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miles from mean low water mark with the proviso that the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbors adjacent to said cities, which are included within the boundaries of the zone above described shall not be included in this grant ...

The Republic of Panama further grants in like manner to the United States in perpetuity all islands within the limits of the zone above described and in addition thereto the group of small islands in the Bay of Panama,

named Perico, Naos, Culebra and Flamence; and Whereas, the United States has more than fully met its obligations to Panama under existing treaty arrangements and, moreover, has efficiently and responsibly accommodated a large number of transits and amount of tonnage through the (anal; and

Whereas, the United States has paid for the Canal and the Canal Zone four times (1) to Panama, (2) to the failed French Consortium, (3) to private citizens of Panama, and, finally, (4) to Colombia ; and

Whereas, the revoluationary government of Panama, a product of coup d' etat, has since June 1971, under the guise of seeking new canal treaty arrangements, undertaken a bitter and sustained campaign of anti-American propaganda fueled in large part by Cuban and Soviet communists; and

Whereas, given the emotionally irrational situation in Panama, a political/ psychological “timebomb" is being consciously fabricated by the revolutionary government of Panama, set to explode to the detriment of the United States and the world shipping community; and

Whereas, due largely to our unswerving V.F.W. support, patriots in the United States Senate, led by Senators Thurmond (S.C.), Helms (N.C.) and McClellan (Ark.), have gone on record in opposition to the unprincipled “Statement of Principles" signed by former Secretary of State Kissinger and the Panamanians, and a parrallel effort is being similarly supported in the House of Representatives, led by Congressman Dan Flood (Pa.); now, therefore, be it

Resolved, by the 78th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, That:

(a) U.S. operation, control and defense of the Canal are non-negotiable;

(0) Tensions relating to the administration of the Canal Zone be resolved on the spot without disturbing present treaty arrangements;

(c) U.S. citizens and employees in the Canal Zone continue to meet their responsibilities under U.S. sovereignty ;

(d) The foregoing position be again communicated to both the President (who in October 1976 asserted that he would "never give up complete or practical control" of the Canal) and the Congress;

(e) The Panama Canal Zone send to the Congress of the United States a delegate such as is done in Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands; and

(f) The proposed treaty being put forward by the Carter Administration be defeated in the 95th Congress.

i Adopted by the 78th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, held in Minneapolis, Minn., August 19 through 26, 1977.)

VFW. RESOLUTION NO. 402

Colonel Jones. This earlier statement includes the unanimously passed resolution No. 402, the heart of which reads:

Be it Resolved, by the 78th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that:

(a) U.S. operation, control and defense of the canal are non-negotiable;

(b) Tensions relating to the administration of the Canal Zone be resolved on the spot without disturbing present treaty arrangements;

(c) U.S. citizens and employees in the Canal Zone continue to meet their responsibilities under U.S. sovereignty;

(d) The foregoing position be again communicated both to the President (who in October 1976 asserted that he would "never give up complete or practical control of the canal) and the Congress;

(e) The Panama Canal Zone send to the Congress of the United States a delegate such as is done in Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands; and

(f) The proposed treaty being put forward by the Carter Administration be defeated in the 95th Congress.

If anything, since this resolution was passed on August 23, both additional reflection and events have fortified our resolve.

SIGNING CEREMONY A "MEDIA EVENT”

The September 7 White House signing extravaganza was unmistakably designed to be a "media event” which would overwhelm any serious consideration of the proposed treaties on their merits or lack thereof.

In candor, my organization was affronted by this stagey" event and the inherent premise that U.S. national interest on this issue could best be discerned and advanced by polling foreign nations.

NEUTRALITY PROVISION INTERPRETATION

The trumpeted U.S. right to act militarily to preserve the canal's neutrality, under article IV of the neutrality treaty, has been directly disavowed by two Panamanians most directly involved: negotiators Carlos Lopez Guevara and Romulo Escobar Bethancourt. Mr. Bethancourt assured the rubberstamp Panamanian National Assembly on August 19 that, not only was U.S. military intervention not permitted under article IV, but also the canal could be closed by Panama if: (a) No profits accrued;

b) Internal disorders erupted; or, (c) There was a landslide.

