740.0011 EW/1–1745: Telegram

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

55. We greatly appreciate the splendid manner in which you have handled the important matter which was the subject of your telegrams nos. 47, 49 and 50. Your actions and the line you took before the President and the Foreign Minister are fully approved.

With reference to the proposed exchange of notes, the Department would prefer not thus to go on record, but if you find that the situation cannot be handled in any other way, an exchange of notes as follows would be approved:

“In the interview which was held between the Minister of Foreign Relations of Ecuador and the Ambassador of the United States of America on January 18, 1945, the Minister (conferring with the President of the Republic) stated to the Ambassador that: (1) Ecuador desired fully to comply with its international obligations and in particular those stemming from inter-American commitments taken at inter-American conferences and meetings of Foreign Ministers; (2) [Page 1002] aggression by a non-American state against an American state constitutes aggression against all of the American republics; (3) aggression has occurred against several American states; (4) Ecuador has thus far cooperated fully in the war against the Axis but now desires to formalize its status and in connection therewith to declare the existence of a state of war with Japan; (5) although Ecuador will not be able to make further important material contribution to the defeat of the Axis, it does desire to align itself shoulder to shoulder with the United Nations and fully to contribute its moral force to the defeat of the aggressors; (6) the Ambassador of the United States of America stated that a declaration of a state of war by Ecuador would not commit Ecuador to make any concessions and that any future bilateral or multilteral arrangements as might seem desirable would, of course, be the subject of full discussion and negotiation, and that any decision thereon would be entirely subject to the sovereign will of Ecuador. The Minister asked if the declaration would, in the opinion of the United States, modify in any degree the previous bilateral agreements or could, in any manner, exert influence on diplomatic negotiations relative to the Galápagos and Salinas in such a way as to give the United States a preferred position.”

The following is the note with which you would reply to the Foreign Minister:

“The Government of Ecuador, having manifested its desire to formalize its status in the present struggle against the Axis by a declaration of the existence of a state of war in accordance with previous inter-American acts, especially those of Lima, Panama, Habana and Bio de Janeiro, the Government of the United States of America desires to assure the Government of Ecuador that such a declaration would not, in any way, modify the relations between the two countries, nor could it affect bilateral agreements already formalized or those which might later be formalized (such as arrangements concerning the Galápagos Islands and Salinas). It is the view of the Government of the United States that such a declaration by Ecuador is a matter entirely distinct, independent and unrelated with such agreements. Any future bilateral or multilateral agreements would be, of course, the subject of full and complete discussion and Ecuador’s approval or disapproval thereof would be entirely subject to the sovereign will of Ecuador.”

Stetttnius