The Minister in Ecuador ( Gonzalez ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 26.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 97 August 8, 1935, with which I transmitted a copy of the note addressed to the Ecuadorean Foreign Office by the British Chargé d’Affaires in Quito. It will be recalled that the communication in question endeavored to elicit the views of the Government of Ecuador relative to the conversion of one or more of the islands into a nature sanctuary under the supervision of that Government for the preservation of the fauna of the Galápagos Islands.
Under date of September 11, 1935, the Foreign Office replied and I enclose herewith for the Department’s information a translation of the Note made by the British Legation.24 It will be observed that it is the intention of the Government to dedicate one of the islands as a natural history museum with the object of preserving the fauna and, if possible, to establish natural and artificial biological laboratories in the form of international scientific stations. The note concludes with the statement that the Ecuadorean Government would welcome suggestions and particulars on the subject which the Department of Natural History of the British Museum might wish to formulate.
In view of the friendly attitude taken by the Government towards the proposed conversion of one of the islands into a nature sanctuary and the establishment of international scientific stations, the door would now appear to be open for American scientific institutions interested in the preservation of the fauna of the Galápagos to discuss [Page 526] with their British colleagues ways and means for achieving the purpose in view to the end that they may be in accord on the suggestions and recommendations which may be submitted to the Government.
The British Chargé informs me further that in transmitting the reply to his Government, he has pointed out that it should be borne in mind that very little, if any, financial contribution for the purpose in view can be expected from the local authorities, and that, therefore, in formulating any suggestions on the subject, this point should be fully covered.
In view of recent political developments and that the portfolio of Foreign Affairs was vacant for three weeks, a suitable occasion has not presented itself to communicate to the Minister the oral statement directed in the Department’s instruction No. 44 of July 22, 1935. However, I expect that I shall have an opportunity during the course of the present week to converse with the new Minister for Foreign Affairs25 when I shall bring up the question of our sympathetic interest in the protection of wild life on this hemisphere and in the endeavors of private institutions directed toward securing such protection for the fauna of the Galápagos Islands.