811.24522/8–2246: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Ecuador


349. Urtel 438 Aug. 22.48 Dept not favorable linking credit military equipment with Galápagos agreement. If FonMin makes proposal foreseen by you Dept prefers you discourage him; if he insists state you will refer matter Dept.

In any discussion with FonMin you may in your discretion refer in whole or in part following points: 1) military equipment now available to American republics is surplus and is sold only for cash according policy established for whole hemisphere; 2) equipment which might become available under proposed Inter-American Military Cooperation Act cannot be considered now because until Congress passes bill this Govt has no way of knowing what would be available thereunder to any given republic; 3) in accord desires of Ecuadoran Govt, US separated all questions of credit from Galápagos; we agree this was sound move and are opposed to linking matters again. For your confidential info an added factor is Dept doubtful about desirability increasing Ecuador’s debt burden by extending credit for arms.

If FonMin appears expect gift of military equipment in return for Galápagos agreement you may state in effect: this Govt regards hemisphere defense as matter for all American republics since all [Page 858] benefit thereby. While US is desirous of assisting American republics to adopt adequate defense measures, US should not be asked to reimburse any republic for such contribution as is within latter’s capacity to offer. A Galápagos Base is an Ecuadoran contribution hemisphere defense, as vital to Ecuador as to any American republic. US has already stood expenses of constructing of Base and has agreed to maintenance and to assistance in operation and Dept is reasonably certain US Congress would not approve assumption of further expenses on project where benefit is so palpably mutual.

  1. Not printed.