243. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Affairs (Atwood) to Secretary of State Vance 1


  • Calls on Panama Implementing Legislation


Whether to call Republicans to urge their support of the Panama Conference Report.


The White House is asking Cabinet Secretaries to call a portion of our target list on the Panama Implementing Legislation. Realizing your schedule, I have kept your list to a bare minimum. If at all possible, I would appreciate your calling the following Republicans who had previously voted for final passage but who switched on the Conference Report: Hamilton Fish, Peggy Heckler, Bob McClory, and Jim Jeffords.2

I would suggest the following talking points:

—We must pass this legislation if we are going to avoid a disastrous situation on October 1. We need your support.

—I expect that some changes will be made in the Conference Report which will go even further in the House’s direction than the bill voted on the other day. For example, we understand that the new Conference Report will prevent the U.S. from relinquishing the Canal before the end of the century (a Bauman concern), and will ensure that the U.S. recovers every cost associated with Treaty implementation permitted under the Treaty’s terms (another Bauman concern).

—Passage of this Legislation is vital to our national security interests and to our foreign policy in Latin America.

[Page 584]


That you call the above mentioned members.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P790151–0819. Unclassified. Drafted by Atwood and cleared by Popper. Vance’s initials are stamped on the memorandum.
  2. Vance underlined “Hamilton Fish,” “Bob McClory,” and “Jim Jeffords.” An unknown hand highlighted this sentence and wrote in the right margin: “CV called” and initialed “R.”
  3. Vance checked the approve option on September 28. An unknown hand wrote underneath the options: “CV called the members whose names are underlined. R.”