740.0011 PW/2–545: Telegram

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

103. My telegram number 100 of February 4, 10 a.m. The Quito papers publish this morning the text of Ecuador’s declaration of war on Japan which is being forwarded by airmail today.

[Page 1006]

The declaration dated February 2 which is signed by the President and members of his Cabinet after referring to Ecuador’s commitments at the Lima, Panama and Habana Conferences states that following Japan’s aggression on the United States, Ecuador hastened to collaborate with the United States in the continental defense and permitted a temporary occupation of one of the Galápagos Islands and Salinas; that “having been established in a definite manner, the aggression of Japan at Pearl Harbor against an American [state?], Ecuador necessarily felt the offense as its own, and in so far as its cooperation in the continental defense with the United States was concerned, it has been and is in the legally correct position vis-à-vis the attacked state;” that in accordance with these principles and antecedents and having been authorized by the Constitutional Assembly and “obeying moreover a latent sentiment in the minds of the Ecuadoran people, the Government desires to declare that Ecuador from December 7, 1941, the date of the attack on Pearl Harbor, has been and is in a state of war with Japan, an express declaration which will be brought to the attention of the American Nations in pursuit of a closer relationship with the states of the continent and for fortifying their common securities.” The declaration concludes by stating that it will not affect the constitutional orders or the normal operation of Ecuadoran internal policy, and that it will not signify in the future the acceptance of responsibilities other than those which fall to Ecuador in proportion to its potentialities and fall to it as a member of the community of the American states.