131. Memorandum From Acting Secretary of State Christopher to President Carter 1

Canal Treaties. Cy’s appearances in support of the Panama Canal Treaties in Charleston, West Virginia, and Louisville, Kentucky, have gone well.2 In Charleston, Jay Rockefeller joined Cy on the platform last night for his speech to an audience of businessmen and university students. Today in Louisville Dale Sights brought together an impressive group of state legislators, municipal and community leaders; and Governor Julian Carroll introduced Cy with a hard-hitting defense of the Treaties. Both speeches were well received, and several prominent business and political figures told members of Cy’s party that, despite their previous opposition, they were now prepared to reexamine the issue. The speeches were heavily and favorably covered by local and national media.

As you know, Senator Huddleston is strongly in favor of the Treaties and has been under heavy attack in Kentucky for his support. Wendell Ford has not taken a position. We understand he will meet with his supporters in Kentucky in the next several days to discuss the Treaties. Julian Carroll and others in Louisville say Ford needs something more to help him make up his mind. They believe a call from you might help.3

[Omitted here is information unrelated to Panama.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 19, Evening Reports (State), 1/78. Secret. Carter initialed the top-right of the memorandum and wrote: “Cy.” All brackets are in the original except those indicating text omitted by the editors.
  2. Vance spoke about the treaties in Charleston on January 11 and in Louisville and New Orleans on January 12. For the text of Vance’s speech in New Orleans, see the Department of State Bulletin, February 1978, pp. 56–59.
  3. Carter wrote: “ok” in the left margin.