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                                          February 9, 1944.


                  THE SECRETARY OF STATE

     I have your memorandum of February fifth in relation
to the Galapagos Islands.  I am perfectly willing to post-
pone the signing of an agreement until the Ecuadoran
elections are over, but I wonder if this is not a good
time to say something like this to Ecuador:

     (a)  These Islands represent the oldest form
     of animal life and should, therefore, be pre-
     served for all time as a kind of international
     park, the title of which would remain in the
     Ecuadoran Government but the operation of which
     would be (1) in the scientific area run by a
     committee representing each of the twenty-one
     Republics and (2) the policing area which
     would be run jointly by the United States and
     Ecuador.  I think it would be safe to ask
     Ecuador to abandon any thought of agriculture
     or cattle raising in the Islands.  This would
     not amount to anything much anyway.

     (b)  To allow Ecuador to conduct mining
     operations.  Some minerals of value may be
     discovered and the mining of such minerals
     would not do much to hurt the Islands.

     This proposal could well be made by Ecuador at the
next Pan American meeting wherever it is held, and it is
my thought that Ecuador could be paid an annual rent
for the Islands, such rent bringing to Ecuador a little
more money than she receives now net out of the islands.
I am certain that the amount is very small because the
maintenance of Ecuadoran authority in the Islands must
be nearly as great as what she gets from concessions
or taxes.

     From the point of view of Ecuador itself, I think
such a proposal should come from Ecuador.  Under it
Ecuador would retain her sovereignty, and the policing
by the United States and Ecuador ought to give adequate
opportunity to use the Islands for the protection of the
whole Continent of South American and the Panama Canal.

                                      F. D. R.