The Secretary of State to the Minister in Panama (South)

Sir: You are informed that the House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 6, (Legislative day of Monday, February 5) passed without amendment the Senate Joint Resolution 259, authorizing the President to abrogate the International Agreement embodied in certain executive orders relating to the Panama Canal, commonly known as the Taft Agreement. A copy of this Joint Resolution is attached herewith for your information.

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You will please inform the Panaman Foreign Office that the Government of the United States will, in virtue of the congressional authorization above cited, abrogate on May 1, 1924, the International Agreement, commonly called the Taft Agreement, embodied in the executive orders mentioned in the Senate Joint Resolution.

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes

Senate Joint Resolution 259 Authorizing the President to Abrogate the International Agreement Embodied in Certain Executive Orders Relating to the Panama Canal

Whereas it is provided in the act entitled “An act to provide for the opening, maintenance, protection, and operation of the Panama Canal, and the sanitation and government of the Canal Zone,” approved August 24, 1912, “that all laws, orders, regulations, and ordinances adopted and promulgated in the Canal Zone by order of the President for the government and sanitation of the Canal Zone and the construction of the Panama Canal are hereby ratified and confirmed as valid and binding until Congress shall otherwise provide”; and

Whereas among the orders so ratified and confirmed as valid and binding are Executive orders, issued by the Secretary of War, by direction of the President, on December 3, December 6, and December 28, 1904, January 7, 1905, and January 5, 1911, in which were embodied the terms of an agreement reached between the Secretary of War and officials of the Panama Government to serve as a modus operandi during the construction of the canal; and

Whereas the purpose of the agreement in question has passed with the formal opening of the canal, and the agreement no longer provides an adequate basis for the adjustment of questions arising out of the relations between the Canal Zone authorities and the Government of Panama, and should be replaced by a more permanent agreement:

Resolved, etc., That the President be authorized to abrogate the international agreement embodied in the Executive orders issued as aforesaid, on December 3, December 6, and December 28, 1904, January 7, 1905, and January 5, 1911.

Sec. 2. That when the President shall exercise the authority hereby granted, such orders shall no longer be valid and binding, and the legal effect of these orders given to them by the said act of Congress approved August 24, 1912, shall be repealed.