822.51/12–545: Telegram

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

849. For ExImBank from Applegate. Despite continued promises Ecuadoran Govt has not furnished funds for continuance work Quevedo–Manta Highway. Five percent commission paid to corporation [Page 1059] by Govt being now used for work being done. These funds now exhausted and contractor cannot be guaranteed funds by corporation to continue work unless Govt deposits funds. These, corporation has repeatedly requested since middle of October. Work will stop on highway at end of this week unless immediate action taken. I am in Manta in conference with Ambursen’s manager. He states he cannot continue work unless the corporation can guarantee him necessary funds for purchase of necessary supplies and payrolls. Suggest you advise Galo Plaza of situation so he can communicate your desires to his Govt. I can do nothing further to prevent work stoppage. Progress of work on highway very satisfactory and a suspension now would cost $100,000 in discharge pay and also be considered fatal to the eventual completion of the highway. [Applegate.]