722.2315/703: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Colombia (Caffery)7

50. As you are probably aware, the Ecuadoran Government is handing a memorandum to all the American Governments, in effect serving notice of Ecuador’s interest as an “Amazon country” in the situation arising from the Leticia incident. Copies of this memorandum are being sent you by mail. The following is given you for your confidential information by way of background and probable explanation of the memorandum:

Minister Dawson’s recent despatches have shown an increasing [Page 362] sentiment on the part of the Ecuadoran public that the Ecuadoran Government should not stand idly by while events which may affect her territorial rights are taking place. This feeling resulted in the creation of an “Advisory Board on Foreign Relations” composed of 15 prominent Ecuadorans for the purpose of cooperating with the Foreign Office with particular reference to “the international situation which has arisen as a result of the Leticia incident”. This board has been meeting frequently with the Foreign Minister. Recently Minister Dawson reported that a member of the board told him in conversation that “Ecuador’s future depends on the Oriente region, including an outlet to the Amazon basin, and that the present is an opportune time for the country to seek a hearing for its just claims”. Mr. Dawson inferred that he “contemplated perhaps an effort to obtain the moral support of the United States and other American countries for a settlement of the Oriente question in which Ecuador would have an opportunity to be heard”.

  1. The same telegram was sent, November 16, to the Ambassador in Peru (No. 75).