The Secretary of State to the Secretary of War (Patterson)


Dear Mr. Secretary: I refer to my letter to you of today’s date31 in regard to negotiations between the United States and Ecuador concerning the Galápagos Base. In considering the attitude which the War and Navy Departments will take in regard to the Galápagos negotiations, I am sure that you and Secretary Forrestal will bear in mind the effect of your decision on other negotiations. It is clear to me that the precedent set with Ecuador will have a bearing on our negotiations with other countries for the base rights set forth in the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for base rights in numerous other places.

From the negotiating standpoint in obtaining base rights, the State Department’s problem is this: If we pay Ecuador twenty million dollars for base rights, is there enough money in Fort Knox to enable us to obtain the base rights elsewhere which have been requested by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In no other negotiations thus far undertaken has money been requested or offered. It is only fair to add, however, that we are just really getting under way in the negotiations and financial considerations may well be raised elsewhere even if it should be decided to withdraw our forces from Ecuador and to suspend negotiations there.

A copy of this letter is being sent to the Secretary of the Navy.

Sincerely yours,

James F. Byrnes
  1. Not printed.