543. Telegram 1443 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Panama, January 27, 1971, 2310Z.1 2

[Page 1]

TELEGRAM
Department of State 1443

27 JAN 71 2310Z

ACTION: Amembassy PANAMA IMMEDIATE
STATE
SUBJECT: Text of Panamanian Treaty Position Paper

On January 27, Panamanian Ambassador de la Ossa gave Ambassador Robert B. Anderson a “position paper” setting forth Panamanian views with respect to renewed treaty negotiations. Memcon will be provided by septel. An informal translation of the Spanish text follows:

BEGIN TEXT “Position of the Government of the Republic of Panama on the bases for conclusion of a fair and equitable new treaty that will achieve the prompt elimination of the causes of conflict between the Republic of Panama and the United States of America arising from the contractual relations now in force with regard to the present lock canal.

“1. The Republic of Panama will exercise full political, fiscal, labor, judicial, administrative, and any other type of jurisdiction in the area which at present is called the ‘Panama Canal Zone.’

“2. The Republic of Panama has no objection to having the operation, [Page 2] functioning, and maintenance of the present lock Canal, for the purposes of maritime shipping, continue under the technical and administrative responsibility of the United States of America for a limited period of time.

“The Republic of Panama considers it necessary that national human and material resources have maximum participation in the work involved in the operation, functioning, and maintenance of the lock Canal.

“The direct benefits that correspond to the Republic of Panama from the transit of ships through the lock Canal should be fair and sufficient, in a proportion equivalent to the benefits, advantages, and services that the aforesaid Canal yields to the United States of America and to world trade.

“3. The Republic of Panama has no objection to permitting the Government of the United States of America to use the civilian facilities that are necessary for the efficient administration of the operation, functioning, and maintenance of maritime shipping [Page 3] through the present lock Canal. The administrative system under which those facilities will operate, including the personnel who work therein, will be stipulated in the new treaty.

“4. The Republic of Panama maintains that the indirect economic benefits that are derived from the presence of the present lock Canal in Panamanian territory should serve primarily for purposes of the full development of the Panamanian nationality in its cultural, social, and economic aspects.

“5. The Republic of Panama has no objection to having the protection and safeguarding of the present lock Canal under the responsibility of the Government of the United States of America, through its armed forces, for a limited period of time, with the cooperation of the Panamanian armed forces. The new treaty should determine the location of the areas needed for such protection and safeguarding, as well as the juridical and fiscal system applicable in such areas.

“6. On the basis of the binational character of the present lock Canal, and bearing in mind that one of the principal objectives of [Page 4] both Parties is to keep that waterway permanently open in the service of world trade, the Republic of Panama reiterates its longstanding readiness to adopt measures for effective cooperation in the security of all properties and persons involved in the operation, functioning, and maintenance of the aforesaid lock Canal.”
END TEXT END
ROGERS

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL PAN–US. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Grove, cleared by Carson, approved by Crimmins.
  2. The Department of State sent the Embassy a Panamanian position paper on renewed treaty negotiations.