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Senator Case. In the short run I think you are probably right, but whether this is so in the long run I don't know.
Mr. THOMPSON. I could conceivably be wrong.
Senator Case. It is a terribly difficult question, and I appreciate very much your willingness to think about it and to talk about it.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to add to what Senator Case has said.
I think that one of the things about which we are strongly concerned is the question of human rights. I fail to see, however, how the United States can enforce the observance of human rights in another country, except through the method that President Carter has used, of strongly urging the observance of human rights with all nations with which we do business and have connections.
I fail to see some of the arguments made with reference to human rights and how they can be brought into effect in any other way except through moral persuasion.
Mr. THOMPSON. I concur in what you have said.
OTHER LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES' FEELINGS ON TREATIES The CHAIRMAN. You mentioned that you were in Uruguay ? Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you had any comments or any word from any other Latin American countries with reference to their feelings on these treaties?
Mr. THOMPSON. Yes. The communications which we have received in the National Council of Churches through our normal contacts with churches in those countries indicate that they very much desire the treaties to be ratified.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Stone, do you have questions?
CONTINUATION AND INCREASE IN MILITARY AID
Does the National Council of Churches favor the continuation and increase of military aid to the Torrijos government?
Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.
Senator STONE. Is that possibly a way in which human rights in Panama could be improved, by not strengthening the military hand of the present regime through military aid?
Mr. THOMPSON. I think so.
I do want to add that I do not think the National Council of Churches has a specific policy with reference to Panama; but the general increase in military aid is something which we deplore.
Senator STONE. The Human Rights Commission witnesses that were here today complained about military aid, particularly Mr. Robles. They were trying to make the point that if you strengthen the military regime, then freedom of expression and the other things that the military regime represses become more difficult.
Does that make any logic to you?
Mr. THOMPSON. I think the strengthening of the military regime might well result in the denial of human rights. My own estimate of the situation is that the ratification of these treaties is much less likely to strengthen the military regime than the rejection of the treaties would be.
Senator STONE. Except for the parallel requirement—is this not the case-of increasing military aid, which goes along with this treaty?
Mr. THOMPSON. I am concerned about that, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. You would support, however, economic aid?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Thompson, thank you very much. We appreciate you very fine testimony.
Our next witness is John Cardinal Krol, Archbishop of Philadelphia, on behalf of the U.S. Catholic Conference, Washington, D.C. We are very glad to have you with us today, sir. We would ask
you to identify the gentleman who accompanies you.
STATEMENT OF JOHN CARDINAL KROL, ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA, ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES CATHOLIC CONFERENCE, WASHINGTON, D.C., ACCOMPANIED BY REV. J. BRYAN HEHIR, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AND PEACE, UNITED STATES CATHOLIC CONFERENCE, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Cardinal KROL. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am, as you have announced, John Cardinal Krol, Archbishop of Philadelphia. My companion here at the table is Father J. Bryan Hehir, director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the United States Catholic Conference.
My testimony is given in the name of the United States Catholic Conference, which is the civil action agency of the more than 330 Catholic bishops of our country who serve close to 50 million people in our country.
At the outset, Mr. Chairman, I wish to express my deep personal appreciation and that of the United States Catholic Conference for the opportunity to present testimony in support of the proposed Panama Canal Treaties.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS' INTEREST IN NEED FOR NEW TREATY The Catholic bishops took an early stand and an interest in the need for a new treaty; in February of 1975, the Administrative Board of the Conference adopted a policy position supporting the Kissinger-Tack agreements of 1974 and called for a new treaty to govern relationships between the United States and Panama.
In November 1976, the general meeting of the bishops adopted a second statement endorsing the need for a new treaty.
We regard this question as one of great symbolic and substantive significance for the peoples and nations of the Western Hemisphere. We also recognize that the treaties are a subject on which American citizens hold strong and differing views.
In the 1976 debate in the bishops conference on our second policy statement, it was illustrated that there were some differences of views among the bishops on specific aspects of our position, even though the position was adopted by a vote of 170 to 61.
My testimony today is based on the major themes of the two policy positions taken by the Catholic bishops in support of the new treaty with Panama.
In presenting this testimony, the bishops wish to fulfill a role of responsible citizenship as well as religious leadership. We come here not to express a doctrine of faith, but to draw upon a Catholic social teaching to highlight the moral dimensions of this very significant public debate taking place in our Nation.
REQUIREMENT OF JUSTICE AND PEACE
In our 1976 statement, the bishops asserted that a moral imperative existed ***
to fashion a new treaty which respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Panama, and dissolves the vestiges of a relationship which more closely resembles the 19th century, than the realities of an interdependent world of sovereign and equal states.
I came here today, Mr. Chairman, to express our convictions that the treaties now before this committee achieve the objectives called for in our 1976 statement.
It was our view in 1975 and 1976, and it is our view today, that a new treaty which acknowledges in principle and in fact Panamanian sovereignty over its own territory is a requirement of justice and peace between our two nations. It is a requirement of justice because the 1903 treaty no longer can be reconciled with the concept of social justice which governs relations between sovereign nations in our interdependent world. It is a requirement of peace because we believe failure to reach a reasonable and just accommodation of interests between our nations needlessly threatens the peace in this hemisphere.
