422. 11 G 93/1190

The Ecuadoran Minister (Elizalde) to the Secretary of State

No. 15

Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to confirm the oral communication I made yesterday to Your Excellency in the sense that my Government desires to arrive at the earliest possible date at a solution by arbitration, of the questions pending with the Guayaquil and Quito Railway Company.

Article 27 of the Contract with that American Company provides as follows:

“The disputes or disagreements that may arise between the two contracting parties, shall be decided by the President of Ecuador and the President of the United States and if these should not agree or accept to act as arbitrators, they will appoint an arbitrator each to solve any difficulty; and if these should also fail to agree, the same Presidents will appoint an umpire.”

On two occasions the President of Ecuador and the President of the United States appointed their representatives to pass upon the dispute as arbitrators.22 Difficulties springing mainly from the prescriptions and limitations of the law of Ecuador which could not be ignored in organizing the tribunal and the proceedings in the trial, prevented the institution of the arbitral proceedings and caused the retirement of the arbitrators.

The Ecuadorean Congress enacted on November 7, 1920, a law which provides that the Executive Power “shall bring into effect the actions against the said Company, either by bringing them upon the ordinary courts of justice or by referring them to a tribunal of arbitrators organized as provided by the contract which will act with one or two secretaries selected by itself and in the manner and forms which the tribunal itself may elect, without its being necessary to abide by the provisions of the organic law of the Judicial Power.”

In this way, my Government believes it has cleared the way to disposal of a long standing and vexatious question, provided His Excellency, the President of the United States, be willing to resume [Page 891] the office of arbitrator or delegate his right to a special representative, as was done on the two previous occasions.

I avail myself [etc.]

R. H. Elizalde
  1. Presumably the Minister refers to the attempts at arbitration, 1913–14; Mr. Henry L. Janes was first appointed the American Arbitrator and was succeeded by Judge Alexander L. Miller. See Foreign Relations, 1912, p. 421; 1913, p. 494.