The Ambassador in Panama (Hines) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 30.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 128 of April 16, 1946, transmitting to the Embassy a copy of secret communication dated March 21, 1946, from the War Department and the Department’s reply of April 6, 1946.3
In connection with the Department’s reply to the War Department, indicating the desirability of returning to Panama defense sites no longer needed by the War Department, I desire to advise that this has been the policy followed by the Embassy for some time and, in connection therewith, I wish to call attention to so much of Article I of the Defense Sites Agreement reading as follows:
“… If within that period the two Governments believe that, in spite of the cessation of hostilities, a state of international insecurity continues to exist which makes vitally necessary the continuation of the use of any of the said defense bases or areas, the two Governments shall again enter into mutual consultation and shall conclude the new agreement which the circumstances require.…”
In view of the interpretation given before the constituted Assembly by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the previous Minister of Foreign Affairs,4 it is my best judgment that it would be very desirable to undertake negotiations for the sites which the War Department contemplates retaining as early as possible, and in any event prior to September 1, 1946.
It will also be my purpose to endeavor to have the Commanding General of the Caribbean Defense Command5 agree with me on the early return of certain sites presently not being used. I am sure that if the foregoing action is taken it will be most helpful later in connection with negotiations now pending between the two Governments.