The Chargé in Ecuador ( Belt ) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received January 16, 11.20 a.m.]
Department’s December 6th, 7 p.m.4 and despatch number 206, same date,5 and Legation’s December 10th, 5 p.m.4 Minister for Foreign Affairs informs me he has recently asked for accurate information as to the exact amount of cacao sold and exported. He states that there has been remitted to London in two installments 25,000 pounds sterling, in payment on the bonded indebtedness of the railroad and that this amount is the result of daily deposits made by the Government from customs revenues beginning August 8th, up to probably December 31st, 1918. He further remarked that while the period mentioned for [for the period mentioned?] these payments had averaged about 1,000 sucres daily, that this had increased recently to about 3,000 sucres daily due to the increase of customs duties.
The Minister promises me a memorandum setting forth a plan he thinks feasible for the issuance of new bonds to cover the total amount to date, for the interest on the railway bonds, stating that this arrangement would permit the Government to maintain regular payments of the debt and further [free?] the railway company from the menace of the bondholders allowing them to receive interest for the total amount of interest due.
The Foreign Minister informed me that in all probability the Ecuadorean Minister to Washington had informally submitted to the consideration of the Department the appointment of a joint commission composed of six members, three on each side, to study and render final decision of the pending difficulties, the commission to consist of engineers, lawyers and accountants. This plan he considers would permit a definite understanding as to what is construction and operation expenses of the railroad. He made the remark that the interest due on the bonded indebtedness is due since 1914 and that if the Government was to depend only on the daily deposits made from the revenues, that it would not be able to clear up to date the arrear payments on the bonded indebtedness, but that there would always be an overhanging debt.