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General MCAULIFFE. To the best of my own knowledge-and I might add that this is not corroborated information-I believe that there are, around General Torrijos, some individuals who if not outright Communists certainly are Communist sympathizers.
If I may, there are also men who range to the other end of the spectrum. I am talking about anti-Castro Cubans and pure out-and-out Panamanian nationalists who do not at all espouse the Communist line.
I will also say that within the Guardia Nacional there is absolutely no evidence of Communist leanings. In fact, it is to the reverse. Senator SCOTT. You are speaking of the military as distinguished from the political leaders of the country?
General MCAULIFFE. Correct.
Senator Scorr. It is my understanding that General Torrijos did take over from a lawful Government. I have been advised that Panama has a history of instability as a Government and one of the military papers, called "Military Review," which is a professional journal of the U.S. Army, said that General Torrijo's coup gave Panama its 59th Government in 70 years.
With your knowledge of Panama would you agree or disagree that the history of Panamanian Government has been one of change and instability?
General MCAULIFFE. Yes. I cannot verify the 59 changes. I also heard the Governor's testimony as to the 59 and I agree with him. Some of those were not really legitimate, full-blown changes of government.
There has been considerable turbulence on the political scene in Panama over the years.
Senator SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT CONTEMPLATED
Senator ALLEN. General McAuliffe, you pointed out that if the treaty is entered into there would be no more Canal Zone. I am sure that is true if we incorporate it into Panama.
Do you envision a status of forces treaty that would authorize us to maintain a defense force there in what was formerly the Canal Zone?
General MCAULIFFE. Yes sir, I do.
Senator ALLEN. Would that be part of this Panama Canal Treaty? General MCAULIFFE. That I am not 100 percent sure of, but if it is not part of the treaty it is going to be a parallel agreement that would be
Senator ALLEN. Executed simultaneously?
General MCAULIFFE. Exactly. I have to defer to the negotiators on that one. I simply do not know precisely.
However, I do know that a status of forces agreement is contemplated and has been worked on by both sides.
Senator ALLEN. Without that we would be just interlopers there, would we not?
General MCAULIFFE. Yes. I feel very strongly that we must have a status of forces agreement. The premise on which I am going is that one is being negotiated, and that indeed it makes provisions for the protection of our military people and their dependents, to include the
Defense Department civilians and their dependents. It would give the same protections that we have in other countries of the world."
Senator ALLEN. What is the mission of your Southern Commandof which you are Commander-in-Chief?
General MCAULIFFE. The principal mission, sir, is that of defending the Panama Canal and the Canal Zone. I have a number of other missions which relate to our security assistance activities in the countries of Latin America. This excludes, generally, the Caribbean countries, but with some clarification there is the Dominican Republic. In any case, we have security assistance responsibilities in these countries.
We have a responsibility for military representation in these countries. Also, of course, I have a number of secondary missions which include being prepared to provide disaster relief when needed, as happened a year and a half ago in Guatemala, for example, and a search and rescue capability which is exercised almost daily-if not in Panama, then in the countries nearby.
Senator ALLEN. I assume, then, that if you concluded that you were unable to perform the mission of defending the Panama Canal you would so report to the Pentagon, would you not?
General MCAULIFFE. Absolutely. To the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Senator ALLEN. Have you made any such report since you have been assigned there?
General MCAULIFFE. No, sir.
Senator ALLEN. I would assume, then, that you feel that you are adequately equipped and manned to perform that mission.
General MCAULIFFE. Again, if I may, Mr. Chairman my answer is dependent upon the threat scenario. However, under the kind of threat scenarios that I see today or in the immediate future I can tell you that I have an adeqaute force to carry out this defense mission.
Senator ALLEN. Should you not be prepared not for just routine defense, but for any emergency? We have seen our various bases attacked in the past by enemy nations. Should we not be able to react successfully to any conditions?
