711F.1914/9–1246: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Panama (Blocker)

us urgent

482. Embassy commended its successful efforts last 24 hours obtaining agreement Panamanian authorities on joint press statement. Following text to be released this afternoon in Panamá and Washington for publication in Friday morning papers:

“Mindful of the objectives of the 1936 Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and of the Defense Sites Agreement of May 18, 1942, and conscious of recent improvements in weapons and methods of warfare, the Governments of Panama and of the United States have agreed to consult on the most effective means for assuring the defense of the Panama Canal. Consistent with the aforementioned Agreement of 1942, the United States has already returned to Panama 71 defense sites and is preparing to return immediately 27 more.

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It is the desire of both Governments to fulfill their joint responsibilities for the adequate protection of the Canal. The two Governments have reiterated their unqualified endorsement of the traditional friendship and sovereign respect existing between them and the vital role which the Panama Canal plays in the defense of this hemisphere.”