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of no event more reassuring to our friends and allies around the world than the positive resolution of this difficult debate in cooperation between the Congress and the President after all the divisions of the last 10 years.

This is now the real issue of the Panama Canal treaties, and their ultimate significance. I am confident that statesmanship on the part of all concerned will bring this debate to its proper, positive, and constructive solution. For 30 years this country has borne a vital responsibility for international security, for the health of the world economy, and for the cause of human freedom. To fulfill this historic role we must be a united people; Congress and the President, Republicans and Democrats must all have the sense that we are engaged in a shared enterprise. It is in this spirit that the Panama Canal treaties must be considered. and it is in this spirit that I respectfully urge their ratification.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.

Secretary Kissinger, I noted your comments on the use of the word "intervention.” As a matter of fact, a group of us went down to talk to President Carter a few mornings ago. I told him I wished we could find other language to use than the word “intervention.” That has a connotation that we should stay as far away from as possible.



Secretary Rusk, there has been much discussion about the economic importance of the canal but little about how rejection of these treaties would affect our economic relations in Latin America. Do you feel that our failure to ratify the treaties could lead to a reduction in trade with Latin America ? Could disapproval threaten our sources of supply of critical raw materials that we obtain from Latin America? What, in your opinion, would be the reaction of other Latin American countries to a rejection of the treaties?

Mr. Rusk. I doubt that the rejection of these treaties will lead to an immediate, large-scale reduction in our trade with Latin America. They need our markets; we need theirs; we need what they have to sell. There would be, I have no doubt, a higher tension created throughout the hemisphere. I would guess that this would have a serious and negative impact upon a great many questions that are before the forums of the world.

For example, I have no doubt that Panama would take this problem to the United Nations and the Latin American nations would be solidly against us in the United Nations. I think the political cost would be very high. It is possible that some of them would take economic reprisals of one sort or another but, quite frankly, I would think that would not be the major cost.

The major cost would lie in the problems of insuring the security of the Panama Canal, itself, if the treaties were not approved and, secondly, the political cost here and abroad and, third, the radicalization of the people and Government of Panama in the open invitation that they would present to forces inimical to the United States to come into Panama, to infiltrate Panama, and present us with some very serious problems in that area.


The CHAIRMAN. You and I were together in the General Assembly, as I recall, in 1950. I can recall in that Assembly we could always count on unanimous support-almost unanimous support from the Latin American countries. I have understood in more recent years that has turned pretty much the other way. Is that right?

Mr. Rusk. Our Latin American friends have joined with most of the rest of the Third World on a series of issues related to what they call a new international economic order involving trade, investment, and questions of that sort. They still have a solidarity with the Third World in regard to a good many of the Law of the Sea questions which are now in international conference.

So, it is quite true, Mr. Chairman, that we don't have those rolling majorities in the General Assembly that you and I used to enjos back in the Truman administration where it was 46 to 5, 47 to 5, that kind of vote in the General Assembly. Those days are gone. I have no doubt that this particular issue, the Panama Canal Treaty issue, would keep pushing them in the other direction in terms of not being with us on matters of importance to us arising in other parts of the world or in these general international forums such as the Law of the Sea Conference.

The CHAIRMAN. Secretary Kissinger, do you have any comment on that?

Mr. KISSINGER. I agree with the remarks of Secretary Rusk. I would say that in my experience at the United Nations it is true that we can no longer count on the automatic vote of the Latin American countries, that on many issues they tend to lean toward the Third World. We, nevertheless, get a more respectful hearing and a better opportunity to influence decisions of the Third World and more support for us from Latin American countries than from any other member of that so-called Third World group.

I believe that our ability to work with the countries of the Western Hemisphere would be jeopardized gradually if these treaties were rejected and if we got into a position of confrontation with Panama and the other countries of the Western Hemisphere.

The great danger is not that from one day to the next there will be a dramatic change. The great danger is that over a period of years it will almost inevitably generate issues that will lead to a deterioration of our relationship, and that the forces that are friendly to us in Latin America, including some that would not really be all that much in favor of the treaties but who cannot even express that view today because of the present state of public opinion, will be overwhelmed by the hostile forces that would be rallying around the treaties.


The CHAIRMAN. One more question, Doctor Kissinger.

Do these treaties vary in any major way from the outline established by the Kissinger-Tack agreement of 1974 and, if so, could you explain these differences and what led to the changes?

Mr. KISSINGER. I think the treaties are consistent with the provisions of the statement of principles that was signed by then Foreign Minister Tack and myself in Panama, in the presence, incidentally, of a bipartisan congressional delegation. Some of the specific provisions differ somewhat from the negotiating instructions we had issued to our negotiators, but one has to expect that in the course of negotiations some modification will occur, and I don't think that the discrepancies are of major significance.



The CHAIRMAN. Both of


I am sure, are aware of the great opposition from different sections of the country to these treaties. I do not ask you to comment on it but, as I say, I am sure you are aware that we have had that opposition.

Mr. Rusk. Mr. Chairman, may I make a brief comment on that? The CHAIRMAN. Yes, indeed.

Mr. Rusk. With due respect to the administration, I think a mistake was made in beginning the debate on these Panama Canal treaties for quite some weeks before the text of the treaties became available. We began to ball up our fists at each other without knowing what we were fighting about. My guess is that the people at the grassroots by-andlarge have never heard of article IV of the neutrality treaty. I would hope very much that the administration would help in getting information about these treaties out to the grassroots because that is where the decision just could be made. I think it was unfortunate that we were debating in the dark for a month or two before the text became available. I hope now that they are available, that that can be remedied and remedied fast.


