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



  • Export-Import Bank Loans for Quevedo–Manta Highway and Airports at Quito and Guayaquil.
  • Participants: The Ecuadoran Ambassador
  • Mr. Thomas C. Mann, Acting Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs
  • Mr. McGinnis, OSA

After discussing other subjects with Mr. Mann, Ambassador Chiriboga said that he wished to urge the Department to impress upon the Export-Import Bank the need for prompt action on the Quevedo–Manta highway loan1 and the airports credit.2 The Ambassador said that his Government had reviewed the various outstanding credits with the Export Bank and had decided to place first priority upon these two loans. He asserted that the previous administration had supported a number of unrelated loan applications at the Bank which had resulted in some confusion as to which were the most important and that wishing to avoid a similar situation the Velasco administration had decided to concentrate upon the two loans mentioned. Ambassador Chiriboga went on to say that it was vital for his Government to show early progress upon its promises to the people for economic development and added that in the long run no Ecuadoran administration could remain in office without making concrete progress in the [Page 975] economic condition of the country. Ecuador, he said, was firmly wedded to the policy of improving the living standards of the people through the development of the country’s economic resources and that highways and air communications were of first importance in this program.

With respect to the highway credit, the Ambassador said that he could see no obstacle to early action by the Export-Import Bank. He related that specifically, Ecuador awaited the Bank’s approval of terms under which his Government could call for bids from construction firms. He added that once this approval were obtained, Ecuador could go forward with the long pending highway. The Ambassador indicated that the Bank had assured him that the existing $2.7 million highway credit would be substantially increased to provide for increased costs of the Quevedo–Manta highway under present conditions. Mr. Mann assured the Ambassador that the Department would discuss this matter with the Bank and take whatever action it appropriately could to expedite action by the Bank.

Ambassador Chiriboga then said that next week he would present to the Export-Import Bank a request for the increase of the airport loan from $1 million to $4 million.3 He said that the $1 million previously granted would not even be sufficient for paving of the runways and that Ecuador, in order to do a useful job, desired to erect administration buildings and install a modern communications system. He said that the loan request would be supported by a study of airport needs at Quito and Quayaquil prepared by the CAA Mission. In conclusion, the Ambassador said that his Government had determined to decline a Panagra loan of $500,000 to assist in the airport construction because the terms required by Panagra were unacceptable. Mr. Mann said that the Department would take appropriate action in this matter also.

  1. Reference is to an Export-Import Bank loan of $1.72 million approved Oct. 8, 1947, increasing an earlier credit of $1 million extended July 13, 1945, to assist in financing the construction of the Quevedo–Manta Highway. Between 1947 and 1951, the Bank made no disbursements under this $2.72 million credit, because of Ecuador’s failure to enter a contract with a suitable U.S. engineering firm. Early in 1952, the Bank disbursed a total of about $400,000 to cover expenditures under a contract signed by Ecuador with the Moore Construction Company, but this contract proved unsatisfactory and was terminated. (Memorandum by Mr. Corbett to Mr. Waugh, dated Aug. 14, 1953, 103 XMB/8–1453)
  2. Reference is to an Export-Import Bank loan of $1 million, in favor of the Republic of Ecuador, approved July 19, 1951, to assist in financing the costs of improving and expanding commercial airport facilities at Quito and Guayaquil. Up to the date of this memorandum, the Bank made no disbursements under this credit, because of the failure of the Ecuardoran Government to supply it with requisite information concerning cost breakdowns. (Memorandum by Mr. Corbett to Mr. Waugh, dated Aug. 14, 1953, 103 XMB/8–1453)
  3. Ambassador Chiriboga presented Ecuador’s request to the Export-Import Bank on Jan. 12, 1953.