819.74/259: Telegram

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

160. Referring to radio control on Isthmus, Commandant Fifteenth Naval District informs me that Navy now prepared to turn over radio stations owned and operated by the United States at La Palma and Obaldía to Panaman Government. Commandant anxious to do this as soon as possible for reasons of economy. He is convinced that present equipment at the stations will not be appropriate for the use of Panama on account of the complicated character of apparatus and expense of operation.

Commandant suggests that this Legation propose to Panaman Government that present apparatus of these stations be dismantled and removed; that Navy would substitute, free of all charge to Panama, receiving and transmitting sets appropriate for the purposes of the stations; that present Diesel engines be dismantled as too large and costly of operation [and that?] they be replaced by small Delco or other generators to be purchased by Panama at a cost of about $500 each station. The Panaman operators who have been instructed by the Navy for the past 3 months now prepared, Commandant states, to take over these smaller installations.

It will be appreciated if the Department will inform me by Navy radio whether it has any objection to informal inquiries being made from Panaman Government provided such arrangement will be satisfactory.