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Of course, these fellows in the other body don't want Dante Fascell running for the Senate.
Mr. FASCELL. That makes two of us. Mr. Flood. A majority. That is one of the reasons. I have been trying, with certain other Members, to have the Constitution amended as it should be, to have the Congress ratify treaties.
In our case, on the Panama question there is a gimmick. All these long-haired, striped pants boys before they took off their spats forgot all about this, really. Some of them told me
I would emphasize the importance of article IV, section 3, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, that vests the power to dispose of territory and other property of the United States in the Congress, which of course includes the House of Representatives. This places a high degree of responsibility upon your subcommittee for, as in the case of the 1967 proposed treaties and, so far as can be ascertained by anybody now, at the present time, this wise constitutional provision is being ignored by our treaty negotiators from the very beginning.
We have kept them off balance on this thing, just like Tommy Loughran keeping that left in their face, or right, if you wish. They are off balance. They were almost around the table to sign the treaty you referred to. They had their feet under the table. It was the House, with its pounding-you say maybe 100 Members now. As we said before, if and when they come to such a point in the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, I will bet you a new hat, Mr. Chairman, 150 Members or more of the House will meet me in the well of the House and we will parade four abreast to the Senate and knock on Mr. Fulbright's door and tell him we each want 5 minutes against it. I am not kidding
An examination of the court decisions will disclose that the constitutionality of this provision to which I just referred has been upheld many times. One example of our Government complying with it was in the 1955 treaty in which the conveyance of land and property of the United States to Panama was subject to the enactment of legislation by the Congress.
I have the citation here. The Chapin-Fábrega Treaty of January 25, 1955, article V.
When we took over the zone area, we acquired title to all the property in the zone, no matter who owned it—the French property, some New York outfit running it then, everything. We bought and paid for title. The title is in the United States of America. If the Senate thinks because they have the constitutional right to ratify treaties they can dispose of property to which the United States has title without an act of Congress, which includes the House, they forgot that one. The decisions support it to the hilt.
General plans for the major increase of the capacity and the operational improvements to the existing canal have been developed and are covered in pending legislation, but they cannot proceed and they cannot do a thing until the sovereignty issue is clarified and our undiluted control and ownership of the canal and the zone is fully understood and recognized, for the canal can no more be separated from the zone than you can take boilers from a steam powerplant. You cannot do it.
The very moment we surrender sovereignty over the zone to Panama
as is presently planned, Soviet power will take over the Republic of Panama as it did Cuba.
Mr. Chairman, this House knows me. A lot of the country knows me. I have never been one of the people who runs around seeing a Russian bear under my bed or chair. It is not that kind of thing. I am not waving this red flag business looking for spooks. This is as plain as the nose on your face. When Castro did take over Cuba, a certain volunteer outfit, my spies tell me, very well known to Castro, did move against the canal. People do not know that. They landed from Cuba. But the native Indians took care of them.
I do not have to develop that. You understand as well as I do.
Do you know, Mr. Chairman, that Soviet experts have already arrived in Panama? They have arrived at the university, in the social security organization in Panama City, the labor offices of the Panamanian Government-right now while we are sitting here talking. This is not just U.S. control of the Canal Zone versus Panamanian, but it is the continued U.S. sovereignty versus Soviet domination again.
Boy, are they trying. You know what is going on in Peru and Chile and several places.
I am going to ask a few questions, and then we can pull the curtain down.
Before any surrender to Panama of sovereignty over the Canal Zone, many questions must be answered satisfactorily, and among them are the following:
Where would Panamanian political leaders flee for asylum to escape assassination such as has frequently occurred for many years?
Where in the world would they go? Maybe they are gone now. That is a very stable place. What time is it? They would run across the street, Fourth of July Avenue, and go "yah, yah” at the new fellows who were taking over. If they are in the zone, they are safe. This has gone on, time and time again.
How could the lives of our citizens and the canal itself be defended against sheer_mob violence without the protective frame physically of the Canal Zone under the control of the United States of America? It couldn't be done.
