711.19/5–1046: Telegram

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


278. Embtel 317 May 10, 1946. You have proceeded correctly in indicating to ForMin that this Govt in preparation for round table discussions is quite ready to study preliminary memoranda on pending matters of importance to Panama. In the meantime we should begin drawing up a list of topics, such as defense areas, aviation agreement, Mariposa claims, etc., which this Govt will wish to submit to Panama. You might ask Canal Zone authorities whether they can present to Embassy at early date requests they may wish to make of Panama.

It is believed that round table discussions as well as negotiations themselves should take place in Panama. War Dept concurs. Accordingly, you are authorized when agreeable to all parties concerned [Page 1101] on the Isthmus to inaugurate informal preliminary exploratory discussions of Panamanian requests. Dept desires to be kept fully informed and consulted in advance of the making of definite commitments either by implication or otherwise.

Dept appreciates spirit of frankness with which ForMin has approached you on these problems. He should be so informed. At the same time, in your discretion, in the same spirit of frankness and in order that there be no misunderstanding, you should make clear that a specific commitment from Panama for a satisfactory settlement of the Mariposa claims will be expected before negotiations go beyond the stage of informal conversations.