811.24522/7–1644: Telegram

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

710. Department’s 602, July 14, 7 p.m.

The arguments for concluding the Galápagos agreement before the Constituent Assembly in August are definitely compelling and are the following: (a) The Velasco government has dictatorial powers at present but after convening of Assembly these will presumably lapse with the result that any agreement would probably necessitate approval by the new Congress and thus be far more difficult; (b) the present Government is by no means firmly entrenched and there is much evidence that an attempt against it may be made in the near future, possibly even before the Assembly; and … I feel as stated in my previous telegram that every effort should be made to nail down this offer before the Government changes its mind.
I fear that to attempt to incorporate in the same agreement provisions regarding the Salinas base would serve to delay matters and might inspire a request for compensation for both. I therefore recommend that the Galápagos agreement be concluded first and I venture to repeat with the minimum of delay. However, I believe that all necessary preparations should be made to permit the negotiation of the Salinas agreement immediately upon the conclusion of the Galápagos agreement.