The CHAIRMAN. Senator Case wants to delay his questions. Senator Church?

Senator CHURCH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. By the way, let me caution the members that we are operating under the 10-minute rule. That is not for the witnesses, but for the members. We have a timer right in front.

Senator Case. What happens if the witness takes the whole time of the Senator?

The CHAIRMAN. We have to count on the Senator trying to control the situation.

Mr. Rusk. We have agreed here not to filibuster, Mr. Chairman. [Laughter.]


Senator CHURCH. Mr. Chairman, both these distinguished witnesses have made very clear and compelling arguments in favor of the treaties. Both of them, it seems to me, have emphasized two provisions concerning which some confusion has arisen and by their emphasis on these provisions underscore the fact that they are rather crucial provisions.

One is the "regime of neutrality" to which both the United States and Panama would be pledged and the other is "expeditious transit.”

The problem has less to do with ambiguity concerning these phrases than with contradictory statements, outright and unquestionably contradictory statements. The President and General Torrijos are meeting today, I believe, for the purpose of reconciling these apparent contradictions.

Secretary Kissinger, I believe you are the first witness who has sug. gested that a simple reconciliation of these contradictions by the tiro Presidents, though very helpful, may not be enough. You suggest that the Senate find a way to incorporate its understanding of the meaning of these two terms in some formal manner. I want to say I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion.

Just what the device will be is not entirely clear to me, but there can be no confusion Jeft in anyone's mind and certainly the instrument of ratification should contain our interpretation or the joint interpretation of the two countries with respect to these crucial provisions. Perhaps that can be done as a minute to the agreements themselves. Perhaps it can be done as an understanding attached to the instrument of ratification. You have objected to a reservation. It is possible that the Senate might insist upon a reservation, but that is for the future to determine.

I simply want to underscore my own agreement with you that we must find a way to eliminate any possibility of doubt as to what these provisions mean. I am happy that you have yourself suggested this to the committee.

Vow to my question, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Rusk. May I make a brief comment on this? Senator CHURCH. Yes; please do. Mr. Rusk. There are many ways this could be clarified. Secretary Kissinger has helpfully suggested one, and I am sure there may be others. The problem of the technical reservation in the formal legal sense would be that it might have to be resubmitted to a plebiscite in Panama on a most difficult of all questions for the Panamanians.

If it could be clarified in some other way, an exchange of notes or a clear understanding in your resolution of advice and consent required to be put to the Panamanians before exchange of ratification, that would be fine.

I join Mr. Kissinger. I am a little worried about a formal reservation of a legal sort.

Senator CHURCH. I understand.


The chairman has mentioned the strong opposition in the country to these treaties. I recognize that to be the case. Certainly it is the case in my State. After these hearings we can commence an educational process where the case for the treaty is carried to the people. But it strikes me as being a paradox that the most strident voices, the most determined and extreme critics of the treaties in this country, come from the rightwing groups, whereas the most strident and extreme critics of the treaty in Panama come from the left wing groups.

The question I would like to put to both you gentlemen is this: Why do

you believe that the Communist elements in Panama and elsewhere in Latin America are the most vocifierous and determined enemies of these treaties?

Mr. KISSINGER. I think that there are probably two reasons. There is no question that public opinion in Latin America can always be mobilized against what can be represented as special rights by the United States and there is no question also that the treaties give us, and if we follow the procedures that I have suggested, will emphasize a special right in the defense of the canal and for the transit of our ships. It is vital for our security.

Second, I believe that the leftwing groups and other groups hostile to us see in the present arrangement a very convenient rallying point for anti-American sentiment. If they can maintain us in the position where we have to exist under the 1903 treaties, which we would have to do if Panama didn't ratify and where, therefore, our case increasingly rests on force, if can be used to embarrass all pro-U.S. elements in all countries of Latin America.

This, I want to repeat, is the big danger we face, the gradual erosion of the position of our friends if we are either maneuvered in the position of having to rest our case on force or if we maneuver ourselves into that position.

Mr. Rusk. Mr. Chairman, if I were a Communist leader with special interests and responsibilities for the Western Hemisphere I would light my candles to Karl Marx and pray that the Senate reject these treaties because that would open up some extraordinary opportunities for them to be on the popular side, not only in Panama but in Latin America.

I don't know any way in which we could help to radicalize the people of Panama more quickly than by not going ahead with treaties of this sort. In this country I have the impression, and since I am an old man I hope they won't mind my saying this, that some of the conservatives in this country have discovered that they have an extremely popular issue here. I suspect they are enjoying it. I don't blame them. I have no (loubt, in my own mind at least, about the relationship between Communist strategy in Latin American and these treaties.

Senator CHURCH. Perhaps these extreme rightwing groups would be less vehement in their opposition to the treaties if they realized that that opposition serves the Communist cause and would advance Communist purposes in Latin America.

I think that we make a mistake to assume that ratification of the treaties would eliminate all possible troubles. We might indeed have troubles from these very elements perhaps. But the larger question is whether the treaties lead us in the right direction in connection with our relations with Panama and the entire hemisphere.

It seems to me that you gentlemen have made a very strong case that it does.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAX. Senator Case.
Senator Case. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is like old times, gentlemen. It is very nice to have you up here,

both of you.

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