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a representative immediately to Guayaquil if assured of a reasonable time after his arrival to investigate the situation and submit bids.

You will confer with President Plaza in the following sense :

That the President of Ecuador should seek to connect the railway case, now on the point of going to arbitration, with the wholly distinct question of the sanitation of Guayaquil is regretted by this Government. If it were permissible to treat these matters as being in any way interdependent, it would be appropriate to contrast the frank and friendly manner in which this Government has met the wishes of the Government of Ecuador in the matter of the railway arbitration with the course which that Government pursues in closing the door to the friendly cooperation of this Government and its citizens in a matter in which they have a deep, immediate and enduring concern. By reason of the physical relation of Guayaquil to the Isthmus of Panama, the sanitation of Guayaquil is of interest to the entire world, but it specially affects the west coast of South America and most vitally concerns this Government as the constructor and operator of the Panama Canal. The true interest of Ecuador is in reality identical with our own. The Government of the United States has not asked for any favors in the matter and has not expected any to be extended either to itself or to its citizens. On the contrary, it has in the first place suggested in the interest of Ecuador herself that she secure the assistance of Isthmian Canal Commission officials in the sanitation of Guayaquil in accordance with the report which Colonel Gorgas made at her own request, this plan insuring the lowest rate of cost for work actually done and the observance of the highest scientific standards. Should this apparently ideal plan prove to be unacceptable to Ecuador, this Government has requested and desired fair opportunity for American engineers and contraetors to submit competing bids on the same basis as the engineers and contractors of other nations. The mutual interests and friendship of the two countries would seem to require at least as much as this.


File No. 822.124/315.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram- Paraphrase.)


Quito, November 7, 1913. Department's October 22. After considerable delay, due to illness of the President and matters growing out of the revolution, I presented today the views of the Department as stated in your telegram. The President says that Mr. McClusky, the representative of J. G. White & Co., has just arrived in Quito and that, while no definite or final contract has been signed, he believes the contract will be executed with them. I impressed upon him the relation of eur Government toward the Panama Canal and its operation, and said that the United States Government, as the constructor and owner of the canal, has the power, and it is its plain duty, to so control its

use as not to jeopardize the health of the people of the world, and that in performance of that duty it might, on occasion, be compelled, however reluctantly, to exclude from passage through the canal vessels touching at ports infected with contagious diseases; and that the work of sanitation of Guayaquil should be so thoroughly performed, and according to such high scientific standards, as to remove all doubts as to the safety and propriety of permitting vessels touching at that port to pass through the canal. I suggested that if the work should be done under the supervision of Colonel Gorgas the efficiency of the work would practically be assured. The President expressed his appreciation of the character and superior attainment of Colonel Gorgas and of the merits of the plans submitted by him, but said that the junta at Guayaquil has authority to decide the question of the supervision of the work. I suggested the propriety of me having a conference with Mr. McClusky, and the President agreed that such conference would be desirable. Unless you advise otherwise, I will pursue that course.


File No. 822.124/317.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.



Quito, November 17, 1913. The representative of J. G. White & Co. says that his company desires to meet the views of our Government and that Engineer Wiiliamson, formerly with the Isthmian Canal Commission, will be in charge of the work; that his company desires to have the cooperation of our Government and that Gorgas stands at the head of the list in sanitary work. In the absence of instructions to the contrary I am proceeding on the assumption that the Department desires above all else the speedy and successful sanitation of Guayaquil, and, everything being equal, that it prefers to have the work done by American contractors.


File No. 822.124/326.

The American Consul General at Guayaquil to the Secretary of State.


Guayaquil, December 10, 1913. Sir: I have the honor to place the following facts before you for onsideration.

The White contract for the sanitation of Guayaquil was definitely settled December 9, 1913. It stipulates that the contractors must present documentary proof that the White Company is of English origin, and has its principal offices in London.

The Government will pay the contractors, as compensation for their services rendered in the construction of the work, tweive and one-half per cent of the cost. This payment comprises the earnings of the contractors, and the value of their studies, plans, specifications, reports, and estimates of the works, the direction, inspection and control in their fulfillment, the commission on the purchase of materials as per conditions stipulated, the expenses preliminary to their shipment to Ecuador, arrangement for the marine insurance, expenses of the works that ought to be prepared by the contractors, and everything in general relating to them as stipulated in this contract, without entering into the cost of the work as contained in article 18.

The contractors affirm that the house of J. G. White and Company, Limited, of 9 Cloak Lane, established in London the 10th of July, 1900, imder the laws of England, has its independent representation, as per copy of its constitution, and therefore is the only one that assumes, as contractors, the rights, privileges and obligations of the present contract, and shall not be permitted, now or in the future, to transfer the contract for any motive or under any pretext to any other society, person, principal office or dependencies, established or to be established in any other country with the same or any other name; therefore the rights and obligations of this contract refer only and exclusively to the inentioned house of J. G. White and Company, Limited, London, England, and the Government of Ecuador. The engineers and other employees may be of any nationality in agreement with the Government.