How could the canal be efficiently maintained and operated unless the undiluted control of the zone with all its tremendous facilities remains with the United States ?
Don't forget, this is what the maritime nations of the world think. Japan, Britain, all great maritime nations are worried about this. We have obligations and treaties with them. They expect us to maintain them. They want us in that zone for obvious and perfectly sound and proper reasons.
What are they going to do? Take a powder? Again? Mr. FASCELL. That is an important question. We are subsidizing 15 percent of all the Japanese transport.
Mr. FLOOD. You know that.
Mr. FLOOD. I don't, either. That is a horse of a different rolling stone, but I know what you mean.
Mr. FASCELL. Mr. Culver is examining that as a matter of the foreign economic policy of the United States.
Mr. FLOOD. It ought to be examined.
How could these constant conflicts and recriminations that always feature extraterritoriality be avoided in the event of surrender of the Canal Zone sovereignty? Those questions are a can
of worms. How could the Panama Canal be modernized without further extortions through further treaty negotiations? It has to be done.
Why jeopardize our present absolutely proper treaty rights to modernize the existing canal by expansion and new construction as the treaty called for, by abrogating the workable treaty of 1903 ?
Why should the United States abandon policies successfully tested in the operation of the existing canal based on provisions of a workable treaty, for the mere option for a new sea-level canal design that even its advocates admit will never be constructed! They are talking a great fight.
Why does the State Department ignore the marine ecological angle? This concerns you especially, Mr. Chairman, as a Member from Florida. I was raised in St. Augustine. I am no goddamned Yankee. I am just a plain Yankee. I am only half bad. Why does the State Department ignore the marine ecological angle involved in constructing a salt water channel between the oceans, which recognized scientists predict would result in infesting the Atlantic—this is not some wierd story or idea-with the poisonous Pacific sea snake!
This has them scared to death from Brazil north to Virginia and all of Florida. Can you imagine those Pacific sea snakes off Miami? That would be the end of that. And that predatory Crown of Thorns starfish. This is bad stuff. The people who know say this will follow. I don't know, but they who know tell me yes. Nobody has said no. They just pretend it is wacky.
Is not the Republic of Panama a small and weak country whose independence is assured only so long as the United States remains on the isthmus? That is the only assurance they have. Of course, if you are a candidate for president, what do you do in Panama ? You jump in a dugout canoe and get a couple of Indians to paddle you up the Chagres River, and you stop along the banks and throw up your right hand, “Hi ! The canal is ours ! Sovereignty or die!" As the paper in front of you says, that kind of thing. You want votes. "We get the canal, nobody will have to work any longer. We will all be rich. Hurrah, El Presidente !" They have been doing it for years.
Why has it whipped the people of Panama into a frenzy of great expectations which, when not realized, can result in violence ?
What would be the legal complications of ending more than six decades of the U.S. jurisdiction and the Canal Zone Code that has been enacted by the Congress!
You are in this show, Mr. Chairman. This is where the buck stops: Fascell, Chairman, thus subcommittee, Foreign Affairs Committee of the House. This is the end of the line.
Would not such surrender be in violation of the 1950 Panama Canal Reorganization Act,Public Law 841, 81st Congress—that placed the canal on a self-sustaining basis?
As I mentioned, would not the surrender of the Canal Zone arouse controversy with Great Britain as absolutely violative of the 1901 Hay-Pauncefote Treaty and other maritime nations that have accepted that treaty?
Would not surrender of the Canal Zone to Panama violate the right of Colombia under the Thomson-Urrutia Treaty of 1914-22 in the Panama Canal and the railroad? Of course it would. But these people just pretend it isn't there. It is a scrap of paper. It is there.
In view of the terms of the 1903 Treaty ceding sovereignty over the Canal Zone to the United
States, how can it be legally surrendered except by abandoning the Panama Canal? Do you want to do that!
What reasons except a determination—I told you how far that goes back-to acquire the Panama Canal has motivated the U.S.S.R. in the takeover of Cuba? We know about that. Certain people in the White House got hold of me during that thing. This was no accident. Khrushchev had his eye on that canal. I don't blame him, do you? The building of bases there, operating submarines off both coasts of Latin America.