In support of these propositions, I respectfully submit a series of considerations which specify the points of justice and peace at issue in this case of the Panama Canal. We hope these will be of assistance to this committee, to the Senate in its deliberations, and to American citizens as they consider this question.
Our perspective on the treaty negotiations and now on the treaties themselves has been set by a text from Pope John XXIII's encyclical on international relations, "Peace on Earth."
In his discussion of relations between states, Pope John said: Each of them accordingly, is vested with the right to existence, to self-develop ment and the means fitting to its attainment, and to be the one primarily responsible for this self-development.
The terms of the 1903 treaty acknowledge the principle of Panamanian sovereignty, but prevent its exercise in any form in the Canal Zone. Such a restriction on sovereignty, imposed from the outside, makes it impossible for Panama either to realize its right to selfdevelopment or to be the principal agent of its destiny in the world community.
This is the key moral issue at stake in these treaties.
It is important to note at this point, Mr. Chairman, that Catholic teaching on international relations does not give political sovereignty an absolute moral value. At a deeper level than political or legal sovereignty is the reality of human community, which happens to be shaped at this stage of history by a world of states. There are basic human responsibilities among people and nations which we think take precedence over the legal claims of states. At the same time, it is in our view necessary to acknowledge a real, if relative, value to the concept of sovereignty in the world of states.
The legitimate claims of sovereignty make it possible for a state in a still disorganized world to protect the fundamental rights of its people against outside intereference and to marshal the resources and energies of its national heritage for the good of its people.
These are objectives which touch the very identity and dignity as well as the socioeconomic welfare of a country. They are objectives which we take for granted as the right of our own Nation in the world. Yet, under the provisions of the 1903 treaty, these minimal objectives of a state are severely restricted by us in the case of Panama.
It is this prevailing situation which cries out for redress. The great opportunity of the moment, Mr. Chairman, an opportunity of both justice and peace, is that we can redress the situation by the democratic procedure of a vote in this legislative body of the United States. It is our hope and prayer, Mr. Chairman, that the significance of this moment will not be lost in the intensity of debate presently surrounding this issue.
SYMBOLIC SIGNIFICANCE OF MOMENT
The substantive significance is the issue of political and legal justice I have just specified. But the symbolic significance of the moment is no less important: One of the largest and one of the smallest nations in the world have been dangerously close to conflict for over a decade; it is now possible to lay this conflict to rest and in so doing to provide an example in world affairs of how states of very different political, economic, and military power can deal with each other in terms of equality, dignity, and mutual respect.
There are too few examples of this kind in the world today. It would be a political and a moral tragedy of the first order if we were to squander this opportunity.
Complementing this dimension of political-legal justice, there is a second moral question at stake in a new treaty. Sovereignty is a political concept, but in world politics today the implications of sovereignty have significant socioeconomic consequences.
In both our 1975 and 1976 statements on United States-Panama relations, we stressed how present restrictions on Panamanian sovereignty substantially retard the possibilities for economic development in that nation. We say this even while we readily acknowledge that the existence of the canal, built and operated under U.S. auspices, has brought substantial economic benefit to Panama in this century.
The acknowledgment of this fact should not, however, overshadow the equally relevant truth that the existing inability of Panama to integrate the canal and territory comprising the Canal Zone into its na
tional planning has serious long-term economic consequences, ranging from urban congestion in Panama City, to the level of revenue which Panama can gain from operating the canal.
The political issue of restrictions on Panamanian sovereignty strikes at national pride and dignity. The economic issue resulting from restrictions on Panamanian sovereignty strikes at the human dignity and economic welfare of the people of Panama.
It is a stated policy goal of our Nation to foster the political and économic development of the nations of the Third World. In the treaties now before this committee, the potential exists to make a significant contribution to one of those nations by opening the possibility for more rational and comprehensive economic planning through restoring to Panamanian control the precious 500-plus square miles of territory which now bisects that country.
The CHAIRMAN. May I interrupt your statement at that point, please?
There is a rollcall on in the Senate. I think perhaps the best thing to do would be for us to recess for 5 minutes so that we can make that rollcall.
We will return shortly.
We would be very glad to resume with your statement, Cardinal Krol. But I must warn you that we may be interrupted frequently with rollcalls. Also, Senator Case and I have a luncheon engagement with a visiting foreign dignitary and we will need to leave at 12 to keep that appointment.
It may be that the other Senators can carry on. If not, we will recess this hearing for lunch. I would suppose that everybody wants lunch.
We are very happy for you to proceed.
The remarks I have made thus far bring me to two concluding considerations. One bears upon our relations with others, and the second upon our perception of ourselves as a nation.
SYMBOLIC SIGNIFICANCE OF TREATIES
I have already commented upon the symbolic significance of these treaties, but the idea is worthy of a final reflection.
In the increasingly interdependent world of which we are a part, our relations with the nations of the developing world will be both complex and of considerable importance. The way those relations are shaped will have a decisive impact on what Pope John called the international common good.
The Panama Canal Treaties constitute a prismatic case of how decisions among individual nations can contribute to the international common good. All the political and economic dynamics involved hetween the industrialized and developing nations are reflected in this issue.