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

No. 809

Sir: With reference to your despatch No. 3062 of September 21, 1929, the Department desires that you should deliver the following note in reply to the note received by you from the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs on September 17:

“I did not fail to communicate to my Government Your Excellency’s note of September 17, in which you stated that the Panaman Goverment desires the reconsideration as a whole of the Treaty signed at Washington in 1926.

“I am instructed to say in reply that the Government of the United States is willing to enter upon new discussions with the Government of Panama regarding the subjects embraced in the Treaty signed in 1926 at such time as the Panaman Government may desire. In doing so the Government of the United States is animated solely by its desire to meet the wishes of Panama and to give further evidence of its friendship for that Republic. As I had the honor to state in my [Page 728] note of July 1614 the Government of the United States considers that its own rights and interests are amply safeguarded by the existing Treaty signed in 1903, and it therefore considers the present situation entirely satisfactory from its point of view. The Treaty of 1903 forms and must form the basis of the relations between Panama and the United States, and the Government of the United States can only discuss possible modifications of its provisions upon the understanding that the rights, power and authority which this Treaty conferred upon it, and of which the United States felt compelled to assure itself before entering on the great undertaking of building the Canal, are to be recognized and respected. On the basis of a full recognition of these rights and this power and authority the Government of the United States will gladly give consideration to any proposals for a new Treaty which the Government of Panama may wish to present.”

I am [etc.]

Henry L. Stimson
  1. In telegram No. 89, October 24, 3 p.m., the Minister in Panama requested authorization to change this sentence so as to begin: “As stated in Mr. Muse’s note of July 25”. The Department replied in telegram No. 55, October 28, 1 p.m.: “No objection.”