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mala line. They broke out their figures here [indicating]. The cheapest is the Sohio line. These two lines [indicating] compare the pipeline systems that they studied to the tanker routes that I had projected. This is moving oil, not at tolls of 27 cents a barrel through the canal, but at 44 cents a barrel, and it comes to 30 cents to 60 cents cheaper per barrel.

Senator CLARK. I was thinking more specifically of a pipeline across the isthmus itself.

Senator GRAVEL. The closest is the Guatemalan comparison. That gave us some inkling as to what we call the Ludwig proposal, which was made in 1969, when we discovered North Slope oil. He had suggested building a pipeline across Panama and having a supertanker fleet on the west coast and another on the east coast. The fact that they threw the Guatemalan line in-and you will see that that comes to $2.16, or 10 cents more per barrel than the Sohio line. I think that is very significant.


Senator CLARK. My second question is this. You talked about the military vulnerability of the present canal. Do you think that a sea level canal would be any less vulnerable?

Senator GRAVEL. The only vulnerability it would have would be to nuclear attack, because there will be no gates, and the tidal gates would not be that significant. There will be no mechanisms. You will have a ditch, and you could blow the ditch, but if you are using nuclear devices to blow that ditch, the world is in a lot of trouble already. So I don't think anybody would focus on that.

At present a saboteur can stop your cargoes from going through, just by changing the water levels in the whole area.

Senator CLARK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions? [No response.]

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Gravel, we thank you very much and appreciate your statement.

Senator GRAVEL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the committee for its time.

The CHAIRMAN. Next we will hear from Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada.

Senator Laxalt, we are very glad to have you. We have your prepared statement and that will be printed in the record in full. Please proceed as you wish.

But first let me remind the committee that the ceremony over in Statuary Hall is to be at 11 o'clock, and it is now 15 minutes to 11. I think we would want to recess this hearing for a brief while in order to attend that ceremony. But we have some time before we are due to leave, so Senator Laxalt, please go right ahead.


Senator LAXALT. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I realize the shortness of time, and I realize, too, that I have colleagues who will follow me.

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I have a rather lengthy statement dealing with the issues and I ask leave of the chairman and the committee to cause it to be filed.

The CHAIRMAN. We all have copies of your statement and without objection, your statement will be placed in the record of this hearing in its entirety.

Senator LAXALT. I would like first to make some general observations.

I don't come here as an expert. As I look around at the members of this committee, I see that you are far ahead of me in experience. I don't have any special background which would equip me to evaluate the security or the commercial situation. But I must say that I have had as much experience with the people on this issue as anybody. I have lived with this issue since 1975, as a part of the Reagan campaign when this issue surfaced very quickly-not from us, but from the people.

So, from experience in talking to thousands of people and having innumerable discussions all over this country, and having received all kinds of correspondence since the treaties were signed, and from other appearances, I think I can address the issue from the perspective of our people.

From that perspective, it has been a curious thing for me to see how this debate is going, because the question asked those of us who oppose ratification seems to me, "Why not?" To me that is the wrong way to approach debate.


Instead, the question should be: "Why ratify?" Here we are being asked as a Congress and as a country to ratify a treaty which represents substantial changes in our situation. It seems to me that the standard and the criteria should clearly be that the proponents of this treaty have to establish to the satisfaction of this Congress, this committee, and the American people by a standard of clear and convincing evidence that we should enter into these treaties. Thus far, in my estimation, that burden has not been sustained at all.

I find very little, if any, justification for ratification of these treaties at this time. As a matter of fact, your own hearings have disclosed substantial serious problems. We have had any number of problems of ambiguity in relation to neutrality, in relation to passage, in relation to intervention.

We have had statements made here such as, "No, that particular situation isn't covered by the four corners, but as a practical matter, this or that result can occur.'

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It seems to me that in this entire matter there has been no showing whatsoever, no compelling consideration by clear and convincing evidence why the United States should give up the canal.

I am not going to get into any legalistic discussion. I have had the legalistic end of this around my ears for too long. We can argue forever about whether we have sovereign rights and what perpetuity means, and everything else. But I can say in terms of the American people and their understanding that we do own it. I think the evidence actually demonstrates that we did buy it, whatever that means. We did bail out a project that was in terrible difficulty, and thereafter we managed it and we managed it well, not only in terms of our own interests, but in terms of the international interest.

So why, where is the compelling circumstance to be supported by clear and convincing evidence for this great country of ours to turn over the canal, not only to a power which may be hostile and I won't pass judgment on that-and which could become more hostile, and, more important than anything else, which I think will inevitably result in questionable management of a vital resource? It seems to me that in a sense the canal should be treated as a utility. This is an international waterway and the future management of this has to be of great concern.


One underlying rationale for conceding sovereignty over the canal has been guilt. We are told that somehow this is the last vestige of colonialism. In my judgment it is not colonialism at all. We were asked to come in there. They needed us. We supported the project initially and we have maintained it ever since in grand fashion. I am getting a little bit tired of the breast beating and the guilty pangs of what this country has done and has not done. In my judgment, this country has done more than any country in the history of the world for other nations, and particularly Panama. Had we not intervened in Panama and maintained that project, as we have, over the years Panama today would be in desperate trouble.


Secretary Vance came here and indicated that ratification of the canal treaties will have an immeasurable effect upon the tone of our relationships with other countries. I agree-but in what fashion? He would make it appear that if we don't sign this agreement, we are going to endanger our relationships with the Latin American countries and the rest of the world by not appearing generous or big


I submit that the opposite result could easily occur. This would be perceived just as easily as a matter of weakness, particularly at a time when we are thinking about pulling out of South Korea, when we are vacillating on Taiwan, when we are vacillating on Israel. We are acquiring a posture, it seems to me, not only in the world itself, but among our own people, of gradually becoming a weak and isolationist country. I think we withdrew from that in the great decisions that were made by this committee and by this Congress in the Vandenberg days. Those were courageous decisions. It seems to me that decisions of this kind which are perceived as a withdrawal can be greatly harmful.


