Memorandum of Conversation, by Byron E. Blankinship of the Office of South American Affairs
- Ecuadoran Protest About Treatment Accorded it by Bilateral Mutual Security Program
- Participants: Ambassador Chiriboga, Embassy of Ecuador
- Mr. Woodward, ARA
- Mr. Blankinship, OSA
Ambassador Chiriboga referred to the complaint which he had already lodged with the Department regarding the selection of Peru as an example of the effectiveness of the military grant aid program in South America (see memorandum of conversation of August 24, 19541). The Ambassador emphasized that his Government was deeply concerned that the United States was arming Peru under the mutual assistance program. He said that Ecuadorans could see no justification for providing Peru with arms at precisely a time in the first six months of this year when Peru was engaged in aggressive acts against Ecuador. The Ambassador said that he had been instructed to hand a memorandum2 to the Department regarding this matter. At this point he presented the memorandum which contained two principal points, namely, (1) what guarantees were there that Peru would not use the arms provided her by the United States for aggressive purposes, particularly against Ecuador and (2) a request that Ecuador be granted equal grant aid assistance with Peru.
Mr. Woodward stated that Ecuador had at least three explicit guarantees that military aid furnished Peru would be used for the purpose for which it was provided, the collective defense of the western hemisphere. In the first place, the multilateral treaty of Rio contained stipulations which would make an attack of Peru upon Ecuador the concern of all the countries of the hemisphere. Secondly, standard clauses of the bilateral mutual assistance agreements with each country, including that with Peru, provided that equipment granted a recipient under the program could be used only for the common defense of the hemisphere and that specific approval of the United States Government must be obtained for any other use. Thirdly, Mr. Woodward said, Ecuador had a special undertaking by the guarantors of the Protocol of 1942 against attacks by Peru. Mr. Woodward concluded [Page 997] on this point that it appeared to him that Ecuador had ample guarantees against a misuse of the equipment being provided to Peru under the assistance program.
Mr. Woodward recapitulated the present status of the military grant aid program with Ecuador. He pointed out that more than 90% of the equipment for the anti-aircraft battalion had already been delivered and that 11 of 17 fighter planes promised under the terms of the program had already been delivered and that the refitting of the Ecuadoran patrol vessel provided for in the secret plan was going forward as promised. The Ambassador conceded on all of this but stated that Ecuador was very unhappy because it had been given no substantial naval assistance under the program, whereas Peru had obviously obtained substantial aid for its navy. The Ambassador stated that if a naval vessel or two could be made available to Ecuador he believed that the Ecuadorans would consider the program far more successful than they did as of now.