711.19/5–1046: Telegram

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

317. The following is an office translation of a FonOff memo delivered to Embassy:

“The Govt of Panama feels highest satisfaction over fact that relations between Republic and United States are on cordial, understanding and cooperative basis surpassed at no other time. War which has just been terminated has contributed greatly no doubt to strengthening of friendship between two countries because it served to strengthen bonds between them and to demonstrate that their destinies were irremissibly united.

However, between two countries having such multiple diverse and complicated relations as those created by construction of the Panama Canal in heart of Panamanian territory and by different public treaties and agreements celebrated between Panama and United States, it is natural that international and diplomatic problems and questions exist which should be settled in a mutually satisfactory manner and for which Govt of Panama desires find agreeable solution, above all by means of diplomatic negotiation, and if in some cases that is not feasible, by civilized means of arbitration or international justice.

Panama is hopeful and confident that in its relations with United States it will not be necessary to resort to arbitration or international justice. Panama would like on the contrary to solve by direct means all those questions and situations in which there is a difference of opinion between Govt of Panama and that of United States and for this reason proposes that in round table discussions and in a spirit of frankness and good will representatives of the Govt of Panama and United States discuss all matters of importance which are pending between two Govts or whose nature require action by one or the other or by both.

Govt of Republic has drawn up a list with 23 tentative questions which in its judgment require attention in proposed round table discussion. But among these matters there are some which require preferential treatment both because of their intrinsic importance and because of length of time they have been pending without a definite solution up to the present time.

Matters which in opinion of Govt of Panama deserve preferential treatment are those which are listed below

(1)
Financial or any other claims which have been made by either of the two Govts in favor of its nationals (Mariposa, Malambo, etc.).9
(2)
Prejudicial differences which exist with respect to Panamanian citizens who work in Panama Canal.
(3)
Widening and improvement of corridor which unites Transisthmian Highway with city of Colón in accordance with treaty of 193610 including question of overpass to maintain uninterrupted Panamanian jurisdiction over corridor.
(4)
Collaboration and regulation of air traffic in view of proximity of existing airports in Canal Zone and those established or to be established in territory under jurisdiction of Republic of Panama.
(5)
Reciprocity in issuance of visas to nationals desiring to visit respective countries and in general a broader and more equitable cooperation in immigration matters.
(6)
Revision of stipulations of monetary conference of 1904 especially those relating to coining limitations.
(7)
Possibility of broadening of jurisdictional waters of Colón so that that natural port could fulfill its function.
(8)
Cession to Panama of dominion or use of all or part of telegraph lines constructed by United States in territory under Panamanian jurisdiction.
(9)
Temporary lease to Republic of Panama for a reasonable period of a suitable storage space in Canal Zone to transfer inflammable which Govt of Panama now maintains in a storehouse located in center of city.
(10)
Transfer to Republic of Panama of territory of Punta Paitilla which is not now needed for protection of canal.

“Govt of Panama will immediately present a preliminary memorandum re each one of matters above mentioned and as soon as representatives of Govt of United States desire to discuss each one of matters submitted to its attention this Ministry will be glad to arrange the dates and time for preliminary conversation to permit two Govts to present their respective points of view and propose agreements and solutions.

“There is attached to this memo for the information of Embassy a report of matters which it is considered may be tentatively discussed in form mentioned.

“Govt of Panama is confident that this procedure will be agreeable to Govt of United States and that two Govts will be able to start the round table discussions in shortest possible time. Panama May 7, 1946.

(1)
A crossing of Panama Canal by more rapid and easier means than those existing at present.
(2)
Suspension of sales of luxury and tourist articles in Canal Zone in accordance with treaties (sic) of 1936.
(3)
Maintenance of existing agreements re introduction and and sale of liquor.
(4)
Revision of conventions on extradition and agreements existing today re surrender of persons wanted or pursued by police, judges or prosecuting attorneys of Republic of Panama and of Panama Canal.
(5)
Mutual assistance in administration of justice between Panama and Canal Zone.
(6)
Arrangements for rapid transfer of railroad station to a more adequate site in city of Panamá.
(7)
Repatriation of laborers imported to work in Canal Zone.
(8)
Revision of existing policy re admission into hospitals and asylums of Republic of Panama of individuals who work in Canal Zone who are not Panamanians.
(9)
Revision of agreements on use of hospitals and doctors in Canal Zone by persons residing in Republic of Panama.
(10)
Agreements concerning aviation.
(11)
Agreements re cooperation of military forces and police of Panama with corresponding organizations of United States especially with the Canal Zone.
(12)
Agreements tending to avoid interference or difficulty of any nature between the broadcasting stations established in Canal Zone and Panamanian broadcasting stations.
(13)
Construction by Marine Division of Canal Zone with adequate payment of a dock at Coiba Penal Colony.
(14)
Cession to Panama of some of telegraph and subterranean telephone lines which Panama Canal appears to have along Transisthmian Highway from Panama to Colón or Madden Dam Highway in order to make installation by Govt of Panama of these services more economic.”

I am today informing FonOff that I am ready to proceed with discussing the items outlined in memo.

Should Dept have any further suggestions with regard to any of matters outlined in memo or any related matters it is requested I be promptly advised.

Delay in transmitting this message is due to fact that FonOff memorandum was not complete when first received.

Hines
  1. The claim of the Mariposa Development Company related to a disputed title to a tract of land, and the Malambo claim were made by Panama for damages resulting from alleged negligence of United States Government employees in connection with a fire.
  2. Treaty of friendship and cooperation, signed at Washington, March 2, 1936; for text, see Department of State Treaty Series No. 945.