Now the great trump card that is being played upon those of us who oppose this treaty is that you are buying a war, you are buying violence. I submit that that lacks substance.

In my judgment, if we sign this treaty, we are buying the chance of violence far more than if we reject it because the bottom line is, if we talk about violence in Panama, it would not be the reasonable

people in Panama, who are many, but the extremists, who are unreasonable, that would do this. There is no way that signing this treaty is going to pacify them.

How are we going to pacify an extremist in Panama and tell him that he cannot have the canal for 23 years? No way. All we are going to do is build up his expectations, and the day that this treaty is ratified they will look for ways to eject us from the canal.

In my judgment, this argument is specious. It has no foundation. In my judgment, for the mothers and fathers of young America in this country, I think signing this treaty would place their sons in far more jeopardy than would rejecting it.


We have been told around town and told by the President himself that the people at this time are opposed to this treaty, and they are, in overwhelming numbers. We are told that that will change after the people are "educated." This is typical Washington patronization, typical Washington arrogance. We never seem to get over the idea here that we have a monopoly of wisdom in this country.

I submit to you that in this issue particularly the people are way ahead of us. I submit to you that the people are far more educated and have far better perceptions of the ramifications of this weak-kneed decision than we do.

It has been said that the American people lack will as a result of Vietnam. I don't accept that. If there is a lack of will anywhere, it is in this town. The American people that I perceived out there want to stand up and be counted, not irrationally, not in strident tones; but when it comes to property that they perceive as theirs, they want it to be protected.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Laxalt, please let me break in at this time. We have a memorial service to attend, and some of the members feel we ought to recess.

Senator LAXALT. Just let me make one last statement and then I will withdraw, please.

The CHAIRMAN. But we don't want you to withdraw.

Senator LAXALT. I was just about to conclude my statement. I have just one last observation.

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The CHAIRMAN. First, while you are here I do want to say this. You have no right to assume that this committee or any member of this committee is supporting these treaties.

Senator LAXALT. I had not made that statement.

The CHAIRMAN. I have not heard any member of this committee say how he stands.

I was asked by a newspaperman the other day how I stood on this. I said to him, "I am chairman of the committee. I am going to preside. I am going to preside impartially, and therefore I will not say how I stand. Even if I know it, I wouldn't say it."

Senator LAXALT. If you will examine the record, with all due respect, I made no such observation.

Certainly I am not going to come here and tell the jury that it has its mind made up.

Let me give you my one last comment.


I would suggest strongly to this committee that the hearings not be limited to here in Washington. If it has not already been considered, I would strongly recommend to the committee that it get out there in the real world to find out what the people are thinking on this


Senator CASE. We all have our real worlds, don't worry about that. Senator LAXALT. Thank you very much, gentlemen. [Senator Laxalt's prepared statement follows:]

[News release, Oct. 5, 1977]


Senator Paul Laxalt today told members of the Foreign Relations Committee during hearings on the Panama Canal Treaty that, "The burden of proof for the need to ratify these documents should rest squarely with those who support a change in ownership."

The Nevada Republican added that, "Proponents of this Treaty must prove clearly and convincingly that our security and economic interests will not be unduly jeopardized if it is ratified. With the weaknesses I see in the document, I think that will be impossible to accomplish.

Laxalt also suggested that the Foreign Relations Committee. ". . . get out of Washington and into the real world to conduct some hearings and you'll fast discover that the people are strongly opposed to this Treaty.

"Some in Washington may not realize the depth of feeling on this issue. Sometimes we are like people stranded on an island and we'd better do some traveling to stay on top of this better."

In his testimony, Laxalt chided those supporters of the Canal Treaty who have suggested that the United States has mistreated the Panamanians through maintenance of a presence in the Central American country and must give up the Canal as an act of good faith. "Those," he said, "who feel the need to give away the Canal to sooth guilt feelings apparently haven't studied their history. We've been fair in our operation of the waterway to both users and Panama. There is some misplaced guilt around here."

Laxalt criticized the Administration for engaging in what he called, ". simple scare tactics to 'sell' their treaty to the people. It's an insult to tell people that either the agreement is ratified or we run the risk of extremists blowing up the canal. Americans won't buy blackmail as a good reason to renege on responsibilities they should continue to exercise. As I see it, the 'violence argument' is the best one the supporters could muster because they can't find anything positive to say about the treaties."

Laxalt added that, "I do not believe that the issue of potential violence should be ignored, but I do feel that we need to inquire closely as to its origins. To me, the treaties represent the worst possible way of dealing with potential security threats to the canal from within Panama. The expectations of Panamanian extremists have certainly been raised by the prospect of taking over the canal. But treaty proponents need to ask themselves whether those expectations will be satisfied by asking extremists to wait 22 years, or whether violence and sabotage are now possible, irrespective of Senate ratification, simply because of the atmosphere of heightened expectations which the treaties create without really satisfying.

"In view of this tinderbox situation, I see Senate refusal to ratify as providing at least some deterrence to violence by demonstrating that the power of the United States remains behind its legitimate interests. Ratification of a half-way house treaty, on the other hand, because it represents a clear capitulation under threat of force without satisfying extremist expectations, would be a signal to potential rioters and saboteurs that they need not wait 22 years."

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