811.24522/55: Telegram

The Ambassador in Ecuador (Scotten) to the Secretary of State

123. Reference Department’s 95, February 7, 3 p.m.41 In my opinion the word “ratified” in the preamble [of] the Ecuadoran counterdraft does not signify necessity for approval by the Ecuadoran Congress. This type of agreement may be “ratified” in Ecuador by a simple act of the President. This was done in the case of the Salinas Agreement.42

While there appears to be, as pointed out by the Department, an inconsistency between the preamble and article 2, I feel sure the Ecuadoran Government would reconcile this either by omitting the expression [Page 1055] in the preamble regarding “ratification”, or if they desire to retain this wording, as well as that in article 2, the President under his powers could “ratify” the agreement simultaneously with the signature.

Without querying the Ecuadoran Government regarding the amendment suggested in point 3 of the Department’s telegram, I cannot, of course, say definitely but I do not believe there would be objection to the agreement continuing in force for 6 months after the end of the present conflict.

If a specific terminal date is set for the agreement I agree that the additional paragraph in article 3 is superfluous. It may be that Ecuadoran Government would be willing to omit this paragraph if the Department insists. However, it appears to have been put in for political reasons and to have little practical importance from our point of view.

  1. Not printed.
  2. This agreement, which was signed on January 24, 1942, empowered the United States to establish a military base in the Salinas District. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. vi, p. 366.