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SENATE DEBATE ON THE PANAMA CANAL TREATIES: A COMPENDIUM OF MAJOR STATEMENTS, DOCUMENTS, RECORD VOTES AND RELEVANT EVENTS

PREPARED FOR THE

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE

BY

CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

36-614

FEBRUARY 1979

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON: 1979

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office

Washington, D.C. 20402

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

FRANK CHURCH, Idaho, Chairman

CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island
GEORGE MCGOVERN, South Dakota
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., Delaware
JOHN GLENN, Ohio
RICHARD STONE, Florida
PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland
EDMUND S. MUSKIE, Maine
EDWARD ZORINSKY, Nebraska

JACOB K. JAVITS, New York
CHARLES H. PERCY, Illinois
HOWARD H. BAKER, JR., Tennessee
JESSE HELMS, North Carolina
S. I. HAYAKAWA, California
RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana

WILLIAM B. BADER, Staff Director
(II)

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

Hon. JOHN SPARKMAN,

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE, Washington, D.C., December 14, 1978.

Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: In response to a request from your committee, the staff of the Congressional Research Service has prepared this volume, which I am pleased to transmit, on the Senate debate on the Panama Canal Treaties. The purpose of this effort is to bring together information on the debate itself, the progression of legislative actions that shaped the debates, and the political and diplomatic context in which the debates occurred.

Included in this volume are an introductory essay on the form, substance and significance of the debate; a selection of major floor statements and colloquies on key themes in the debate; summaries of every amendment or reservation considered by the Senate along with the Totes on those items and on the resolutions of ratification themselves; and a chronology of events during the period of congressional consideration of the treaties. I hope that these materials will make the substance and context of the debates more accessible to those interested in this historic process.

This report was prepared by members on the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division. The contributors are indicated at the beginning of each section.

Sincerely,

(III)

GILBERT GUDE, Director.

PREFACE

In the early evening of April 18, 1978, the Senate took its final vote on the controversial Panama Canal agreements and ended 38 days of continuous debate. It was the second longest treaty debate in the history of the Senate.

Following conclusion of the debate, I requested the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress in mid-May to begin work on a compendium that would serve to highlight the breadth and scope of that historic event. This volume recaptures the spirit of the debate from beginning to end, and makes clear, I believe, that the debate itself was as inspirational as it was time consuming. But through it all-the tedium and the excitement, the solemnity and the laughter-the process worked and worked well. Americans everywhere, regardless of their views on the Panama issue, can be justifiably proud of this process and the democratic foundation upon which it rests. Indeed, the Panama Canal debate was nothing more or less than an expression of the vitality of our democratic procedures, as evidenced by the material contained in this volume.

Part I provides information on the negotiations and hearings prior to the debate, on Senate procedures for consideration of treaties, and on the highlights and significance of the debate.

section.

Part II contains a selection of representative statements by proimportance of the Canal, the economic importance and treaty-related ponents and opponents on such key themes of the debate as the military costs of the Canal, the constitutional issue of Congress' role in the This section also contains general statements on the treaties as well disposal of U.S. property, and the issue of a future sea-level canal. as statements on the historical setting. Part III contains a complete listing of all proposed modifications to the treaties and resolutions of ratification that were considered by the Senate, generally in the order in which they were considered. The format for the listing is described in more detail at the outset of that Part IV provides a chronology of events related to congressional consideration of the Panama Canal Treaties from August 1977, the period of agreement in principle on the new treaties, to June 1978, the period when President Carter and General Torrijos exchanged the instruments of ratifications for the new treaties. Drawn from press commentary and congressional sources, this chronology summarizes diplomatic context in which these events were taking place. major developments in Congress but also reflects the political and Part V of this collection provides the text of the Protocol of Exchange and related instruments of ratification for the Panama Canal Treaties, which were exchanged on June 16, 1978.

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