The Chargé in Ecuador ( Shaw ) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 20.]
It is a well known fact that the former owners and their representatives have been active in bringing political pressure to bear with a view to having these various properties returned to them. The effect of their handiwork now has become apparent by the publication in today’s issue of El Comercio of Quito of a projected decree by virtue of which all of the blocked properties would be returned to their former owners.
The Embassy intends to maintain its position that these properties should remain blocked but, as the Government of Ecuador entered into the informal agreement of November 7, 1945, only on the basis that the decree of March 2, 1945 was inapplicable69 and that this situation would have to be reviewed by the next Congress, it appears to be within its rights now to reconsider the whole matter. The Embassy has pointed out, of course, that there are other international commitments which are either definite or implied that this matter should be left pending until the next appropriate Inter-American Congress of States. It is thought highly improbable that Ecuador will follow this line of procedure.
The Embassy would appreciate, in view of the above situation, having any comment which the Department may care to furnish. It particularly would appreciate having a statement of policy as to the attitude to adopt in connection with the return of former Italian properties, especially those mentioned in the Embassy’s despatch no. 4438 of July 27, 1946.70
A copy and translation of the news item which appeared in El Comercio of today are attached hereto70 for the information of the Department.
In view of the Department’s circular airgram of October 9, 1945,70 it would be appreciated also if the Department would comment upon [Page 871] the advisability now of mentioning to the Ecuadoran Government the desirability of maintaining the properties under discussion blocked until the matter of reparations claims may be settled.71