The Government declares, in turn, that this contract is contained in the foregoing text, and therefore it is agreed by both parts that the contract will be without effect, and without any claim on all agreed upon, in case the contractor fail on any of the points of the foregoing statement. For the fulfillment of this contract and their relations with the Government, the contractors will have their offices in Ecuador.

The agreement will be published immediately the contractors show their incorporation papers, which shall be inserted in conformity with the Código de Enjuiciamentos en Materia Civil; that is, that the public document or instrument by which J. G. White and Company was organized in the market of London, 9 Cloak Lane, as principal office, and independent of any other, and the legal power of attorney authorizing Mr. J. W. MC : sky [sic] to subscribe th contrace and bind the company to all agreed upon.

For the fulfillment of this contract, the contractors will make their domicile in Guayaquil, where they will locate their legal representative, and submit to the jurisdiction of the judges of the Republic of Ecuador and to its laws.

They declare having full knowledge of the 23rd article of the Political Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, which says: “Every contract which a foreigner or a foreign company celebrates with the Government, or private person, shall carry the condition of renouncing all diplomatic claims." I have [etc.]


File No. 822.124/322.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State,

(Telegram--Paraphrase. ]


Quito, December 14, 1913. A contract was signed today in Quito between the Government of Ecuador and James W. McCrosky [sic] representing J. G. White and Company, Limited, of London, for the sanitation works of Guayaquil; the amount involved is about $10,000,000.



File No. 822.5048.

The Acting Secretary of State to the American Minister. No. 3.)


Washington, July 21, 1913. Sir: The Department encloses herewith a copy of a note dated July 5, 1913, from the British Embassy, with reference to a despatch dated May 14, 1913, a copy of which is also enclosed,' from the British representative at Quito regarding labor conditions in certain parts of Ecuador.

You are instructed to forward all information obtainable at Quito as to the condition of the indigenes in the Ecuadorean Province of Oriente, and to furnish your views as to the advisability of the United States joining with Great Britain in the friendly invitation to the Ecuadorean Government alluded to in the note from the British Embassy. I am [etc.]


[Inclosure 1. )

The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State.

No. 183.)


Dublin N. H., July 5, 1913. SIR: I have the honour to refer to Mr. Huntington Wilson's note' to my predecessor, No. 1714 of Decenber 26th last, in which it is stated, in answer to enquiries on the subject on the part of His Majesty's Government that the United States Government would be prepared, in specific: cases of the maltreatment of South American natives, to use its influence with the Government concerned to ensure steps being taken to better the condition of the native inhabitants.

In this connection I have now the honour, under instruction from my Government, to bring to your notice unofficially the enclosed copy of a despatch from His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires at Quito and to enquire whether, in view of the above-mentioned note, the United States Government would be disposed to join with His Majesty' Government in a friendly invitation to the Ecuadorean Gore ernment thoroughly to investigate the circumstances and should a traffic in slaves between Ecuador and Peru be found to exist, to cooperate with the l'eruvian Government in suppressing it. I have letc.)


i Not printed.

File No. 822.5048.

The Acting Secretary of State to the British Amabassador.

No. 85.]


Washington, July 21, 1913. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's note of July 5, 1913, enclosing a copy of a despatch from the British Chargé d'Affaires at Quito on the subject of labor conditions in the Ecuadorean Province of Oriente, and asking for the views of this Government as to the disposition of the United States to join with your Government in a friendly invitation to that of Ecuador thoroughly to investigate the circumstances, and, should a traffic in slaves between Ecuador and Peru be found to exist, to cooperate with the Peruvian Government in its suppression.

The Department has not received any reports of ill treatment of the indigenes in Ecuador and hesitates to believe that their condition is such as to require assistance from this Government.

A copy of your note has been transmitted to the Legation of Quito with instructions to report on the subject. I have [etc.]

J. B. MOORE. File No. 822.5048/2.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State. No. 25.]


Quito, August 30, 1913. SIR: In reply to the Department's instruction No. 3, of July 21st, I regret to say that there is no further information available here regarding the subject of labor conditions in the Oriente of Ecuador, than that supplied the Department in the despatch from the British Chargé d'Affaires in this city to his Government, which was transmitted to the Department by the British Embassy.

It is known here in a general way and regretted that the condition of the Indians practically throughout Ecuador is very bad and that they are living in a practical state of slavery or peonage on the large estates of the rich Ecuadoreans. While this would be difficult to prove in any satisfactory way, the fact exists and is condoned by all concerned as a necessary evil. The usual method of procedure is to have some sort of store at which the “employees" of a ranch or farm are expected to do their trading and in which their needs are supplied at “special” prices. The object, of course, is to get them into a state of indebtedness to the proprietor and keep them there so that their wages are never quite enough to pay their “debts and consequently they are practically unable to leave for some other employment as there is an understanding among the owners as to taking peons from other properties. Conditions in the Oriente are believed to be still worse than in the more civilized portions of the country on account of the distance from the central government and the bad character of a majority of the small officials in that region. Ir. many places there are no officials of any kind and there are large tracts of what is really a savage territory, of which the sovereignty is claimed both by Ecuador and by several other countries.

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