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This rhetoric about colonialism, how about the U.S.S.R.? Let them give up Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania and a few more such places, and the attack against the United States for being a colonial empire is just absurd. I think that also the allegation that if we don't leave down there we are going to have another Vietnam is ridiculous because the people who have the greatest interest in maintaining that canal are the Panamanians and we will never forget that.
Without that canal, about 30 to 40 percent of their total economy is gone, and so the people who need that canal the most are the Panamanians and they are not about to close it for any reason.
Senator STONE. Senator Baker asked me to express regret he had to leave to keep another commitment.
Gentlemen, we thank you so much for your testimony and for your responses to the questions.
These hearings are adjourned until further call of the Chair.
(Whereupon, at 2:10 p.m., the committee adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.]
DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS,
Washington, D.C., September 12, 1977. Hon. JOHN SPARKMAN, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MB. CHAIRMAN: The delegates to our most recent National Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 10–15, 1977, unanimously approved Resolution No. 465 favoring the continuation of U.S. control over the Panama Canal Zone.
In accordance with our National Convention mandate, I am enclosing a copy of Resolution No. 465 for your information.
Thanking you in advance for any consideration you may give to our position on this important issue, I am, Respectfully,
WILLIAM B. GARDINER,
National Director of Legislation. Enclosure.
RESOLUTION 465, FAVORING RETENTION OF THE PANAMA CANAL Whereas in August, 1976, the National Convention of the Disabled American Veterans assembled in Miami Beach, Florida, unanimously approved a resolution condemning any negotiations with the government of Panama which would release the sovereignty of the United States over the Panama Canal, and
Whereas President Carter has expressed his opinion that we should have a new treaty with Panama giving up our control, and
Whereas the Panamanian negotiators have now drawn up a second treaty designed to guarantee the Canal's neutrality, and
Whereas the maintenance of the Panama Canal under the continued control and ownership of the United States is a vital matter in maintaining the adequate defense of the Continental United States; now Therefore be it
Resolved, That the Disabled American Veterans in National Convention assembled in Las Vegas, Nevada. July 10–15, 1977, go on record as supporting a policy of favoring retention of the Panama Canal by the United States government and that no treaty compromising this stand be approved by the President or the Congress of the United States, and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, to the Chairmen of the Senate and House Foreign Affairs Committees, the Chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee and the Chairman, Subcommittee on Panama Canal.
NOVEMBER 9, 1977 Brig. Gen. JAMES H. STRATTON, USA-Ret., Washington, D.C.
DEAR GENERAL STRATTON: I wish to acknowledge your letter and enclosure of November 1 providing an analysis of the proposed Panama Canal agreements.
I very much appreciate having your views on these very important, but highly controversial agreements. If you have no objection, I would like to suggest that pour letter and analysis be made part of the Committee's hearing record. Please let me know if you have any difficulties with this suggestion. Otherwise, I will have your analysis included in the record. Sincerely,
John SPARKMAN, Chairman.
WASHINGTON; D.C., November 1, 1977. DEAR SENATOR SPARKMAN: The enclosed analysis of the pending Panama Canal Treaty is sent you at the suggestion of General Matthew Ridgway. I hope you will find it of some interest and value.
My credentials for the undertaking of the analysis are as follows: Three years of service in the Canal Zone in the 1920's and in 1946–48 in charge, under Governor Mehaffey, of the Sea-Level Canal studies and report (unpublished) authorized by Public Law 280, 79th Congress. I have published one technical paper on the Canal Problem and one in foreign affairs. Yours sincerely
JAMES H. STRATTON, Brigadier General, USA, Retired.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. JAMES H. STRATTON, USAR When the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty were first outlined in the press. I gave, in reply to a question on my opinion, a forked answer: (1) that despite misgivings with respect to certain terms, I would accept it—this even if means could not be found to modify the onerous terms to my satisfaction; and (2) that if I were a Senator, and thought certain terms against the interests of the United States, I would, before voting to reject the treaty, endeavor to persuade the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to request (advise) the President to reopen negotiations with a view to revising the offending terms. The Committee might well do this on the grounds that the informal consultations with members of the Senate during the course of the negotiations did not constitute in the fullest sense that contemplated in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which provides that the President “shall have the power, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties."
Acceptance by Panama of a proposal from the President to reopen negotiations would, in my opinion, avoid the breach in relations that would be certain to follow an outright rejection by the United States of the treaty; it might, moreover, lead to satisfactory replacement terms. The stay in time afforded by reopening negotiations would give the treaty proponents opportunity to enlighten that section of the electorate who thus far support the treaty critics, many of whom are members of Congress, whose arguments are chauvinistic and, to me, unrelated to our vital interests and security.