General MCAULIFFE. I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, that we are well trained and prepared to react to any contingency. Just to clarify my statement about needing reinforcements, let me say that my forces are able to react and, I think, do an adequate job of defending. However, sooner or later in an emergency period that relatively small force may be over-committed. Hopefully, within those couple of days or whatever period of time we may be talking about we might be able to bring in additional forces to help meet the requirement.
Senator ALLEN. Governor Parfitt suggested that a poll that had been taken among the employees showed that some 62 percent of the American people there stated that they would leave Panama in the event that this treaty should be executed. Would that, then, indicate that in time all of our employees would be moved out and that the Panamanians would take over altogether?
General MCAULIFFE. Mr. Chairman, I really feel that I cannot make a judgment on that particular issue. I do want to clarify this: There is very little talk about leaving the Canal Zone occurring among the Department of Defense employees there.
The reason for it is that they expect to be protected under a status of forces agreement. That, I believe, is the major difference.
Senator ALLEN. Those not protected by a status of forces treatythose who are U.S. Civil Service employees-would be subject to the dictator's general rule in Panama, is that correct?
General MCAULIFFE. It is difficult and almost impossible for me to answer that question, Mr. Chairman. The reason I say that is that the nervousness of the employees of the canal operating company is well known. The negotiators are, in my judgment, trying to do something about this. They are trying to work in some protections for them in the treaty. I simply have no idea as to how successful they are in this regard.
Senator ALLEN. With our great concern for human rights in this country and other countries, should we not be concerned about whether or not the American people located there would be accorded the human rights that we stand for?
General MCAULIFFE. By all means; yes, sir.
Senator ALLEN. Would that be a part of the treaty?
General MCAULIFFE. I would certainly hope that it would be. I have no personal knowledge as to whether it will be. I am sure that something is being done toward that. I just do not know how much. Senator ALLEN. How long have you been in your present command? General MCAULIFFE. Two years, sir.
Senator ALLEN. During that time have you called on the Pentagon to beef up your forces at the canal?
General MCAULIFFE. Yes for training, but no for an emergency. We do, for example, run a jungle operations training center which takes battalions out of the United States, brings them into the Canal Zone, and gives them roughly a month's training in the jungle and then returns them to their units. You might regard that as a reinforcement. I regard it as training. That is why I answered your question the way I did.
Senator ALLEN. There has been no substantial beefing up of your ability to defend the canal?
General MCAULIFFE. No, sir.
Senator ALLEN. That is in the 2 years you have been there?
General MCAULIFFE. That is correct.
Senator ALLEN. Thank you very much.
Senator HATCH. Has the Army made any studies or has it proposed to transfer any military facilities from the zone to Panama or to the Panamanians prior to the effectuation of the treaty?
General MCAULIFFE. I did not hear you, Senator. Did you say. "Has the Army proposed this?"
Senator HATCH. Has the Army made any studies or has it proposed to transfer any military facilities from the zone to Panama prior to the treaty.
General MCAULIFFE. No sir, there have been no studies to my knowledge on this subject.
Senator HATCH. There have been some rumors of the transfer of the Albrook Field. The Old France Airfield, as well, was already transferred, as I understand it.
General MCAULIFFE. Yes, sir. The France Field transfer was done some time ago. Incidentally, generally speaking, our military reservations in the Canal Zone are held on a lease from the Canal Zone Government. Therefore, when we are talking about a transfer in terms of our military areas, we simply transfer it back to the Canal Zone Government. Then if there is any transfer to the Panamanian Government it is handled through that channel.
Let me say regarding Albrook that there is no plan to turn it over. I do happen to know that the future status of Albrook is one that has been given considerable attention by the negotiators. I do not know how that is coming out.
Senator HATCH. Do you know of any U.S. property which has already been transferred either by gift or lease to the Panamanians other than the equipment and vehicles that you mentioned?
General MCAULIFFE. No sir, I do not, honestly.
Senator HATCH. Has the idea been discussed of joint military patrols with the Panamanians in the protection of the canal?
