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

No. 2534

Sir: I have the honor to report that the first tentative arrangement concluded under the Cooperative Defense Agreement13 was signed in Quito, January 24, at 7 p.m. by Colonel Alberto Romero, Colonel A. Alban Borja and Ricardo Astudillo, for Ecuador; E. B. Lyon, Brigadier General, U.S.A., and William M. Sergeant, U.S.N.R., for our country. Two copies in English and two in Spanish were signed. One of each remained with Colonel Romero and General Lyon. The latter took his to General Andrews, Quarry Heights. I attach hereto as enclosures Nos. 1 and 2 one copy in English and one in Spanish.

I am informed that the negotiations were conducted at Salinas where the agreement was drafted, but, as Ecuadoran officials felt they lacked authorization to sign, the negotiating parties flew to Quito, and after conferences with the Minister of National Defense (who previously consulted the President) received his approval to the plan and agreement. I think some slight reservations were made to the effect that if found to be susceptible of improvement (or possibly amplification) the agreement might be modified later.

The President of Ecuador received General Lyon a couple of hours previous to the signing of the agreement, and when reference was made thereto the President said that he was familiar with it and thought that instead of having it good for a year after the signing of peace, we might employ the same phraseology as had been used in the Cooperative Defense Agreement as to termination. It was explained that a year might be needed to dismantle the base and/or reach understandings and carry them out. The President did not press this point, so the signers did not alter paragraph fifteen.

Extension of Defense Zone To Include Puná, Guayaquil, Playas, and Posorja

Oral Suggestions Made by Colonel Astudillo to General Lyon on January 24th., 7:00 p.m.

Colonel Astudillo suggests for consideration of the commander of the 15th District that in the 4th military zone in Ecuador it might be hazardous to have only an air force at Santa Elena point. He urges, [Page 366] that consideration be given to Play as and Posorja in order to prevent any force from going behind Santa Elena and isolating the point.

The Colonel, by the same token, pointed out that it would be wise to have some forces on Puná, which commands the entrance to the harbor at Guayaquil. He felt that with these two additions the troops at Santa Elena would have ample protection.

The Colonel also pointed out that at Punta Piedras there were 4 cannon (Armstrong, 105 mm) and in addition there were scattered along the coast 8 batteries (32 cannon) (Krupp 75 mm), but no ammunition. Could we assist Ecuador in this regard?

General Lyon said that such things were beyond his authority, but he would mention them to General Andrews.

Respectfully yours,

Boaz Long

Agreement Concerning the Use of the Salinas District as a Defense Site

Duly empowered by Colonel Carlos A. Guerrero, Minister for the National Defense of Ecuador, and by the Commanding General of the Caribbean Defense Command of the United States of America, respectively, Colonel Alberto Carlos Romero, Superior Commander of the Army of Ecuador, and Brigadier General Edwin B. Lyon, United States Army, met and agreed on the following clauses which, to be of force, must be previously approved and ratified by the governments of Ecuador and the United States of America,

The governments of the United States of America and Ecuador have, through their diplomatic representatives, reached an agreement of Cooperation by both the countries for the defense of the continent.
To this effect, Colonel Alberto Carlos Romero empowers the Commanding General of the Caribbean Defense Command to occupy the fields of the district Salinas, belonging to the jurisdiction of the same name, in order to build on them landing fields, headquarters, storage for fuel, warehouses, quays for shipping, etc. and to use them for military, naval and aerial purposes; as well as to install in the waters of the same territorial section buoys and to use them for landing of airplanes and anchorage of all kinds of vessels, etc.
He also allows him to complete, within the same zone, radio installations, submarine cables, etc., and to use them for military purposes.
The boundaries of the fields and water areas where the above mentioned constructions and installations will be effected, are fixed in the adjoining sketch and plan.
He also allows the Commanding General of the Caribbean Defense Command to organize an American police for internal service during the stay of the personnel of the Army, Navy and Aviation of the United States of America on Ecuadorian soil.
The above mentioned constructions may be started as soon as the present agreement is signed. General Lyon agrees to recommend that there be paid immediately to the Government of Ecuador the sum of thirty five thousand American dollars for the expropriation of the terrains affected by this agreement and as indemnization for the constructions which must be demolished for the completion of the above mentioned works and installations, this sum to be the total cost under the present plan of the rights granted by Ecuador to the United States.
The Government of Ecuador takes charge of the legal procedure for the expropriation and evacuation of the real estate situated within the boundaries of the aforesaid district of Salinas which General Lyon may request.
The Government of the United States of America may empower any of its officials to carry out the works and installations comprised in the present agreement.
The Government of Ecuador grants, under its guarantee, the remaining capacity of transportation by the railroad Guayaquil–Salinas, in order that it may be used to carry the passengers and cargo necessary for the authorized works and installations and for mutual defense. Such transportation will be paid for by the United States Government at the regular tariff.
The armed forces of the United States of America are empowered to take all measures and steps for the sanitation of the places occupied by them and their surroundings.
The roads and all means of conveyance and communication which are within the territory and those leading to it comprised in the present agreement, may be freely used by the armed forces of the United States.
In any time and under any circumstance, the Government of Ecuador retains its sovereign power on the whole territory of the Republic, including the lands of the present territory.
The arrival of the American forces at the places comprised in the present agreement and their stay in them during the existence of the aforesaid agreement are permitted.
If it were necessary to use the American land forces outside the area of Salinas, in cooperation with the Ecuadorian forces for mutual defense against a common enemy, the said land forces of both [Page 368] the nations would be put under command of the Ecuadorian officer whom the Government of Ecuador would appoint. The American Air forces, of the Army as well as of the Navy, will remain always under the commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command for the general defense of the Canal area.
The present agreement will be in force until one year after the signature of peace by the Government of the United States of America with the Axis Powers, and it may be renewed after this time by agreement of both parties.

Witnessed by
Alberto Romero

Coronel Ecuador
Witnessed by
E. B. Lyon

Brig. Genl. U.S. Army

A. Alban Borja

R. Astudillo

William M. Sergeant

Lt. (C.E.C.) USNR
  1. The Cooperative Defense Agreement (not printed), under which this arrangement was made, was not actually signed until January 31, 1942. It provided that each government would go to the aid of the other, when requested, for defense from enemy attack, that defense installations were for joint use, that articles to be used in defense measures be entered duty free, and that the agreement remain in force for the period of the emergency and thereafter if agreed to.