The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Ecuador
252. Please see President Velasco presenting following proposal and leaving memorandum with him listing points covered:
To arrange for operation of Galápagos base after July 1, 1946, US and Ecuador will exchange notes by which:
- Base will be Ecuadoran (you may explain that we favor the Ecuadoran suggestion that jurisdiction be exercised through the Ecuadoran Minister of National Defense).
- Each nation will exercise immediate command and jurisdiction of its own personnel stationed at the base.
- Base will be jointly operated by US and Ecuador.
- A joint technical commission composed of equal numbers of Ecuadoran and US representatives will recommend to the two Governments the details of participation of each in operation of the base, to include the provision of personnel, real estate, installations, equipment, and maintenance expenses. (You may informally assure the President that the US expects to keep sufficient installations and equipment for operation of the base and is willing to assume the major share of the maintenance as long as US personnel continue to be stationed in the Galápagos. If pressed as to the concept of the term “major share” you may say that this should be construed as including all maintenance except that maintenance required by Ecuadoran personnel.)
- US technical personnel stationed in the Galápagos may be made available to the US Military and Naval Missions in Ecuador for the training of personnel of Ecuadoran Air and Naval forces.
- US service aircraft and Naval vessels will be authorized freely to utilize base.
- The above arrangement will remain in effect for a period of 10 years, beginning July 1, 1946, with provision for renewal at the expiration of this period by mutual agreement. It may be terminated by mutual agreement prior to expiration of 10 years. (You should try for a period of 10 years, but should insist on no less than 5 years. Explain to the President that US provision of personnel, equipment and expenditures of funds can only be justified before the US Congress on the basis of an assured use of the site and its facilities over a period of years).
Regarding omission of reference to Ecuadoran Commanding Officer in number 2 above, War Dept believes if base is placed under Minister [Page 854] of National Defense, right to appoint Ecuadoran officer to command is implied.
Inform President we are prepared to carry out ceremony of turning over the base to Ecuador July 1, or any date thereafter convenient to him and that this Government will be pleased to furnish transportation to a limited number of Ecuadoran officials attending ceremony.
Please inform Dept of your interview, also date set for turning over base and arrangements made by you and General Crittenberger, who is receiving instructions from War Department.