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we have mistreated a friendly little country, which is not true at all. They have taken the position that we have been committing acts of colonialism, which of course is anything but true. There is no individual ownership of property in the Canal Zone. There are no factories in the Canal Zone. The people who are employed there, when they attain the age of retirement have to leave.

Senator Scorr. If I might interrupt briefly-
Judge CROWE. Yes, sir.

Senator SCOTT. We have four other witnesses.
Judge CROWE. Yes, sir.

Senator SCOTT. You are telling us things that we should know, and we compliment you for being here and thank you for being here, but if you could take just a few minutes to sum up so that we will have time to hear other witnesses who are here we would appreciate it. There are four of them. If you will, sir

Judge CROWE. I certainly will do that. I will be very happy to. Thank you, sir. I appreciate the time that you have given me.

I will say one more thing that I think is important. As I say, you have heard a great deal about this. This morning there was a question brought up about the sea level canal.

The sea level canal study was made in the building where our court was operating. In the event that they intended to build a sea level canal it was going to be done with nuclear weapons. The people of Panama are frightened to death of the possibility of using nuclear weapons to dig a sea level canal.

The ecologists are extremely opposed to a waterway that would permit an interflow between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. Another thing that has not been touched upon this morning is the question of the present canal location. The terminal cities are extremely interested in maintaining a canal where they would have the commerce from the present canal. To put a sea level canal down in the Darien area or elsewhere would not make the Panamanian people happy at all.

I do think there is a strong Communist influence in Panama. I think from what I have seen over the years that in a short time the Communists would have control of the canal. I think the canal is very important to our defense. Admiral Moorer knows far more about that than I do. I have read the statement in the press of the Admirals that we need it for present defense of the Navy. I certainly heartily agree with them.

I am a Navy veteran. I have had considerable conversations with naval personnel who are familiar with it.

I thank you very much, gentlemen. If there are any questions you wish to ask me I will be very glad to try to answer them.

Senator SCOTT. Senator Hatch, do you have some questions you might want to ask?

Senator HATCH. I do not. I am very happy to have you here, Judge. You have been there. You understand the situation down there. Maybe I do have one question. Are there any Cuban mercenaries in the Panama area?

Judge CROWE. I am told that there are. There is a large embassy that is over on the Pacific side in the city of Panama. They live very luxuriously, and they have a lot of people who are flowing in

and out. It is my information that there are Cuban mercenaries there. Senator HATCH. What is the attitude of Torrijos toward the Cuban leadership?

Judge CROWE. The attitude of Torrijos toward the Cuban leadership is one of extreme friendliness. He and a group of his people flew in several of their airplanes to Cuba and spent 2 weeks there. He and Castro are very close. They have opened an airway that flies regularly between the two countries now.

Senator HATCH. I have just one other question. You are totally convinced as a lawyer, as a Federal district court judge, and as a scholar that we do own in perpetuity the Panama Canal Zone?

Judge CROWE. I am indeed. I think we have a perfect title to it. Senator HATCH. You cited today the fact that the Panamanian laws themselves acknowledge the "in perpetuity" right of the United States.

Judge CROWE. Yes; I do. I also have here a statement that was made by the governing junta of Panama at the time, praising the treaty at the time it was drafted saying that although it may not have been entirely satisfactory to Panama it was a great thing and it expressed the friendship and protection of a great nation. They were grateful for it.

Senator HATCH. We appreciate your taking the time to be with us today. Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions.

Senator ALLEN. Thank you very much, Mr. Crowe.

Judge CROWE. It was a pleasure.

Senator SCOTT. Judge, if I might just pose a very few questions before you leave

Judge Crowe, it is my understanding that you said that we did obtain the French rights in the Canal Zone. Is that correct?

Judge CROWE. Yes, sir. That is correct.

Senator SCOTT. You also said that we paid the country of Colombia for whatever rights they might have. Did I understand that correctly?

Judge CROWE. That is correct.

Senator SCOTT. Also, under the 1903 treaty, we acquired in perpetuity the right to use and occupy the property and the right of sovereignty in the Canal Zone.

