710 Consultation 4/9–847

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chairman of the United States Delegation (Marshall)

Participants: Secretary Marshall
Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Dr. José Vicente Trujillo
Assistant Secretary Armour
Ambassador Dawson

In apartment of Dr. Trujillo, Hotel Quitandinha, August 20, 1947, 10:30 a.m.

After the customary exchanges, I inquired whether Dr. Trujillo had any comments or suggestions with regard to the treaty to be negotiated. He said that Ecuador had submitted its draft to the Pan American Union two years ago and was making no new proposals at this time. With reference to this draft, he commented briefly on one or two points and particularly on provisions regarding conciliation and the more important functions which Ecuador would entrust to the Governing Board of the Pan American Union.

Dr. Trujillo then referred to Ecuador’s boundary controversy with Peru and said that it had been his intention to request the good offices of the guarantors of the 1942 boundary treaty (the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Chile) in settling a pending dispute over a small tract (less than 100 square kilometers) which a Brazilian arbiter [Page 47] had at first awarded to Ecuador only to reverse his decision a few months later. Dr. Trujillo produced maps showing the tract in dispute and said that his request would be that the original award of the Brazilian arbiter be complied with.

Dr. Trujillo said that in addition he was interested in obtaining U.S. financial assistance particularly for highway development but that he did not wish to bother me with such matters. Mr. Armour remarked that the question had already been taken up by the Ecuadoran Embassy in Washington.85

There followed a brief discussion of Ecuador’s economic situation. The following information was brought out in response to various questions which I put to Dr. Trujillo:

The cost of living in Ecuador has increased by about 60 percent as compared with 1938. Since Ecuador produces most of its food requirements and most of the clothing worn by the common people, this increase in the cost of living is due principally to the rise in the international price level and the higher cost of imports. There are certain minor, not serious shortages particularly in clothing and housing. Ecuador’s principal exports are rice (about 60,000 tons this year), cacao, bananas, balsa wood, and Panama hats. Ecuador is the principal source of supply for balsa wood and the fact that production was greatly increased during the war and has now declined is a disturbing factor. The same is true of quinine. Ecuador’s railways need rolling stock but the road-beds (particularly that of the Guayaquil and Quito railway) are in good condition.

  1. For documentation concerning this subject, see pp. 690 ff.