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PRESS RELEASE BY THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES
Subject: Panama Canal treaty.
CHAMBER BACKS ADMINISTRATION EFFORTS TO RENEGOTIATE PANAma Canal TREATY
WASHINGTON, November 12-The Chamber of Commerce of the United States today announced its support of the Ford Administration's efforts to renegotiate the Panama Canal Treaty, reserving, however, final judgment until details of the renegotiated treaty are made public.
The action came during the meeting of the National Chamber's Board of Directors Nov. 6-7.
The Chamber board called on the Administration to adhere to the Statement of Principles signed Feb. 7, 1974 by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Juan Antonio Tack, Panama's Minister of Foreign Affairs. The principles state, in part, that Panama is required to grant the United States the rights necessary to regulate the transit of ships through the canal and to operate, maintain, protect and defend the canal.
The Chamber board listed the following reasons in support of a renegotiated treaty:
1. Terms of the 1903 Treaty do not reflect changes in Panamanian-U.S. relations which have occurred in the last 72 years, and no longer serve U.S. national interests as well as a modernized treaty which would be based on the concept of partnership;
2. President Ford is the third consecutive President to support negotiations to achieve a modern relationship between the two countries;
3. General George Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in his September, 1975, statement clearly expressed support for the current negotiations; and
4. The Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America took a similar position earlier this year.
[Treaty Series, No. 431]
CONSTRUCTION OF A SHIP CANAL TO CONNECT THE WATERS OF THE
CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Signed at Washington, November 18, 1903; Ratification advised by the Senate of the United States, February 23, 1904; Ratified by the President of the United States, February 25, 1994; Ratified by Panama December 2, 1903; Ratifications exchanged at Washington, February 26, 1904; Proclaimed by the President of the United States, February 26, 1904. (33 Stat. (Pt. 2) 2234.)
(NOTE: Art. I of this convention superseded by art. I of the treaty of March 2, 1936 (53 Stat. 1807; TS 945); U.S. rights under art. II renounced in part by art. II of the 1936 treaty; art. V abrogated in part by art. III of the treaty of January 25, 1955 (6 UST 2273; TIAS 3297); art. VI modified by art. X of the 1955 treaty; first sentence of art. VII amended and third paragraph abrogated by art. VI of the 1936 treaty, and second paragraph abrogated by art. IV and certain U.S. rights under the first paragraph relinquished by art. V of the 1955 treaty; art. IX superseded by art. V of the 1936 treaty; art. X modified by art. II of the 1955 treaty; art. XIV amended by art. VII of the 1936 treaty and art. I of the 1955 treaty; certain Panama rights under art. XIX waived by art. IX of the 1955 treaty.)
(By the President of the United States of America)
Whereas a Convention between the United States of America and the Republic of Panama to insure the construction of a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, was concluded and signed by their respective Plenipotentiaries at Washington, on the eighteenth day of November, one thousand nine hundred and three, the original of which Convention, being in the English language, is word for word as follows:
ISTHMIAN CANAL CONVENTION
The United States of America and the Republic of Panama being desirous to insure the construction of a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the Congress of the United States of America having passed an act approved June 28, 1902, in furtherance of that object, by which the President of the United States is authorized to acquire within a reasonable time the control of the necessary territory of the Republic of Colombia, and the sovereignty of such territory being actually vested in the Republic of Panama, the high contracting parties have resolved for that purpose to conclude a convention and have accordingly appointed as their plenipotentiaries,
The President of the United States of America, JOHN HAY, Secretary of State, and
The Government of the Republic of Panama, PHILIPPE BUNAU-VARILLA, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Panama, thereunto specially empowered by said government, who are communicating with each
other their respective full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles:
The United States guarantees and will maintain the independence of the Republic of Panama.