Judge CROWE. That is correct.

Senator SCOTT. Then, we also acquired the fee-simple title to the property of private owners.

Judge CROWE. Correct.

Senator SCOTT. Would you say, in view of all of that, that we acquired all the rights, title, and interest in the property comprising the Canal Zone? Is there any other interest we could have acquired? Judge CROWE. I do not know what else we could have done.

Senator SCOTT. I notice that in the Supreme Court decision that was mentioned earlier today, in Wilson v. Shaw in the year 1906, it says that it is hypercritical to contend that the title of the United States is imperfect, and that the territory described does not belong to this Nation because of the omission of some technical terms used in ordinary conveyances of real estate.

As a gentleman who has been a judge in the Canal Zone for 25 years, do you agree with this?

Judge CROWE. I agree with that. Justice Brewer wrote that opinion, and he was a very fine Justice.

Senator SCOTT. Has it been overruled as far as you know?
Judge CROWE. No, sir, it never has.

Senator SCOTT. Then I find a circuit court case where it says that the Panama Canal incorporated territory of the United States, and that laws applicable to the Canal Zone are enacted by the Congress. There is no local legislature. I am not aware of any appeal from this fifth circuit court case.

In your opinion, is that still the law?

Judge CROWE. Yes, sir. That is still viable.

Senator SCOTT. Very well, sir. I don't have any further questions. Thank you very much.

Senator ALLEN. Judge Crowe, when did you resign from the bench? Judge CROWE. I resigned from the bench on the 30th of April of this year.

Senator ALLEN. Was one of the filings of the Helms v. Vance suit in your court?

Judge CROWE. Yes, sir. It was called the Drummond suit. It was filed last year. Unfortunately, I decided that I did not have jurisdiction because there was not proper service on the defendants.

Senator ALLEN. Did you make any study of the merits of the suit? Judge CROWE. The only thing that I said in that decision was to the effect that I thought we had a good and perfect title to the land, but that I was incapable of ruling upon the question of the injunction. Senator ALLEN. I shall not seek to elicit information about your opinion on the merits of the suit itself. It is interesting that you were judge in that particular suit.

There has been no successor appointed to fill the vacancy created by your resignation, is that correct?

Judge CROWE. That is correct, and one is very badly needed.

Senator ALLEN. You say the other judge does not try civil cases? Judge CROWE. He has not been trying civil cases, no, sir.

Senator ALLEN. Does this big backlog of criminal and civil cases cause considerable chaos in judicial circles?

Judge CROWE. Yes; it does. I was talking to the clerk of the court a few days ago. They wanted me to come back if I could and sit as special judge. Circumstances are not right for that, and they had six jury cases set for trial. One of them was a very bad murder case. Unfortunately, the sitting judge could not get back to those trials because of his illness. Some of those cases might be thrown out because of the Speedy Trial Act.

Senator ALLEN. What would happen to the courts in the event that this treaty should be entered into and approved? Would it be wiped out?

Judge CROWE. It would be wiped out, and the rights of the people who live in the Canal Zone would suffer greatly because they would be thrown under the Panamanian jurisdiction which I have described. Senator ALLEN. They would also be left to Dictator Torrijos' feelings of mercy, would they not?

Judge CROWE. Exactly.

Senator ALLEN. Do you not feel that the rights of the civilians, then, should be considered?

Judge CROWE. I think they should, indeed. As we mentioned this morning, a poll showed that 62 percent of the people said that they were going to leave there in the event of any change. That might mean that more will leave. Of course, if the United States needs the canal, which I think it does very much for defense purposes and I think that this oil situation is going to develop so that it will be very necessary there, then I do not believe this treaty should give the Canal Zone to the Panamanians.

I was listening to Ralph Nader on the TV the day before yesterday, and I have listened to others who have said that the west coast does not have refineries that can refine this oil. It will have to go to the east coast to be refined. I think that there is going to be a great stream of tankers flowing through the canal to furnish this oil to the American taxpayers.

