711F.1914/2–1948: Telegram

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

niact   urgent

113. Panamanian Government has no objection release to press of our note (Deptel 105, February 16.1), but will at same time give publicity to its reply thereto, reading as follows:

“Mr. Ambassador: I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency’s note No. 566 of February 16, 1948, by which you have been good enough [Page 666] to communicate to me that the government of the US of America, having evacuated all of the defense sites which had been ceded by reason of the recently terminated international conflagration, considers the agreement of May 18, 1942, terminated and of no future effect.

“The expressions contained in Your Excellency’s note have pleased my government in the sense that the agreement and its execution, through the wholehearted cooperation of both governments, assured the effective protection of the Panama Canal and had an important part in the victorious termination of hostilities. On that occasion, Panama offered loyally and decisively its full cooperation for the defense of this important key to continental security, and my government reiterates at this time its irrevocable intention to cooperate, with all the means within its reach and within its contractual obligations, in the effective protection of this inter-oceanic route, in order to thus assist in the preservation of the democratic ideals common to us both.

“Without referring to the difference of interpretation concerning the termination date of the agreement of May 18, 1942, I wish to inform Your Excellency that my government has taken due note of the statements of the government of the United States with regard to the termination of the above-mentioned agreement.

“I take this opportunity to reiterate to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest and most distinguished consideration.

“Mario de Diego, Minister for Foreign Affairs.”

Under the circumstances, Embassy believes above reply could with difficulty have been couched in more acceptable terms. Leaving to Department’s discretion publication in US of Panamanian note, I recommend advising Foreign Office that simultaneous release our note will be made tomorrow afternoon. This procedure was approved by President Jimenez at dinner he gave me last night.

Please instruct soonest.2

  1. Not printed.
  2. The exchange of notes between the United States and Panama, February 16 and 20, was released to the press on February 20, 1948. In despatch 308 of May 21, 1948, not printed, the Embassy In Panama transmitted a copy of Foreign Office note D.P. 844 dated May 15, 1948 acknowledging receipt of United States Treasury check of May 12 for $39,307.25 which represented final payment due the Panamanian Government for occupation of defense sites in the Republic by the Armed Forces of the United States (711F. 1914/5–2148).