722.5 MSP/12–452

Memorandum of Conversation, by George O. Spencer of the Office of Regional American Affairs



  • Military Problems Raised by the Ecuadoran Ambassador
  • Participants: José Ricardo Chiriboga Villagómez—Ecuadoran Ambassador
  • Paul C. Daniels—American Ambassador, Quito
  • Mr. AtwoodOSA
  • Mr. McGinnisOSA
  • Mr. SpencerAR

The major part of this meeting was devoted to a discussion of the following military problems raised by the Ecuadoran Ambassador:

  • First. The Ambassador indicated that his Government was concerned over the possibility that the U.S. Government, under Article V of the Bilateral Military Assistance Agreement between Ecuador and the U.S., would send large numbers of military personnel to Ecuador to implement the grant-aid military assistance program and that these personnel might be sent without the prior consent of the Ecuadoran Government. He believed that U.S. military training missions now in Ecuador should be used to implement the program. The Ambassador was informed that the question of how many U.S. personnel would be required for assignment to Ecuador and the question of whether they should be assigned to training missions or maintained apart from the missions were questions now being considered by the interested agencies of the U.S. Government. However, he was assured that no U.S. personnel would be sent without the prior approval of the U.S. Ambassador, who obviously would obtain the consent of the Ecuadoran Government before indicating his approval to the State Department. The Ambassador was reminded that the U.S. has an important interest in assuring that Ecuadoran armed forces are properly trained in the use of programmed equipment, so that they may effectively discharge the hemisphere defense missions Ecuador has agreed to assume under the Bilateral Military Assistance Agreement and the Bilateral Military Plan. He was informed that in the event Ecuador should refuse to receive personnel which competent U.S. authorities believe are [Page 973] required to provide necessary training, the question might arise as to whether Ecuador had acted in violation of the Agreement.
  • Second. The Ambassador stated that the Ecuadoran armed forces did not have adequate facilities to house much of the anti-aircraft equipment being provided Ecuador under the program and he asked whether it would be possible for the U.S. to furnish necessary housing as grant-aid. He was informed that it was unlikely that housing facilities could be provided under the program. He was told that aside from any possible legal prohibition against providing housing assistance, there was a question of precedence which would require consideration, in short, if such type of assistance should be provided Ecuador, it might be necessary to provide similar assistance to other countries, upon request. It was explained that this problem might create difficulty in approving the Ecuadoran request. The Ambassador was advised to raise the question of housing with military training missions in Ecuador.
  • Third. The Ambassador referred to Ecuador’s need for receiving certain assistance for Ecuadoran naval and infantry units. He was advised that requests for additional assistance under the program should be submitted to U.S. military training missions in Ecuador, and that the Ecuadoran Service Attachés in Washington might profitably raise these matters, simultaneously, with the U.S. Defense Department.
  • Fourth. The Ambassador referred to the provision in the U.S. military mission agreement which prohibits the Ecuadoran Government from accepting any other foreign military mission. He stated that Brazil had offered to send a military mission to Ecuador without cost to the Ecuadoran Government, and inquired whether the prohibition in the present agreement would prevent Ecuador from accepting the Brazilian offer. He said that the Brazilian mission would be at the general staff level and would not duplicate U.S. mission activities. The Ambassador wished also to know whether the U.S. would be willing to remove the prohibition when the U.S. mission agreement comes up for renewal next year. The Ambassador understood that both Brazilian and U.S. military missions were maintained in Paraguay. He was informed that this was a question which would have to be discussed with the Defense Department and that in reaching a decision as to whether the sending of a Brazilian mission would be a breach of the mission contract the U.S. would no doubt wish to know what precise activities the Brazilian mission would be engaged in. It was mentioned to the Ambassador that the Brazilian mission to Paraguay is believed to provide training in horse cavalry, whereas the U.S. mission is engaged in other types of training. It was agreed that the Department would obtain from the Defense Department full information regarding the types of training provided by the present U.S. military mission and that Ambassador Daniels upon his return to Ecuador would obtain from the [Page 974] Ecuadoran Government more detailed information regarding the proposed functions of the Brazilian Mission, so that the problem could be objectively analyzed by the U.S.