The Republic of Panama grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation and control of a zone of land and land under water for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of said Canal of the width of ten miles extending to the distance of five miles on each side of the center line of the route of the Canal to be constructed: the said zone beginning in the Caribbean Sea three marine miles from mean low water mark and extending to and across the Isthmus of Panama into the Pacific ocean to a distance of three marine miles from mean low water mark with the proviso that the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbors adjacent to said cities, which are included within the boundaries of the zone above described, shall not be included within this grant. The Republic of Panama further grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation and control of any other lands and water outside of the zone above described which may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said Canal or of any auxiliary canals or other works necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said enterprise.
The Republic of Panama further grants in like manner to the United States in perpetuity all islands within the limits of the zone above described and in addition thereto the group of small islands in the Bay of Panama, named Perico, Naos, Culebra and Flamenco.
The Republic of Panama grants to the United States all the rights, power and authority within the zone mentioned and described in Article II of this agreement and within the limits of all auxiliary lands and waters mentioned and described in said Article II which the United States would possess and exercise if it were the sovereign of the territory within which said lands and waters are located to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any such sovereign rights, power or authority.
As rights subsidiary to the above grants the Republic of Panama grants in perpetuity to the United States the right to use the rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water within its limits for navigation, the supply of water or water-power or other purposes, so far as the use of said rivers, streams, lakes and bodies of water and the waters thereof may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said Canal.
The Republic of Panama grants to the United States in perpetuity a monopoly for the construction, maintenance and operation of any system of communication by means of canal or railroad across its territory between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific ocean.
The grants herein contained shall in no manner invalidate the titles or rights of private land holders or owners of private property in the said zone or in or to any of the lands or waters granted to the United States by the provisions of any Article of this treaty, nor shall they interfere with the rights of way over the public roads passing through the said zone or over any of the said lands or waters unless said rights of way or private rights shall conflict with rights herein granted to the United States in which case the rights of the United States shall be superior. All damages caused to the owners of private lands or private property of any kind by reason of the grants contained in this treaty or by reason of the operations of the United States, its agents or employees, or by reason of the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said
Canal or of the works of sanitation and protection herein provided for, shall be appraised and settled by a joint Commission appointed by the Governments of the United States and the Republic of Panama, whose decisions as to such damages shall be final and whose awards as to such damages shall be paid solely by the United States. No part of the work on said Canal or the Panama railroad or on any auxiliary works relating thereto and authorized by the terms of this treaty shall be prevented, delayed or impeded by or pending such proceedings to ascertain such damages. The appraisal of said private lands and private property and the assessment of damages to them shall be based upon their value before the date of this convention.
The Republic of Panama grants to the United States within the limits of the cities of Panama and Colon and their adjacent harbors and within the territory adjacent thereto the right to acquire by purchase or by the exercise of the right of eminent domain, any lands, buildings, water rights or other properties necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation and protection of the Canal and of any works of sanitation, such as the collection and disposition of sewage and the distribution of water in the said cities of Panama and Colon, which, in the discretion of the United States may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said Canal and railroad. All such works of sanitation, collection and disposition of sewage and distribution of water in the cities of Panama and Colon shall be made at the expense of the United States, and the Government of the United States, its agents or nominees shall be authorized to impose and collect water rates and sewerage rates which shall be sufficient to provide for the payment of interest and the amortization of the principal of the cost of said works within a period of fifty years and upon the expiration of said term of fifty years the system of sewers and water works shall revert to and become the properties of the cities of Panama and Colon respectively, and the use of the water shall be free to the inhabitants of Panama and Colon, except to the extent that water rates may be necessary for the operation and maintenance of said system of sewers and water.
The Republic of Panama agrees that the cities of Panama and Colon shall comply in perpetuity with the sanitary ordinances whether of a preventive or curative character prescribed by the United States and in case the Government of Panama is unable or fails in its duty to enforce this compliance by the cities of Panama and Colon with the sanitary ordinances of the United States the Republic of Panama grants to the United States the right and authority to enforce the same.
