, for the contracting parties, has the force of law, and the efficacy and effects of which must be and are subordinate, solely and exclusively, to the laws to which it is subject and to the appropriate courts.

I avail myself [etc.]

N. Clemente Ponce
  1. Ibid., p. 203.
  2. Telegrams nos. 80, 81, and 85 not printed.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. ii, p. 204.
  4. File translation revised.