819.76/8–2946

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

confidential
No. 2279

Sir: Referring to confidential instruction No. 303, August 13, 194612 relative to control over “Commercial Airways Radio Communications in the Republic of Panama and the Canal Zone, and the establishment of a radio station at David by the Civil Aeronautics Administration”, I have the honor to submit the following observations for the consideration and possible use of the Department.

1.
The main consideration that must be kept constantly in mind is the safety and protection of The Panama Canal, and with the protection of The Panama Canal and its defenses the safety and efficient control of commercial, as well as Army and Navy air navigation.
2.
At the present time the responsibility for the defense of The Panama Canal rests with the Commanding General, Panama Canal [Page 1103]Department and Caribbean Defense Command, and in my judgment this responsibility is now properly placed, and should be continued in time of peace as well as in time of war.
3.
The Republic of Panama, in my judgment, is unable at the present time to efficiently handle with experienced personnel radio stations within the Republic and for that reason I feel that they will be glad to have such stations established and operated by the Civil Aeronautics authorities under the general supervision of the Commanding General. They, however, should be given an opportunity of developing competent personnel.
4.
Because of the peculiar situation existing in the Republic of Panamá and the Canal Zone, no commercial company should be given authority to establish a transmitting station to handle commercial business having to do with air navigation. It would be far better for the established stations operating, as recommended under 3, to transact such company business for the several commercial airways companies at a reasonable charge, thus avoiding duplication of stations with the danger of possible interference, and without proper control of both military and commercial traffic.

Respectfuly yours,

Frank T. Hines
  1. Not printed.