In an attempt to foresee the consequences of a rejection by the U.S. of the treaty, it would be well to recall the series of events which finally, after prolonged negotiations, resulted in the treaty now pending before the Senate. Follow ing the flag-raising incident in the Canal Zone in 1964, and the subsequent breach in relations with Panama, the two Presidents, Johnson and Robles, appointed negotiators to draft a treaty to replace that of 1903. The public disclosure in 1967 of the terms of the draft treaty by a dissident member of the Panama Assembly led to further riots and a widespread demand for immediate Panamanian sovereignty over the Canal Zone and the Canal. This sealed the fate of the Johnson-Robles draft treaty. It was, in any case, inimical to the best interests of the United States, and so weak in structure and language as to be unwork. able and certain to lead to conflicts of interpretation.
The pending treaty eliminates the most troublesome features of the J-R draft treaty. In support of the new treaty, we note that the Canal has become of lessened importance in the movement of our seaborne commerce, of which only 7% transits the Canal. It is, of course, still important to international trade; the fact that the US has, since 1914, safe-guarded its international use in accordance with the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty alone, justifies a continuing effort by the Us to reach an arrangement with Panama that will vouchsafe its continuing use through a partnership agreement with Panama of a duration that will insure Pnama's capacity to manage and operate the Canal.
I am further persuaded to support the new treaty by a reasoned conclusion stated more fully in the discussion of Article IV that the Canal is no longer vital to our national security and defense.
In the following discussion, I have either omitted or given only passing reference to those provisions of the treaty I find acceptable as to content and language. In the interest of avoiding tedious reading, I have chosen to paraphrase, instead of quoting at length, the treaty provisions to which I object, and those I find worthy of favorable comment.
The two articles concede that Panama has territorial sorereignty over the Canal Zone, the Canal, and the various installations and facilities serving the purpose of the Canal. Treaty opponents in the t's call this the give-away provision.
ARTICLE III Canal operation and management
Section (3) Article III establishes a Panama Canal Commission as a US agency to manage and operate the Canal, constituted by and in conformity with the laws of the U'S, composed of nine members, five of whom shall be nationals of the l'S and four Panamanian nationals proposed by Panama for appointment by the US. Procedures are given for the removal by the US of its members and by agreement between the two countries of Panamanian members.
A US National as Administrator of the Canal and a Panamanian National as Deputy Administrator, both appointed by the US, will serve in their designated positions until December 31, 1989. Thereafter the Administrator will be a Panamanian National and the Deputy a US National. Panama will nominate her Nationals for the positions reserved for her Nationals.
Comment: These appointment procedures are vastly superior to those set forth in the J-R draft of treaty, being less subject, if not substantially removed, from the vagaries of Panamanian politics,
The President of the US will, no doubt, have the deciding voice in the Board and Administrator appointments, both US and Panamanian. The appointment of a US National will probably have to be referred to the Senate for its approval. It would seem prudent, if not necessary, to have a US agency or Department of the US Government charged with at least "over-sight” responsibility for the management, operation and maintenance of the Canal, and it should be presumed, a voice in the key appointments. In the light of more than 60 years' experience, it would seem logical to have the Department of Defense exercise dominion over the Canal with the Corps of Engineers playing an active role-this not limited, however, to membership on the Board or by the appointment of an Officer of the Corps as Administrator. Consultation with the Department of State on issues arising under the treaty would naturally follow,
Section (5) Article III requires the Panama Canal Commission (hereafter the Commission) to reimburse Panama annually in the amount of $10 million for the services Panama renders to and in the Canal operating and housing areas in the way of police and fire protection, street maintenance and lighting, garbage collec. tion, etc. The amount to be reimbursed will be examined every three years to determine if adjustments should be made because of inflation.
Comment: The setting of a fixed amount for the services enumerated is unrelated to the actual costs that will be incurred. The stinting of the services would not be subject to correction or control by the (ommission other than by the withholding of funds. The provision of such services tax free to US nationals would be an extension of the arrangement they now enjoy as employees of the Panama Canal Company and the Canal Zone Government.
Section (7) Article III provides for the appointment of a Panama Consultative Committee with an equal number of representatives from each country to advise both governments on matters of policy affecting the Canal operations.
Comment: One would assume that the Commission would perform this advisory function. Perhaps the negotiators and the two governments envisaged that the Commission would be largely political in character. The Committee device should enable both governments to keep a tight hold on the Commission.
Section (9) Article III refers to an implementation agreement. I am taking steps to obtain a copy.
ARTICLE IV Protection and defense
This Article charges the us with the primary responsibility to protect and defend the Canal for the duration of the treaty. To facilitate Panama's participa