740.0011 Pacific War/983: Telegram

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

528. The substance of Department’s telegram 380, December 10, 5 p.m. seems to have satisfied the Foreign Minister with respect to Peru and Axis influence.

However, he states that notwithstanding the fact that public opinion is urging the Government to break off relations or declare war against Japan Ecuador would first like to know what aid we are prepared to give to patrol and defend the Galápagos Islands. He would appreciate receiving as quickly as possible a statement of our views regarding these islands.53

I explained that there might be some question as to the advisability of any government establishing a base on the islands at this juncture.

The Minister said he at least hoped that Japan would not regard them as worth seizing. He asked whether we would rather arrange for their use or run the risk of having Japan take possession of them?

I offered to refer the matter to the Department.

  1. See section under Ecuador entitled “Cooperation between the United States and Ecuador on certain military measures for hemisphere defense”, vol. vii, pp. 258 ff.