Senator ALLEN. Do you think that there is any connection between the pendency of the negotiations and the failure to fill the vacancy on the court?

Judge CROWE. Yes, sir. This is a personal opinion. I feel that in the event that a man is appointed down there for an 8-year term, the Panamanian people might leap upon it and charge that it is an indication of insincerity on the part of the United States.

Senator ALLEN. It seems to me that an effort on the part of the Government would show that the canal is not capable of being defended in the first place, and in the second place, that the treaty is sure to be agreed upon and approved, and therefore there is no need to carry on with the normal functions of government there.

Judge CROWE. That is the way it appears to me.

Senator ALLEN. In other words, they are abandoning the area at least so far as future consideration of the needs of U.S. citizens may be concerned.

Judge CROWE. That is the way it appears to me. Thousands of American citizens and not only American citizens, but Panamanians who live in the Canal Zone-that have their causes before the court down there cannot get them tried.

Senator ALLEN. They would no longer have the protection of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, but would be subjected to whatever government, whatever despotic government, is in place in Panama.

Judge CROWE. Exactly. Our court, as you know, is a part of the Federal system.

Senator ALLEN. Yes, sir.

Judge CROWE. Therefore, people who feel aggrieved by the decision of the district court have the right of appeal to the fifth circuit sitting in New Orleans, and of course ultimately to the Supreme Court of the United States in the event that the certiorari is permitted.


Senator ALLEN. One suggestion of a way to solve the problem was made by a witness this morning. I believe you heard his testimony. That suggestion was not only to give the present canal to Panama, but to enable them, with the backing of the U.S. Treasury, to build a sea level canal there and give that to them, also.

Judge CROWE. I think that Panama would be opposed to building a sea level canal in the Darien area because the plan to build a sea level canal, as the Senator said this morning, would only take a short time to do. They were talking about building it with nuclear weapons. The people are definitely afraid of fallout and the problems that may arise there. They are also afraid of the ecological change.

They also are afraid that a sea level canal that was built in what they call the Darien area, which is the jungle strip between the present canal and Colombia, would be away from their populated area and would cause the death of their terminal cities. Panama City has about 700,000 people living there, with a great many merchants. Cristobal on the other end has the same thing, and they profit greatly from the flow of commerce through the present canal.

Senator ALLEN. What about the influence of the international banks in the controversy?

Judge CROWE. I think that the international banks are for the transfer of the Canal Zone to Panama, because Panama is heavily obligated. Also, I think that these people that I referred to the 220 people who were members of this organization who have businesses in Panama-feel that there is a possibility that because of this cohesion in Latin America between the Latin American people in support of the Panamanian position that their interests will suffer. They feel that there might be expropriations and they might be kicked out of these countries and their institutions taken over.

That is the reason that I think they have joined in. I think that the Department of State is largely motivated by their position.

Senator ALLEN. If the treaty went through, then, Panama would have the revenue to pay off the big banks, would they not?

Judge CROWE. They would, particularly with the money that they are demanding. They are demanding $1,300 million a year to be paid by us just for defending the canal and keeping it neutral.

Senator ALLEN. Is public opinion in Panama all one sided on wanting this new treaty to be executed?

Judge CROWE. Oh, no. There are many people there who would like to have the United States continue just like it is. Of course, the thousands of employees who are working in the Canal Zone receive the benefit of the minimum wage of the United States. They want their jobs and they want to stay there. They receive good salaries and that money is spent in Panama. The American colony there as well as the military with their good salaries spend a great deal of money in Panama.

Therefore, from a standpoint of wanting the commerce, the merchants are very much of the opinion that they would like to have the United States there.

They are afraid to say so, because they have a controlled press and they have a dictator there who might make it very difficult for them. Privately, though, the intelligent Panamanians will tell you that they would like to have the United States stay there.

There are a number of people who do not have any money. The poor people, who are motivated by the present dictatorship and who will come in and give voice to the demand for the canal emotionally, they do this because they are have-nots and they figure they might have something.

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