Memorandum by the Chairman of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

In a recent conversation with the Commanding General, Army Air Forces,51 the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs52 requested the information indicated by the five questions listed below. The Joint Chiefs of Staff submit the following replies:

1. Q: The wartime cost of United States installations on the Galápagos Islands?

A: Aggregate expenditures of the War and Navy Departments total approximately $8,120,000.

[Page 1021]

2. Q: An estimated corresponding pre-war peacetime cost of these installations?

A: $6,731,000. This estimate is derived by comparison of the Index of Construction Costs for 1937 with the average of such indexes for 1942/43 as published in the Engineering News Record.

3. Q: The yearly lease price the United States would be willing to pay for such installations?

A: The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that a valid appraisal could only be reached at the governmental level with due regard to all the military political and financial factors involved. They know of no basis for relative estimate or comparison except the yearly rental of $250,000 paid to Panama for lease of the Canal Zone.

4. Q: The desired period such a lease should run?

A: Ninety-nine years or longer, if obtainable from the Government of Ecuador.

5. Q: The shortest possible period for which such a lease would be acceptable?

A: Twenty-five years with mutually satisfactory renewal privilege.

The State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee concurs in the above views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

H. Freeman Matthews

[Following the termination of hostilities with Japan, notification was sent to Embassies of countries receiving Lend-Lease aid that Lend-Lease operations were being terminated. For text of note, see circular telegram of October 6, 1945, 8 a.m., printed on page 256. The note sent to the Ecuadoran Chargé was dated September 28, 1945.]

  1. Gen. Henry H. Arnold.
  2. Spruille Braden.