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

Panama Canal. I met with Jack Murphy today to discuss plans for gaining House approval of the implementing legislation. Murphy said the crucial vote would probably occur on a motion by George Hansen to recommit the Murphy bill to committee, or on a substitute Hanson bill which would contravene the treaties.

We had a good talk, and (I hope) established a basis for working more closely together in subsequent stages. Murphy urged us to undertake a major educational campaign to convince House members, particularly Republicans, that the treaties cannot be overturned and that the Hansen approach would jeopardize efficient operation of the Canal. Ed Derwinski’s excellent piece on the Op Ed page of the POST [Page 521] today, entitled “Panama: from No to Yes,” should be helpful with Republicans.2

Bill Rogers has been asked by Panama President Royo to come to Panama to provide counsel on the implementing legislation. I gave Bill our appraisal of the legislative situation this afternoon. It will be good to have his wise and calming counsel available to the Panamanians.

[Omitted here is information unrelated to Panama.]

The Shah. A campaign remains in progress to change our position with respect to the Shah’s admission to the U.S. John McCloy, following up conversations with Cy and Zbig and a long letter to me, is continuing to call influential people throughout the country. We understand that McCloy’s effort continues to be stimulated by Henry Kissinger and by the efforts of Ardeshir Zahedi.

The Shah has turned down Panama. We are awaiting a response to an inquiry [less than 1 line not declassified] to President Lopez Portillo on behalf of the Shah.3

[Omitted here is information unrelated to Panama.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, Plains File, President’s Daily Diary, Box 14, 10/15–21/79. Secret. Carter initialed the memorandum and wrote: “Warren.”
  2. See Edward J. Derwinski, “Panama: From No to Yes,” Washington Post, April 18, 1979, p. A25.
  3. Carter wrote in the left margin: “He should go to Panama.”