81. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Vance’s Delegation in England1

190656. Tosec 080315. Subject: Return of Panama Canal Treaty Negotiators to Washington

1. Ambassadors Bunker and Linowitz returned to Washington at 3:00 pm EDT on August 11. Upon arrival, they immediately proceeded to the White House Cabinet room for an hour meeting with the President, Secretary Brown, myself, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and assorted White House staff members. In the course of the meeting, there was a detailed review of the principal provisions of the new treaty. Near the close of the session, the press was called into the Cabinet Room to overhear the President note the value of the new agreement and praise Bunker and Linowitz for their efforts. Following the White House meeting, Bunker and Linowitz met briefly with the press to answer some very general questions.

2. According to White House planning, the President, with Bunker and Linowitz in attendance, will make a brief public statement tomorrow afternoon.2 He will then turn to Bunker and Linowitz to respond to questions from the press. In addition, the White House will be sending a cable to all members of Congress informing them of the basic elements of the agreement in principle for a new Panama Canal Treaty.3

3. I decided not to issue a press statement in your name until after the President has made his own statement.4

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Official and Personal Files of Ambassador at Large Ellsworth Bunker, Lot 78D300, Box 1, Negotiating Round, 8/7–11/77. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Brizill, cleared by Tarnoff, and approved by Christopher. Vance was in London August 11–13 discussing Rhodesia with British Foreign Secretary Owen.
  2. For the text of Carter’s remarks, see Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book II, pp. 1462–1463.
  3. See Document 82.
  4. For the text of Vance’s statement see the Department of State Bulletin, October 17, 1977, p. 483.