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

No. 106

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram No. 19 of February 4, 10 A.M. concerning the conversations with the Panamanian Foreign Office and with President Arias concerning the question of radio control in general and, specifically, the transfer to Panama of the United States Naval Radio Stations at Puerto Obaldía and La Palma.

There are enclosed herewith copies of a Memorandum to the Foreign Office of February 2, 1934 transmitting a draft of a joint agreement covering the above mentioned transfer, the agreement itself, and a copy [Page 629] of a Third Person Note addressed to the Foreign Office on February 3, 1934.46

The Department is aware of the opposing points of view in relation to conceding an ample measure of independence to Panama in its radio facilities and it would appear that no advance has been made in bringing these opposing viewpoints together. President Arias feels that a Radio Board as suggested in the Washington conversations would meet great popular resentment in Panama but is apparently unwilling to act hastily in going ahead without American approval. The Navy here feels that Tropical Radio is likely to initiate ship to shore service under Panamanian license and that the statement of Secretary Arosemena to me on February 2nd openly discloses that intention.

The Department’s instructions will be greatly appreciated. It would seem that a decision should be now reached as to how far we are prepared to go, whether we are prepared to recede from our former position and sacrifice what the Navy considers necessary for the Canal defense, or whether we are to insist on a measure of control which Panama will not willingly accept and which we, in all likelihood, cannot enforce in time of peace.

Respectfully yours,

Antonio C. Gonzalez
  1. None printed.