The Ambassador in Ecuador (Scotten) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:20 p.m.]
128. The Minister of the Interior32 in conversation with our Naval Attaché33 a few days ago expressed considerable bitterness at the long [Page 849] delay in receiving airplanes from the US. He stated he had seen pictures indicating that large numbers of American airplanes were being scrapped and dumped into the ocean. He added that the Equadorian pilots, many of whom had been trained in the US, are now flying antiquated training planes at considerable personal risk. He stated that these pilots are complaining that due to lack of airplanes, they are unable to maintain their flying proficiency. He added that unless Ecuador actually receives some airplanes by the end of March, Ecuador will realize that it cannot expect any planes and will “wash its hands of the whole business and demand its territory back”.34
Although he did not elaborate on this statement, the Naval Attaché assumes he was referring to our base in the Galápagos.
- Carlos Guevara Moreno.↩
- Comdr. Daniel J. Clinton.↩
- In telegram 90, March 12, 1946, 1 p.m., to Quito, the Acting Secretary of State indicated that 2 PBY’s, 12 P–47’s, 4 C–47’s, and 4 light transport planes were to he available, together with ground equipment for 1 infantry battalion and 1 battery of light field artillery (822.248/3–646).↩