The same right and authority are granted to the United States for the maintenance of public order in the cities of Panama and Colon and the territories and harbors adjacent thereto in case the Republic of Panama should not be, in the judgment of the United States, able to maintain such order.
The Republic of Panama grants to the United States all rights which it now has or hereafter may acquire to the property of the New Panama Canal Company and the Panama Railroad Company as a result of the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Colombia to the Republic of Panama over the Isthmus of Panama and authorizes the New Panama Canal Company to sell and transfer to the United States its rights, privileges, properties and concessions as well as the Panama Railroad and all the shares or part of the shares of that company; but the public lands situated outside of the zone described in Article II of this treaty now included in the concessions to both said enterprises and not required in the construction or operation of the Canal shall revert to the Republic of Panama except any property now owned by or in the possession of said companies within Panama or Colon or the ports or terminals thereof.
The United States agrees that the ports at either entrance of the Canal and the waters thereof, and the Republic of Panama agrees that the towns of Panama and Colon shall be free for all time so that there shall not be imposed or collected
custom house tolls, tonnage, anchorage, lighthouse, wharf, pilot, or quarantine dues or any other charges or taxes of any kind upon any vessel using or passing through the Canal or belonging to or employed by the United States, directly or indirectly, in connection with the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the main Canal, or auxiliary works, or upon the cargo, officers, crew, or passengers of any such vessels, except such tolls and charges as may be imposed by the United States for the use of the Canal and other works, and except tolls and charges imposed by the Republic of Panama upon merchandise destined to be introduced for the consumption of the rest of the Republic of Panama, and upon vessels touching at the ports of Colon and Panama and which do not cross the Canal.
The Government of the Republic of Panama shall have the right to establish in such ports and in the towns of Panama and Colon such houses and guards as it may deem necessary to collect duties on importations destined to other portions of Panama and to prevent contraband trade. The United States shall have the right to make use of the towns and harbors of Panama and Colon as places of anchorage, and for making repairs, for loading, unloading, depositing, or transshipping cargoes either in transit or destined for the service of the Canal and for other works pertaining to the Canal.
The Republic of Panama agrees that there shall not be imposed any taxes, national, municipal, departmental, or of any other class, upon the Canal, the railways and auxiliary works, tugs and other vessels employed in the service of the Canal, store houses, work shops, offices, quarters for laborers, factories of all kinds, warehouses, wharves, machinery and other works, property, and effects appertaining to the Canal or railroad and auxiliary works, or their officers or employees, situated within the cities of Panama and Colon, and that there shall not be imposed contributions or charges of a personal character of any kind upon officers, employees, laborers, and other individuals in the service of the Canal and railroad and auxiliary works.
The United States agrees that the official dispatches of the Government of the Republic of Panama shall be transmitted over any telegraph lines established for canal purposes and used for public and private business at rates not higher than those required from officials in the service of the United States.
The Government of the Republic of Panama shall permit the immigration and free access to the lands and workshops of the Canal and its auxiliary works of all employees and workmen of whatever nationality under contract to work upon or seeking employment upon or in any wise connected with the said Canal and its auxiliary works, with their respective families, and all such persons shall be free and exempt from the military service of the Republic of Panama.
The United States may import at any time into the said zone and auxiliary lands, free of custom duties, imposts, taxes, or other charges, and without any restrictions, any and all vessels, dredges, engines, cars, machinery, tools, explosives, materials, supplies, and other articles necessary and convenient in the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the Canal and auxiliary works, and all provisions, medicines, clothing, supplies and other things necessary and convenient for the officers, employees, workmen and laborers in the service and employ of the United States and for their families. If any such articles are disposed of for use outside of the zone and auxiliary lands granted to the United States and within the territory of the Republic, they shall be subject to the same import or other duties as like articles imported under the laws of the Republic of Panama.
As the price or compensation for the rights, powers and privileges granted in this convention by the Republic of Panama to the United States, the Govern