740.22112 RP/8–2046

The Chargé in Ecuador (Shaw) to the Secretary of State

No. 4521

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch no. 4503 of August 14, 1946 transmitting a news item announcing the plan of the Ecuadoran Government to return blocked properties to former Axis owners. Information has come to the Embassy from other sources indicating that this matter is being pushed actively in the present National Constituent Assembly by interested deputies and that names of a number of deputies have been obtained who will support this measure. Both the American Embassy and the British Legation recently have been in receipt of communications from the Foreign Office inquiring as to the possibility of unblocking the assets of individual Axis nationals or sympathizers.

In view of the fact that the Government of Ecuador, or at least an important sector of its representatives in the Constituent Assembly, appears to have decided that the time has come to unblock all the former Axis assets, and, in view of the implied threat of disturbing the status quo of these Axis assets, the Embassy requested an interview with the Foreign Office to discuss this matter. A copy of a memorandum of the ensuing conversation is attached hereto72 for the information of the Department.

The developments in each of the individual cases now pending in the Embassy are being reported to the Department in separate despatches.

It is believed that it would be advantageous and would have a desirable influence upon the Ecuadoran Government if the Department of State and the British Foreign Office should express the point of view of the respective Governments to the Ecuadoran Chiefs of Mission in Washington and in London, so that they might transmit to their Government the information that it was considered undesirable by these Governments, United States and British, for former Axis assets in Ecuador to be unblocked or that the status quo be disturbed. It is hoped that the Department will see no objection to taking this [Page 872] action as soon as possible. The British Legation agrees with the recommendation just made and is today requesting the British Foreign Office to take similar action.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Geo. P. Shaw
  1. Not printed.