811.24522/4–345: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Ecuador (Shaw)

642. Ambassador Galo Plaza called at Dept November 1 at his request to discuss Galapagos treaty. You will receive memorandum including details of the conversation.

For your immediate information Ambassador Plaza was told that State Dept has been unable to obtain any commitment from War Dept as to amount latter would pay for use of Galapagos base and that judging from conversations between officers of these Depts War would not consider any sum remotely approximating 20 million dollars. It was emphasized to Plaza that this Govt had never made any commitment whatever as to amount it would pay for Galapagos base and he admitted this.

Negotiations are now at standstill. Plaza urged some action by December 1 so that special session of Ecuadoran Assembly could consider Galapagos matter. He was told in effect that Dept did not anticipate being able to comply with this suggestion in view of his Govt’s insistence upon 20 million dollars as minimum.

It is most important, especially in charged atmosphere which may accompany session of Ecuadoran Assembly, that we should be alert to curb any attempt to accuse this Govt of not living up to its commitment with respect to Galapagos. No such commitment has ever been made. If you become aware of any propaganda of this nature please advise Dept immediately.