General MCAULIFFE. The concept of joint military patrols has been discussed at least once in my time there. We have not implemented it. I believe that it has been discussed one or more times in the past. Senator HATCH. What is the size of the Panamanian military organization and how effective is it, really?
General MCAULIFFE. It is approximately 8,000 in strength, of which about 25 percent has a tactical military capability. This 25 percent is organized into rifle companies.
Let me say that within that tactical military element, from my own observation and the reports of others, the units are well trained. They are physically in superb condition and would be capable of carrying out what I would regard as small unit types of missions.
Senator HATCH. Where do they receive most of their equipment and other supplies, that is, military supplies?
General MCAULIFFE. I would say primarily from the United States. Once in a while you will hear of a purchase made elsewhere, but. fundamentally from the United States over the years.
Senator HATCH. Is it mainly through gift or purchase?
General MCAULIFFE. Certainly over the last several years it has been through purchase. Before that, I suspect-well, I know-that there was certain military grant materiel given to Panama, as to the other countries of Latin America.
Senator HATCH. Do you think it would be easier to defend the canal from civil disturbances, for instance, if the high wire fence that formerly was there I think it was removed a few years ago from the Balboa area-were reestablished or put up? Would that make your job a little easier?
General MCAULIFFE. No; it would not. I must clarify that. If there is a civil disturbance of any magnitude that impacts against the Canal Zone, the initial defense requirement rests with the Governor and the Canal Zone Police. In other words, they are the first line, so to speak, that the demonstrators would confront. A fence probably would be, helpful to them.
However, the arrangement is that when the requirement exceeds the capabilities of the Canal Zone security force, then the Governor is authorized to call upon me to use military forces.
The reason I say that is that you can almost imagine that the situation is out of control by that time-by the time I put my military forces in there. If there were a fence, it probably would have been breached by that time.
Senator HATCH. Has such a call ever been made upon you or your predecessors?
General MCAULIFFE. Not in the time that I have been here. Of course, the well-known riots of 1964 brought the military into control of the Canal Zone for law and order and protection of the Canal Zone.
Senator HATCH. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Senator ALLEN. Thank you very much, General McAuliffe and Colonel Thornton. You have been most helpful to the subcommittee and we appreciate the time and trouble that you have gone through to appear before this committee. You have been most candid and articulate and forthcoming, and we appreciate the testimony you have given us. Thank you very much.
General MCAULIFFE. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much and thank you very much for your courtesies this morning.
Senator ALLEN. Senator Gravel, we appreciate your coming before the subcommittee to give us the benefit of your views. We apologize for the delay in reaching you, but you have seen what problems we have had in that regard.
We do look forward to hearing your testimony, and you may proceed as you see fit.
TESTIMONY OF HON. MIKE GRAVEL, A U.S. SENATOR, FROM THE STATE OF ALASKA
Senator GRAVEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very sympathetic, because I think you can recall the recent testimony you had before me with your delegation. Sometimes you lose control over what can be accomplished in a given time frame.
I have two facets to my testimony, Mr. Chairman. One-I would like to compliment you and the committee on looking into this areais the constitutional prerogatives issue that exists in treatymaking powers of the Executive, the Senate, and the property disposal problems and fiscal problems or rather, not problems, but prerogatives— and constitutional obligations or duties of the House.
I think that basically we can say that when there are fundamental constitutional disagreements about all of these prerogatives, they are in a confrontational political mode. I say that in the highest tone, because I think that that is desirable in a democracy. That is how we resolve many, many of our problems.
I would like, Mr. Chairman, with your permission, to insert my statement in the record as if read and merely summarize by saying this: that we could start with George Washington's differences with Thomas Jefferson. They existed, and our Founding Fathers were very vocal about those differences.
George Washington in dealing with the Congress, and other of our Founding Fathers, in debate on this issue, were adamant about these treatymaking powers and what went with them.
I could come from that period up to today. However, what I would like to do is not read that, but place it in the record.