The Ambassador in Ecuador (Simmons) to the Secretary of State

No. 984

Sir: With reference to this Embassy’s telegrams nos. 284 of December 4 and 287 of December 8, 1948,1 I have the honor to report that the contract covering the sale to the Ecuadoran Government of the surplus equipment on the Seymour Base in the Galapagos Islands was signed this morning. The Minister of Defense, Manuel Diaz Granados, acted on behalf of the Ecuadoran Government and Major George A. Peck, Jr., signed as Special Representative for Latin America and the Antilles of the Office of the Foreign Liquidation Commissioner.

Preliminary arrangements, for the transfer were made with the Minister of Defense on December 4 in accordance with a telegram received the same day from Major Peck. These provided for a price of US $5,425.24, representing only five percent of total declared cost, and an order from the Ecuadoran Government authorizing the application to the sale of an Ecuadoran Air Force credit with the Foreign Liquidation Commissioner, Balboa, of US $5,547.

This Embassy’s note no. 357 of December 6, 19482 to the Foreign Office recapitulated the foregoing and added, on the basis of available information, that “unfortunately, it has not been possible to include the tug and barges to which reference is made in Your Excellency’s notes nos. 196 and 199 owing to the shortage of such vessels in the United States Army”. (See Embassy despatch no. 934 of November 26, 1948).2

The response of the Foreign Office in its note no. 206 of December 8, 19482 expressed the appreciation of the Ecuadoran Government for “the manner in which the Government of the United States has acceded to the desires of the Government of Ecuador with regard to the acquisition of the equipment necessary for the maintenance of the Seymour Base”, and stated that the Minister of Defense had been authorized to negotiate the contract on behalf of the Ecuadoran Government. …

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According to Major Donnelly, the U.S.A.F. contemplates evacuating the Seymour Base between December 21 and 23. This was considered satisfactory by Comandante Sanchez, who stated that an Ecuadoran naval vessel would be dispatched to Seymour Island on or about December 19 to accept possession. He promised to advise Major Donnelly through the Embassy of the exact date on which the Ecuadoran [Page 228] naval vessel would arrive at the Base. He spoke for the Minister in expressing the opinion that a transfer ceremony would not be necessary since the Seymour Base had already been returned to Ecuador in 1946. …

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Respectfully yours,

John F. Simmons
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