711F.1914/10–2947: Telegram

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


631. Through Minister Vallarino, President has informed Embassy that, while he is ready to sign draft G on straight 10–10 basis for Rio Hato, he feels approval of Assembly impossible in view of Alfaro’s continued insistence on 5 years with no renewal. Latter has told Jimenez he is sure United States will accept his terms if only Panama stands firm (Embtel 616, October 2359).

President offers to sign tomorrow if we will accept renewal subject to existence at end of 10 years of same or similar international conditions. This would provoke a Cabinet crisis and he is ready to accept Alfaro’s resignation, offering him post in Washington and bringing J. J. Vallarino into Cabinet as well as Florencio Arosemena and Carlos Sucre. Latter would be offered Foreign Ministry. Jimenez feels sure he could then obtain Assembly’s ratification, and requests immediate reply.

Vallarino asked Hall what would be next step if Panama replies that it can only grant 10 years without renewal and latter answered that Army would proceed to evacuate all bases.

I believe this is President’s last desperate effort to secure better terms in order to facilitate approval by Assembly and recommend that we maintain present position.60 If possible, please telephone reply I may give him.

  1. Not printed.
  2. A memorandum of conversation of October 30, 1947, by the Chief of the Division of Central America and Panama Affairs (Newbegin) indicated that the Department was standing firm (711F.1914/10–2947).