EXPEDITIOUS PASSAGE INTERPRETATIONS

A few days later, Mr. Bethancourt offered some observations on the "expeditious” passage reportedly assured U.S. warships:

Expeditious passage does not mean privileged passage. As a matter of fact, the concept of privileged passage was rejected ... if after examining the provision, the gringos with their warships say, "I want to go through first," then that is their problem with the other ships waiting there. We cannot go that far.

NEGOTIATIONS SUPPORT

Mr. Chairman, we have long heard that the proposed treaties are the product of thirteen years of painstaking negotiations fully supported by four Presidents. Yet today we witness American negotiators unable properly to explain with any conviction what it is that Panama agreed to in the very elastic language of article IV of the neutrality treaty. As we well know, Panamanians, with alacrity and acerbity, repeatedly tell us what they did not agree to.

I I find it impossible to believe that four Presidents, their Secretaries of State, and the current Joint Chiefs of Staff could now find solid reasons to support the tragic/comic opera bouffe being played out to ascertain what it is, in fact, that 13 years of “painstaking” negotiations have really meant.

Certainly, Mr. Linowitz missed the mark badly when he informed this body, on September 29, that "in no way does (the proposed treaty)

- limit our ability to act,” and “U.S. warships can go to the head of the line even if other ships are waiting to get in.” Mr. Linowitz convinced only Mr. Linowitz on these points. His Panamanian colleagues were clearly unmoved.

PUBLIC EDUCATION BY JCS

We have all noted that the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been assigned a key role in educating the presumably backward American public on the proposed treaties.

As a retired career soldier whose service included duty on the Joint Staff and in the office of the Chairman, JCS, I have an abiding appreciation of our senior military people as officers of honor and perception. They are among the most convinced constitutionalists in our country. I do not, and will not, question their sincerity and conviction on this matter. I do, however, point out that the aggressive use of the service chiefs by the administration makes shabby use of the JCS in what is obviously an intense domestic debate with important political overtones.

Over the 30 years since 1947, when the JCS system was formally set up, my research shows me only three occasions-one per decade—when ,

the JCS was invoked by various administrations in an effort to preempt prolonged political consideration of a national policy: (a) in 1951 when General Bradley supported President Truman's desire not to expand the Korean war as called for by General MacArthur; (b) the 1963 support of the JCS for the limited test ban treaty; and (c) the current use.

One final point on this matter of the administration and the JCS. If the administration truly believes the Joint Chiefs collectively represent an unassailable source of policy wisdom on the matter of the proposed treaties, the question can be fairly put: Why limit the public role of the JCS to the matter of the treaties only? The decision on the B-1 bomber, the proposed withdrawal from Korea and a host of other de

fense issues could have the "wraps” removed and the JCS urged to come - forward and “tell it like it is."

My concern is that such transparent use of the senior military will, rightly or not, decrease their credibility on some future occasion when the Chiefs, on their own, feel compelled to stand up and be counted on some issue central to our survival.

Mr. Chairman, some concluding thoughts.

As this committee was supremely unimpressed by the argument that five American Presidents sought an outcome in Vietnam different from that which happened, I urge you to apply the same level of skepticism to the current "four Presidents have favored” argument advanced by the administration.

POSSIBILITY OF VIOLENCE ABSENT TREATIES' RATIFICATION As to the possibility of violence absent treaty ratifications, the recent burning of Ambassador Jorden's automobile in Panama suggests that some level of violence will arise from some quarter no matter what happens. The United States-most certainly to include the VFW-is threatening no one. We are being threatened periodically by a Panamanian regime which alternatively forecasts violence or states their abhorence of the violence they have earlier forecast. A nice trick.

