The Secretary of State to the Secretary of War ( Patterson )
My Dear Mr. Secretary: On December 3, 1945 this Department, in consultation with the War Department, drafted a telegram19 instructing the American Ambassador at Quito to inform the Ecuadoran Foreign Minister20 that this Government desired to reach an agreement with Ecuador giving the United States transit rights and rights of technical stop for its service aircraft at Salinas. These rights were to be granted on a reciprocal basis—that is, Ecuadoran military aircraft would have the same rights at bases in continental United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as our military aircraft would have at Salinas. The Ecuadoran Foreign Minister on December 4, 1945, orally expressed himself to the American Ambassador as being in complete accord with the points covered in the Department’s telegram of December 3 and in a note dated December 8, 1945,21 the Minister stated that his Government was disposed to study an agreement such as that sought by the United States as soon as the Salinas Base should be returned to Ecuador.
As you are aware, the Salinas Base was turned over to Ecuador on February 1st, 1946. This Department is now prepared to initiate an exchange of notes with the Government of Ecuador toward obtaining the desired rights. Before doing so, however, I should appreciate receiving a memorandum from you suggesting any particular language [Page 843] which you may wish to have incorporated into this Department’s note—within the limitations of the Department’s previously mentioned telegram of December 3, 1945 to our Ambassador at Quito. I understand that the War Department has a copy of this telegram.