711F.1914/704: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Panama ( Wilson )

224. Your 264, May 20.1 S. 1115 sponsored by the War Department and introduced on May 19, 1943 by Senator Reynolds2 proposes to enable the courts of the Canal Zone to exercise jurisdiction within the defense areas in accordance with the terms of Article IV of the Defense Sites Agreement of May 18, 1942.3

The Department found no objection to the text of the proposed legislation when it was presented by the Bureau of the Budget last August, but introduction of the Bill was postponed by the War Department pending the approval of the Defense Sites Agreement by the Panamanian National Assembly.

Copies of the Bill were forwarded today and further explanations of the legislation will be sent in due course.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Senator Robert R. Reynolds of North Carolina.
  3. Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 359; 57 Stat. (pt. 2) 1232. Article IV acknowledged Panamanian sovereignty in the defense sites, but provided exclusive jurisdiction for the United States over United States civil and military personnel and their famines therein. In cases involving the safety of the installations United States jurisdiction extended to all except Panamanians. For correspondence regarding the conclusion of this agreement, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. vi, pp. 577 ff.