The Ambassador in Ecuador (Scotten) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:48 p.m.]
322. The President called the Minister for Foreign Affairs and myself to his office this morning to discuss the Galápagos agreement. He immediately referred to Article II as proposed in the Department’s instruction 539 February 23 and stated that although he realized that it would be impossible for us to give up the base immediately upon the expiration of the war, the one year period would be inacceptable to the Ecuadorean Congress as it is unnecessarily long and would create the impression that we desired to stay there indefinitely. He said a shorter period was essential and I therefore inquired whether 6 months would be acceptable. He agreed but stated that some explanation would have to be inserted in the agreement and he proposed the following terminology to follow the phrase world martial conflict: “and for 6 months after its termination, a period which is considered necessary for a demobilization”.
I await the Department’s instructions on this point.
The President accepted the amendment regarding postage stamps as set forth in point 3.
Although the Minister for Foreign Affairs seemed disposed to accept point 1 in the Department’s instruction regarding ratification the President called my attention to the fact that the Salinas agreement contains a ratification clause in its preamble and stated he was unable to understand why we insisted that this clause be omitted from the Galápagos agreement. I am hopeful in my further discussions of being able to persuade the President to accede to our position but in the meantime it would be helpful if the Department would inform me why in this respect it views the Galápagos agreement as necessarily differing from the Salinas agreement.
Regarding point 4 in the Department’s instruction the President insisted that most of the changes where [were?] necessary from the standpoint of accurate interpretation of the Spanish language. The Minister for Foreign Affairs suggested that he and I could go over all the changes in detail with a view to reconciling the apparent differences. Although I pointed out that since I would have to submit each change to the Department and this would cause a considerable delay the President insisted that this be done. I will report to the Department after my conversation with the Minister.