819.00/2088: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Panama (Dawson)

168. Your despatch no. 739, November 2,31 and previous. Please seek an interview with the Panamanian Foreign Secretary and advise him of your desire to obtain an audience with President Arias for the purpose of presenting the following note:

“Pursuant to the instructions of my Government, I have the honor to invite Your Excellency’s consideration of the proposed new Constitution of the Republic of Panama as it has been submitted to the National Assembly of the Republic, and to observe that, so far as its text is known to the Government of the United States, there is not included therein the expressed recognition of the jurisdictional limitations arising from treaties with the United States which is found in Article III of the present Constitution of Panama.32

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“In taking note of this omission, my Government desires to invite the attention of Your Excellency’s Government to the rights in connection with the Panama Canal which it has acquired by agreement with the Republic of Panama, and would be pleased to receive at this time from the Panamanian Government its assurances that the omission referred to, if it should persist, does not signify that these rights are not fully recognized by Panama.”

Please endeavor in discussing this subject briefly with Señor de Roux33 and President Arias to learn what motive has inspired the Panamanian Government to omit the provisions of Article III of the present Constitution from the new draft. Please report briefly by telegraph and fully by air mail.

The Department is giving consideration to other features of the proposed new Constitution which may impair the rights of the United States and its nationals.

  1. Not printed.
  2. For text of the Constitution of 1904, see Foreign Relations, 1904, p. 562.
  3. Raúl de Roux, Panamanian Minister for Foreign Affairs.