The Ecuadoran Minister ( Elizalde ) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 5

Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s courteous note No. 45, dated the 28th instant.

[Here follows the substance of the note mentioned.]

In reply I have the honor to express to Your Excellency, first of all, my sincere appreciation of the form and substance of your important communication.

In this case, Mr. Secretary, and in spite of the good faith and excellent willingness of the two governments and their representatives, there has been a misunderstanding, as my Government instructed me to offer to the Department of State the payment of one coupon of interest of the Guayaquil and Quito Railway Company in return for the license to import into the United States fourteen thousand tons of cocoa, and I through an error in reading the cipher cablegrams gave to that coupon exactly the value of two, that is to say, of one annuity including interest and amortization amounting to the sum of $859,740.

Your Excellency will do me the honor to grant that although I have always named the amount of $859,740 in my communications, I have also used the phrase “one coupon”, although that amount corresponds to the value of two coupons.

When I sent to Your Excellency my note of February 3 [5] last34 I was under the impression that the final payment of £35,000 there alluded to completed the amount of $859,740 offered by me.

I realized my mistake only when informed by Mr. Johnson that £80,000, which represented the interest of one coupon only, had been paid. That information was later confirmed to me by my Government.

Notwithstanding the error made my Government, wishing to make my word good, is now exerting every effort to remit another sum of £80,000 before the second of July next, when the other coupon is due. In this respect I take especial pleasure in informing Your Excellency that under date of the 21st of this month I received a cablegram from my Government in which I am told that $49,870, the equivalent of £10,000 sterling, more or less, had been remitted to London. Furthermore, under date of May 23, the President of the Republic cabled me word for word as follows: “We shall continue [Page 190] to remit as much as possible. Situation practically unchanged.” The last three words refer to the slight imports for the previous months whose proceeds to the revenue in customs duties have been less than those of last year.

Lastly, under date of yesterday I received a telegram from the Minister of Foreign Relations of Ecuador, in which he says almost textually the following: “Minister Finance says that he has not made what could be strictly called a final promise. We are exceedingly willing to pay the coupon of July 2 next and will do all that can be done to do so in one or more further remittances. The revenues are low and great difficulty is experienced in meeting the expenses of government.” Payment under these circumstances and in less than six months of two coupons of interest, or a whole annuity, is then a true sacrifice for my Government. Therefore, and further taking into account the facts in the case, no less than the conciliatory spirit which doubtless animates Your Excellency’s Government, my Government hopes that it will be enough in this case as deserving Your Excellency’s consideration to offer the assurances hereby stated to the effect that the Government will do all that lies in its power to redeem in the specific case under consideration, as well as in all other cases, the word given by its official representative near Your Excellency’s Government.

In so far as I am personally concerned the Department of State may be assured of my most sincere and active cooperation in the sense of having the payment of the coupon maturing in July next effected since it will draw closer the very friendly relations which exist between our Governments and go far towards improving the credit of Ecuador.

I avail myself [etc.]

R. H. Elizalde
  1. Ante, p. 178.