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U.S. PREEMINENCE ARGUMENT

I have attempted to think through formulae short of uninterrupted U.S. sovereignty which would assure the President the "practical control” he stated a year ago he never would cede. It doesn't work. Socalled preeminence or practical control, short of uninterrupted U.S. sovereignty, equals being on the Isthmus on Panamanian sufference which could be withdrawn overnight. When we cede sovereignty, as the proposed treaties would have us do, we are placed on a slippery slope without a solid case under the law should Panama, for whatever reason, elect to nationalize the canal operation. There is no way to get from the cession of sovereignty to practical control. As Hanson Baldwin has pointed out, to talk as if we can is doubletalk.

One aspect of this issue has escaped notice to this point.

INTERDEPENDENCE AMONG WORLD NATIONS

This body is deeply aware of the high, and increasing, level of interdependence between and among nations of the world. Often this undeniable fact of growing interdependence is cited as a compelling reason for a muted American response to some event outside our borders. What has, I believe, never been emphasized is that the responsible, professional 63-year American custodianship of the canal, for the benefit of the entire world maritime community, is a practical example of the interdependence among nations being understood, accepted, and efficiently served.

Finally, after words and perceived symbols fade, geography endures. Along with Gibraltar-British since 1713, not just since 1903— Suez, and the Straits of Malacca, the United States Canal and its protective framework the Canal Zone on the Isthmus of Panama, will be important to the commerce of many nations and vital to hemispheric and free world safety for as far ahead as any of us can see.

It is the considered judgment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States that uninterrupted U.S. sovereignty over the canal and the Canal Zone is in the supreme national interest and we urge the U.S. Senate, as an act of enlightened and unapologic statesmanship to return the proposed treaties to the President with your advice, but without your consent.

I will try to answer any questions as you choose to ask.
Thank you.
Senator Stone. Thank you, Colonel.
Senator Case.

COMMENDATION OF WITNESSES Senator Case. Thank you very much. We are very appreciative of your statements and your willingness to stay around through this long period to give them to us, and we apologize for that.

You have touched on many of the things that have given us concern as I am sure you realize from our questions of the witnesses before you and your knowledge of our general attitude toward things

I am not going to go into detail now because it is so late and you have been so patient, but I just want to tell you that we are most grateful and we know that your members back home are grateful.

You visited our convention and I was happy to greet you there; and Frank, of course, is an old friend, and your members, gentlemen, are equally important to all of us who are very concerned with this, and their concern is reflected in our concern.

Thank you very much for your statements.
Senator STONE. Senator Sarbanes.
Senator SARBANES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

General Roberts, you have submitted for the record the news release that you referred to and from which you read names, and the letter that you quoted, that you sent out to all of the flag rank officers of the organization. It is very helpful and important that these be included in the record.

Senator STONE. It will be included.

[The information referred to is classified and in the Committee files.]

General ROBERTS. I submitted the news release from which I read the names and I also have just given the letter to the reporter.

SMUGGLING CHARGES AGAINST PANAMANIAN HEAD OF GOVERNMENT

Senator Case. I wonder if I could take one-half a minute just to put something in for the purposes of the record at the end of your statement. There has been some talk about smuggling charges against the head of the Government of Panama, and I just wanted everyone to know what I think our committee members all know: That this has not gone without our notice in the committee, and that the chairman has written to the Secretary of State requesting that we get any information that the Department has or any other executive branch organizations have concerning these allegations.

We want to be fully informed and we are expecting to follow this up. Our staff had a briefing with the Department, and more information has been requested and the matter stands there and it will be pursued.

The chairman authorized me to make this statement for the record and I wanted to do it before I had to go. [The information referred to follows:]

OCTOBER 6, 1977. Hon. CYRUS R. VANCE, Secretary of State, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: In the course of the Committee's consideration of the proposed Panama Canal agreements, allegations have been made linking members of General Torrijos' family to illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs.

I would appreciate receiving on behalf of the Committee any information which the State Department or other Executive Branch agencies may have regarding these allegations. In particular, I would appreciate knowing if Moises Torrijos, brother of General Torrijos, has a pending indictment in the United States for narcotics trafficking.

I hope you will provide whatever information you have on this matter at your earliest convenience. Sincerely,

JOHN SPARKMAN.

Chairman.

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