722.2315/1458a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ecuadoran Minister for Foreign Affairs (Tobar Donoso)18

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil and the United States are deeply concerned by the continuance, particularly at a time when continental solidarity is vital, of the difficulties which for over a century have perturbed the relations between Ecuador and Peru.

The Governments of the two countries involved have given many proofs of their earnest desire to remove this cause of friction between them. They have been in almost constant discussion and negotiation over a period of many years in an effort to agree upon a common boundary. However, in spite of the fact that some progress has [Page 222] been made and that the two parties have agreed to submit the matter to arbitration, it must be recognized that as of the present date the controversy contains serious possibilities of dangerous developments.

Other continents are aflame with hate and violence. Every day the theater of war extends to wider horizons.

Confronted with a crisis in world affairs of a magnitude heretofore totally unknown, the American Republics have frequently declared, and at the meeting of Foreign Ministers held at Habana in July 1940 reiterated, their irrevocable determination to omit no effort to prevent any controversy which might impair their solidarity. The continuance of any situation that results in the impairment of harmonious relations between two of the American Republics diminishes and undermines the strength of that solidarity.

Conscious of the desire of both the Government of Ecuador and the Government of Peru to settle their long-standing boundary dispute, as repeatedly evidence[d] by both countries, and impressed by the necessity, in this critical hour, of the American Republics drawing ever closer together in an unshakable determination to maintain unimpaired their peace, territorial integrity, and security, the Governments of Argentina, Brazil and the United States tender their friendly services in furthering the prompt, equitable and final settlement of the dispute to the Government of Ecuador and to the Government of Peru to be availed of by those Governments, together with the services of such other Governments as they are both desirous of inviting, in such manner as may be deemed appropriate and advantageous.

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil and the United States earnestly and sincerely hope that the Governments of Ecuador and Peru, appreciative of the high motives which have inspired this action, will give the proposal their most attentive and urgent consideration.

Accept [etc.]

Cordell Hull
  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, to the Peruvian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Sol y Muro). Beginning on April 24, 1941, reports were received that relations between Ecuador and Peru were becoming strained and that armed conflict over the boundary might develop. Following consultation between the Governments of Argentina, Brazil, and the United States, the offer of friendly services was made by the three Governments as set forth in this telegram.