45. Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations (Bennet) to Secretary of State Vance 1

TO

  • The Secretary

Panama Strategy

I have been working closely with a White House group, including NSC staff, Frank Moore, Jody Powell, Landon Butler and sometimes Hamilton Jordan, on Congressional and public relations strategy for the Panama negotiations.

In anticipation of press leaks, we began briefings on the Hill last week and will continue in the week ahead. Senator Byrd believes the defense provision we have negotiated will make the Treaty much more saleable.2

We have developed a detailed schedule of tactical steps for selling the Treaty, once the agreement is signed. We consider it critical that the Treaty be submitted to the Senate before the August recess so that (a) Members will have solid arguments in favor of it before they return to their constituencies for the August recess and (b) so the Members can complete action before the 1978 election year.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P770103–1995. Limited Official Use. Vance’s initials are stamped on the memorandum.
  2. See Document 41.