336. Editorial Note

On October 3, 1967, Ambassador Coerr reported his view that economic assistance to Ecuador could no longer be justified in the wake of President Arosemena’s renewed criticism of the Alliance for Progress. In response Coerr recommended: a) delivering a diplomatic note stating that, until “the two governments hold a full and frank exchange of views,” all loans would be temporarily suspended; b) withdrawing authorization to negotiate the PL–480 agreement; c) offering an official reply in his speech at the American School in Guayaquil on October 6. (Telegram 1226 from Quito; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, AID (US) 9 ECUADOR) The Department indicated “general agreement” with Coerr’s analysis, stating that, to continue economic assistance after Arosemena’s attack, would only encourage the view that the “U.S. cow, when kicked, gives more milk.” Negotiations for the PL–480 agreement, as well as development loans, were therefore suspended, in accordance with the Ambassador’s recommendations. The Department declined, however, to authorize a written response, fearing the “effect of note would be to make matter bilateral issue between U.S. and Ecuador.” (Telegram 50611 to Quito, October 7; ibid.) As an alternative, the Department approved Coerr’s suggestion to respond orally “to correct the record” in the American School speech doing so “in non-personal and non-polemic terms, and in context of positive description of U.S. assistance.” (Telegram 49689 to Quito, October 6; ibid., AID(AFP))