Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Edgar L. McGinnis, Jr., of the Office of South American Affairs


Subject: Proposed Official Visit of President Galo Plaza1 to the US

Participants: Ambassador Penaherrera2—Ecuadoran Embassy
Dr. Moscoso, Counselor3—Ecuadoran Embassy
Assistant Secretary Miller4
Mr. McGinnis, Jr.—OSA

The Ecuadoran Ambassador told Mr. Miller that he had requested this appointment to discuss the proposed official visit of President Plaza to the United States and particularly whether this Government could accede to Dr. Ponce’s5 request that the President be invited to the US during the latter part of June or early July.

[Page 1395]

Mr. Miller replied that a decision had been made to invite President Plaza to the US for an official visit and that it would be convenient for President Truman to have the Ecuadoran President stay in Washington from June 20 to June 23 and, in accordance with custom, to have him as his guest at Blair House the first night and at Prospect House the remainder of his stay. Mr. Miller added that it was planned that Ambassador Daniels,6 who is now en route to Ecuador, would present the official invitation to President Plaza after the presentation of his credentials. He said that a telegram7 would be sent to our Embassy in Quito today to have our Chargé d’Affaires8 inform President Plaza confidentially of the invitation and to ascertain his reaction thereto. Ambassador Penaherrera was told that it was our intention to keep this matter confidential until Ambassador Daniels had had the opportunity of presenting the invitation.

Mr. Miller mentioned that he had been informed that neither Mrs. Truman nor Miss Truman would be in Washington during the period of the visit since the President’s wife would have to be with her mother who is ill in Missouri and Miss Truman is expected to be in Europe during the period of the proposed visit. He observed that, of course, this did not mean that President Plaza’s wife would not be included in the invitation. Mr. Miller said that this Government was pleased to extend the invitation to President Plaza in view of the achievements of his democratic administration in Ecuador and the example it would set of the faith of the US Government in the strength and vitality of the democratic way of life. He said that, while he would be glad to collaborate with the Embassy in working out a plan for substantive accomplishments which might result from the President’s visit here, he felt that the visit of itself would be of sufficient moral and spiritual value and influence to render unnecessary any elaborate program of other achievements.

Both the Ambassador and Dr. Moscoso indicated that they heartily agreed with what Mr. Miller had said and the Ambassador added that he was most grateful for this information and was certain that President Plaza would be highly pleased to accept the invitation. Dr. Moscoso said that he was in full accord with Mr. Miller’s observations that the spiritual and moral value of the visit was the principal benefit which would result from the President’s trip, but added that, of course, it would be necessary to develop some substantive accomplishments which could be pointed to as having resulted from the trip.

Mr. Miller observed that Mr. Daniels would arrive in Quito May 20 and that the period would, therefore, be brief between the acceptance of his credentials and the time the President would depart for the US. [Page 1396] He, therefore, suggested that it would be advisable for the Foreign Ministry to expedite as much as possible the acceptance of Ambassador Daniels’ credentials and his first meeting with the President. The Ambassador indicated that he would be glad to suggest to the Foreign Office that this be done.9

  1. Galo Plaza Lasso.
  2. Luis Antonio Peñaherrera.
  3. Alfonso Moscoso Cárdenas.
  4. Edward G. Miller, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs.
  5. L. Neftalí Ponce Miranda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador.
  6. Paul C. Daniels was appointed Ambassador to Ecuador on April 19, 1951.
  7. Telegram 245, not printed.
  8. John N. Hamlin.
  9. Ambassador Daniels presented his credentials and the invitation from President Truman to President Galo Plaza on May 25 (722.11/5–2551), and President Galo Plaza accepted the invitation on May 28 (722.11/5–2951).