The Minister in Ecuador (Gonzalez) to the Secretary of State

No. 97

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 44 of July 22, 1935 (file No. 822.623/1 [6]), concerning a proposal made by the British Government, in which the cooperation of the American Government was sought, for obtaining protection for the fauna of the Galápagos Islands. I have noted carefully the copies of the correspondence exchanged between the Department and the British Embassy in Washington, as well as the informal statement which it is desired that I make to the Minister for Foreign Affairs when a suitable occasion presents itself.

Immediately upon receipt of the Department’s instruction under acknowledgment, I informed my British colleague that while my Government is interested in every endeavor for the protection of wild life on this hemisphere and is in sympathy with the efforts made by private individuals and institutions to establish protection for the fauna of the Galápagos Islands, it does not deem it advisable, in view of the preliminary legislation by the Ecuadorean Government on this subject, to approach it regarding international control for the preservation of the fauna. I added that on a suitable occasion I would express informally to the Minister the sympathetic interest of my Government in the protection of wild life on this hemisphere and in the endeavor of private individuals and institutions to obtain such protection for the fauna of the Galápagos, and the hope that the measure already taken by the Ecuadorean authorities and other measures to that end, may result in effective protection for the wild life of those islands.

My British colleague considered that the instructions from his Government necessitated his making a formal inquiry to the Foreign Office in order to elicit its views on the subject. I enclose for the information of the Department a copy of the note which Mr. Lee addressed [Page 525] yesterday to the Ecuadorean Government.24 It will be observed, however, that he has limited his inquiry to eliciting the views of the Government upon the possibility of converting one or more of the islands into a nature sanctuary, under the supervision of the Government of Ecuador, for the preservation of the fauna of the Galápagos.

Mr. Lee has offered to acquaint me with whatever reaction to his inquiry which he may receive from the authorities, and I shall not fail to communicate this information to the Department, as well as the substance of the Foreign Minister’s remarks to the oral statement which I have been instructed to make.

Respectfully yours,

Antonio C. Gonzalez
  1. Not printed.