Memorandum by Mr. Murray M. Wise, Division of Caribbean and Central American Affairs, to the Chief of That Division (Cochran)

The ACC Sub-Committee is being called for a meeting on Wednesday, December 19, at 3:00 p.m. in the State Department Conference Room 474. Attached is a copy of the draft agreement89 originally drawn up by the War Department and modified by the State Department. In order to make the agreement as palatable as possible to the Panamanians various “whereas” clauses are being suggested as a preface to the agreement. The other most significant change has been with reference to jurisdiction of the proposed permanent Joint International Board over the so-called “defended zone”.

It is the opinion of the State Department that it would be very difficult to prevail upon the Panamanian Government to grant United States Armed Forces absolute jurisdiction over the defended zone during peacetime and that it would be politically inadvisable to raise the point at this time. It is felt that the proposed International Aviation [Page 1263] Board in peacetime should have control over all air traffic in the Republic of Panama. The Commission would be composed of an equal number of representatives of each Government but, in practice, owing to the lack of experienced personnel in Panama, unquestionably the United States members would have the controlling influence. The American Embassy believes that Panama will agree to a joint control over all air activities in the Republic if civilian and military standards and requirements are reasonable.

[The minutes of the meeting of the subcommittee held on December 20, not printed, indicate that a redraft was made and that instructions were given to circulate it for clearance among the appropriate civil and military authorities in Panama (711.1927/12–2045).]

  1. Not printed.