810.20 Defense/1934

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

No. 2498

Subject: Army or Navy or Both at Salinas.



Up to the writing of this despatch, January 15, 5 p.m., the instruction that I have from the Department is that the Navy is interested in establishing an advance Naval air base at Salinas and as we view it here everything has been done to facilitate the proper handling of whoever may come. (See Department’s telegram No. 18, January 10, 8 p.m. and my reply No. 33, January 12, 2 p.m.6). Not only did Ecuador collaborate in sending to Salinas a representative of its Navy Department along with our Naval Attaché, but Captain Anda was given instructions to look carefully over the ground desired by our Naval Officers from Panamá, who visited Salinas on the 7, 8, and 9th of January.

The representatives of both navies (Captain Anda and Commander Greenacre) returned to Quito on January 14 and had an interview with the President which was satisfactory. He gave his approval to the plan after examining the map showing the land desired and reading a description thereof. To remove any possibility of misunderstanding I handed the President a confidential memorandum outlining the duties of each Government. See enclosure No. 1.7 He approved the procedure in principle.

Upon leaving the President we visited the home of the Defense Minister who had just returned from Cayambe, and reviewed the whole matter with him. Colonel Guerrero borrowed the outline map of the property to be used by our Navy, also the description, and while approving in principle, offered to go further into the matter upon returning from Salinas Friday. He also thought the outline of procedure satisfactory.

To both the President and the Minister we explained that the selection of lands as provisionally made by our Naval Officers from Panamá had been cut down by a couple of blocks by Captain Anda to avoid the removal of some rather substantial houses: we knew the land desired would not be less than indicated and it well might be more, depending upon military necessities.

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Thereafter my telegram No. 37 of January 14, 9 p.m.9 was despatched.

The President inquired as to its size and about when the Navy contingent would be reaching Salinas and we informed him that we were not as yet advised, but had the impression some 300 personnel would arrive most any time.


In a telegram, through our Embassy at Panamá, dated January 13, 4 p.m.,10 General Andrews11 indicated his desire to establish a small base of supporting ground troops temporarily at Salinas and Galápagos, as he understood Ecuador had made either available for such purposes.

He sent a representative, Colonel Connell, to Salinas, November 13th who is understood to have conferred with Major Renshaw also the Navy men indicated above, and tentatively to have indicated the approximate location the Army might prefer to utilize. We were not told its exact location, but as it neither interfered with what the Navy desired, or what the Chief of our Air Mission (Major Renshaw) wished for the primary training school, it was thought there would be no conflict. Moreover, the site indicated by the Army had no buildings on it which should simplify its occupation without delay.

Captain Anda and Commander Greenacre mentioned the above to the President and the Defense Minister on January 14th. All thought it would be satisfactory. The Ecuadoran Executive and his Minister wondered how many there would be of the Army contingent. None of us knew, but speculated there might be around 700.

We have neither map nor description of the lands desired by the Army, but if and when the contingent arrives we will endeavor to have a representative of the Ecuadoran Government on the ground to facilitate all arrangements.

Colonel Procter has notified the Defense Minister in writing of the Army’s temporary interest at Salinas.

Rumor has it that Ecuador will install a full Colonel in charge of this country’s troops at Salinas.

This despatch should be read in conjunction with our No. 2492 of January 13, 1942.12

Respectfully yours,

Boaz Long
  1. Latter not printed; it indicated Ecuador’s acquiescence (810.20 Defense/1892).
  2. Not printed. According to its terms Ecuador was to obtain the land, remove all buildings, and cooperate in maintaining the base by issuing police regulations; the United States was to build the base and compensate Ecuador for its expenses.
  3. Not printed; it indicated the President’s acceptance of the Salinas arrangement (810.20 Defense/1901).
  4. Not found in Department files.
  5. Maj. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command.
  6. Not printed; in this despatch the Minister reported that he had conferred with the President on Commander Greenacre’s plans and received the President’s approval (810.20 Defense/1908).