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


Subject: President Plaza’s Requests for Point IV and Financial Aid

Participants: Senor Galo Plaza—President of Ecuador
Dr. Neftali Ponce—Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador
Senor Colon Serrano—Minister of Economy of Ecuador
Senor Salazar Gomez1—Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations of the Chamber of Deputies of Ecuador
Mr. Mann2ARA
Mr. Warren3OSA
Mr. Krieg—OSA
Mr. McGinnis—OSA

Following the discussion of certain Ecuadoran loan projects that had been submitted to the Export-Import Bank, the President enumerated to Mr. Mann three matters in which he was particularly interested and which pertained to the economic development of Ecuador.

The President referred to General Wilby’s4 recent visit to Ecuador and his report upon the survey of the Batignolles Company respecting the dredging and maintenance of a deep water port at Guayaquil. He said that General Wilby had been sent to Ecuador under Point IV and that his recommendations had included a suggestion that further engineering surveys be made to ascertain the feasibility and approximate cost of this project. President Plaza said that he was hopeful that the United States Government could make available under Point IV other technical experts to complete the studies recommended by General Wilby.

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President Plaza next referred to his desire to go forward with the Rio Verde hydroelectric power project as soon as engineering studies had been completed. The President estimated that these studies would be available by November 1. He referred to the fact that he had discussed this matter with Mr. Gaston, President of the Export-Import Bank, and was hopeful that, if the cost of the project exceeded the unused portion of the earthquake credit, the Export-Import Bank would be able favorably to consider the extension of an additional loan.

President Plaza mentioned that his Government would request additional Point IV aid for technical studies of the irrigation possibilities in the coastal areas, particularly in Guayas Province. He explained that this area was a very rich agricultural region that, with the proper development, could be made to produce tremendous quantities of rice and tropical products.

Mr. Mann said that, in so far as Point IV assistance was concerned, this Government was very desirous of aiding Ecuador in planning further agricultural development. He said, however, that the present would be an inopportune time publicly to mention further specific technical assistance projects because the US Congress would shortly consider appropriations for Point IV purposes. Mr. Mann said that, assuming favorable action by Congress, he would, however, soon be in a position to discuss with Dr. Bennett5 the suggestions made by the President and was hopeful that a program along these lines could be worked out.

President Plaza indicated his agreement and expressed the hope that this could be done soon.

  1. Eduardo Salazar Gomez.
  2. Thomas C. Mann, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs.
  3. Fletcher Warren, Director, Office of South American Affairs.
  4. Francis B. Wilby.
  5. Henry G. Bennett, Administrator, Technical Cooperation Administration (TCA).