Remember, the trouble we had in the middle part of World War II was German subs being watered and provisioned off the Atlantic coast there by some fascisti.
I can give you their names. I know them. German submarines were being provisioned and watered off the mouth of the canal by certain Panamanian elements, fascisti. This is in the book.
Would not the cession of U.S. sovereignty over the Canal Zone to Panama facilitate the expropriation of the canal as occurred in Egypt after the surrender of the Suez Canal Zone? Egypt takes over the Suez. The next day there are three Panamanians in Cairo saying, "How do you do that?" I am not kidding you. In 30 days, for the first time Egypt opened a consulate in Panama City. Very funny. This is history.
History is a very funny book. I took my degree in history under Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart of Harvard. He had a beard down to his waist. Everybody used to say his beard knew more history than anybody in Cambridge. You couldn't hear the guy in the front row. The beard got all the history.
Can you think of a worse blow against the United States, outside of a nuclear attack, than the loss of the Panama Canal ?
Would not the cession of the Canal Zone constitute a precedent for other nations, emboldened by such surrender to Panama ? This pops up right along. There isn't a decade this does not appear. The Russians raised this once seriously in an off-the-table debate at the United Nations, in I think the first year, “Our right to Alaska.” You can get a great argument on that in Moscow, let me tell you. I mean an argument. That is quite a story.
What about the Gadsden Purchase! The great Southwest? What about that? Do you want to go into that?
Mr. FASCELL. Would that have something to do with Texas, perhaps?
Mr. Flood. All right, Florida. What about Florida? You don't want to go into that. You know all about Florida history. You don't want to go into that; no, sir.
The Louisiana Purchase. Do you want to dust that one off ? Let's forget about that, huh? Sure.
Mr. CULVER. It depends on which part of my district.
The historic canal policy of the United States is for an American canal, on American soil, for the American people and world shipping as provided by law, and that is the policy we should follow, without dilution.
Mr. Chairman, the present task before the House of Representatives is the transcendent one of clarification and reaffirmation of our sovereign control of the Panama Canal Enterprise. The resolutions that you know about now pending reflect the views of our best informed congressional leaders and specially qualified citizens from all over this Nation. Their adoption will serve notice in the world, especially Soviet rulers who are now living out of a suitcase, starting today, I guess, putting the show on the road, that the United States has the will to meet its treaty obligations at Panama.
It is about time.
I do not come in here waving the American flag and talking about God, country, and everything else. This is not my act. But I am telling you what they are thinking.
We cannot do anything like this. We must reassert our position, our image, in De Gaulle's great phrase. The public image of the United States worldwide is badly tarnished. I never thought I would live to say that. It is so. We cannot do anything like this.
It will open the way for the next great step by the Congress in the evolution of our canal policy, the major modernization of the existing Panama Canal, and that is a "must.”
These two steps together, sovereignty reaffirmation and modernization, should meet the canal situation for many generations in the future.
Accordingly, Mr. Chairman, I urge very prompt and favorable action on the Panama Canal Sovereignty Resolutions thạt are now pending
Thank you very much.
Mr. FASCELL. Thank you, Mr. Flood. I appreciate your assurances that Congress will have to act with respect to any territorial cession.
Mr. FASCELL. Thank you very much, Mr. Flood. We appreciate your appearance.
Mr. Flood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(The following was subsequently submitted by Mr. Flood for inclusion in the record :)
CONGRESS OF THE UNITES STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C., September 29, 1971. Hon. DANTE B. FASCELL, Chairman, Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs, Washington, D.C.
DEAR COLLEAGUE: A crucial point brought out during the Panama Canal hearings on September 22 was whether major canal modernization requires a new treaty.
The answer is “no” for the following reasons :
(a) Under present Treaty provisions the United States has all the rights, power, and authority of sovereignty over the Canal Zone among which are the major operational improvements and increase of capacity of the existing canal.