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

No. 4373

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my airgram No. A–847, July 3,12 in relation to the Department’s instruction No. 2626 of June 29 regarding amendments which the War Department is prepared to make in the bills pending before Congress providing for the exercise of jurisdiction by the United States within the defense sites.

As reported in my airgram I discussed this matter the, morning of July 3 with the Foreign Minister. I left with him the text of the amendments to S. 1115 and its companion bill which the War Department is prepared to make, as given on pages 2–3 of the Department’s instruction. I also urged the Minister, in line with the last paragraph of the Department’s instruction, to give me a reply in this matter as quickly as possible. Dr. Fábrega13 has told me on frequent occasions since July 6 that he expected at any moment to be able to furnish me his Government’s views in this matter. It is only today, however, July: 21, that I have received from the Foreign Office the attached confidential memorandum, (in single copy) bearing the date of July 14, 1943.14 This memorandum—an office translation is also attached—gives the point of view of the Government of Panamá as expressed at the Cabinet meeting of July 6 regarding the amendments which the War Department is prepared to make in the bills.

I should appreciate receiving; the Department’s instructions as to the position which it is desired that I take concerning the Panamanian point of view as set out in its confidential memorandum.

Respectfully yours,

Edwin C. Wilson
  1. Not printed.
  2. Octavio Fábrega, Panamanian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Not printed; it indicated objection to jurisdiction by the Canal Zone District Court as incompatible with Panamanian sovereignty, to treating residence in the defense sites as equivalent to residence in the Canal Zone, and to treating as defense sites areas conceded under “substantially similar” terms.