The Minister in Ecuador (Long) to the Secretary of State49
Sir: In continuation of my despatch No. 1207 of August 16th, I have the honor to report the arrival here, on September 1st, of Lieutenant Commander J. F. Barbaro.
It was not until September 9th, the date originally mentioned in the Department’s telegram No. 106 of August 4th, that it was possible to initiate the conversations.
The Minister for Foreign Relations requested the Acting Minister of National Defense, Mr. Vicente Illingworth, to arrange the conferences. I introduced the representative of our Navy Department to the Acting Minister, who in turn presented the Assistant Secretary, Colonel Eliodoro Saenz, the Commander in Chief of the Army, Colonel R. A. Villacis, and the Chief of the General Staff, Colonel Francisco Urrutia. Later on, Commander César Mogollon, of the Naval Section, was brought into the conference.
The fact that the new Minister of National Defense had not left Santiago, where he has been serving as Ecuadoran Minister to Chile, caused the persons mentioned above to proceed with some caution. However, conversations were held on the 10th, and part of the information required in the Naval Agenda (Department’s circular telegram of August 4th, 4 p.m.) was obtained, which suggested that fair progress was being made. Thereupon, Commander Barbaro, with the aid of Colonel Urrutia, drafted in pencil the substance of the tentative conclusions reached and handed it to the Acting Minister of National Defense, who offered to let Commander Barbaro know what he thought the next day.
On the 11th, at 3 p.m., the Minister for Foreign Affairs, after conference with the President, advised us that the pencil draft was inadmissible, because some of the paragraphs invaded diplomatic fields, [Page 108]which had no proper place in undertakings of a Naval or Hemisphere Character. Dr. Tobar Donoso suggested that Commander Barbaro resume conferences with Colonel Urrutia, limiting the memorandum they might draft to Naval preparedness steps required by us in collaboration with Ecuador. Commander Barbaro spent the remainder of the afternoon working with Colonel Urrutia, writing up at night a memorandum in connection with Commander Greenacre.
Early on the 12th, this was shown to me, it being explained that a paragraph had been included at the request of Colonel Urrutia, but as this referred to the Galápagos Islands, it was deleted. However, enclosure No. 1 contains the text.51 It serves to illustrate what Colonel Urrutia thought, or possibly what he may have been told to suggest.
The memorandum was then rewritten and shown to the Foreign Minister, at 3:30 p.m. He thought it could not be signed as drafted, but offered to rephrase it in terms that might be acceptable.
At the afternoon meeting of the 13th, the Minister for Foreign Affairs handed us his idea of what a memorandum might include. It was read by Commander Barbaro and myself. Two or three points were discussed, and it became apparent that what Doctor Tobar had redrafted was about all that could be secured at the moment. Commander Barbaro explained that neither Colonel Urrutia nor Commander Mogollon would sign without written instructions, whereupon Dr. Tobar wrote an Okey (Visto Bueno) on the edge and signed it, suggesting that if we showed that to Acting Minister Illingworth he would give the necessary authorization. We immediately proceeded to interview Mr. Illingworth, who, along with Colonel Saenz, read the Tobar redraft, approved it, and said that, if Commander Barbaro brought it back typed in satisfactory form, it would be signed Saturday morning. As the airmail pouch closes before the signatures can be affixed, one copy of the Tobar redraft is enclosed, in the belief that it will be signed as indicated.