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States from the Isthmus. As to this, I would urge that instead of weakening our forces in the Canal Zone they should be strengthened. A start in this direction would be the reactivation of the U.S. Navy's special service squadron with its home base in the zone. This squadron, operating directly under the direction of the Chief of Naval Operations and not at part of our combat naval forces, served usefully over the many years of its existence before U.S. involvement in World War II in fostering better diplomatic relations with various countries in the Caribbean-Gulf regions and it could do so again as well as being an active symbol of the strength and stability of the United States.
5. Members of Congress should examine this issue carefully and consider visiting the Republic of Panama and talking with Panamanian officials and Americans working in Panama.
The report then emphasizes such visits as a way for Members to "educate" themselves. It suggests that they talk with Canal Zone officials, American officials in Panama, American businessmen living in Panama, and Panamanians.
Mr. Speaker, here again I suggest that Members talk with expert Canal Zone employees, who are the ones burdened with continuous responsibility for maintaining, operating, sanitating, and protecting the canal and know whereof they speak. Members seeking authentic information can find it in Washington extensively set forth in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD and in my volume on "Isthmian Canal Policy Questions" (H. Doc. No. 474, 89th Congress). They do not have to go to Panama for essential facts for there are many well informed and competent experts here, some of them in the Congress.
6. Members of Congress should be aware that their comments on the canal are closely followed and widely reported in the Panamanian press.
The report then suggests that Members refrain from making statements during the next several months that might hinder the negotiations and that to prevent a draft treaty from even being submitted to the Congress can only harm our national interests.
Mr. SPEAKER, in contrast, I would urge all Members of Congress concerned with the security of the United States, after obtaining accurate information, to speak out on the canal issues in forthright and unequivocal terms. As previously stated, such information is extensively available in the Congressional Record and elsewhere in Washington.
The appendixes of the report include the February 7, 1974, Kissinger-Tack "Statement of Principles," to govern the negotiation of a new canal treaty, a December 2, 1975, address by chief negotiator Ellsworth Bunker, a statement by the administrative board, U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops of February 24, 1975, a November 12, 1975, press release by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a historical documentary summary provided by the Library of Congress.
Although the historical summary provides many important facts the conclusions of the report do not reflect this.
To offset this defect, I have recomended the prompt issue by the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries of its own committee print with authoritative documents, including some addresses by informed Members of the Congress and papers by recognized experts on the canal question.
Mr. Speaker, I would stress again what has often been stated, that the Congress has not been, and is not now being, fully informed about what is transpiring concerning this great U.S. asset, which is essential for interoceanic commerce, national defense, and hemispheric security.
The gravest vital issue in the Isthmian equation, as I have often stated in addresses in the Congress, is not between the United States and Panama, but between the United States and the Moscow-Havana axis with which the Panamanian dictatorship is closely allied.
Mr. Speaker, the Gulf-Caribbean areas are now well on their way toward becoming Red lakes. Upon the fate of the Canal Zone depends that of the canal. Upon the fate of the canal depends that of the entire Caribbean-Gulf basin and on it depends the survival of the United States as a free and independent nation. Such realities in the global situation cannot be disregarded but must be faced.
The most crucial question involved is whether the Soviet beachhead in Cuba shall be expanded to include the entire Caribbean-Gulf basins for the encirclement of the United States or should these strategic waters be preserved as peaceful moats for hemispheric security and free navigation for the vessels of all nations. Continued undiluted U.S. sovereign control of the Canal Zone is the key to the right solution.
Mr. Speaker, the United States is a great and powerful nation. It has friends, but also enemies and this requires constant vigil over our ramparts and strategic outposts, among which the Panama Canal is crucial. In viewing the situation we must look to the future and not to the past. The time has come for a constructive, definite, economic and historically based policy derived from experience. The program for implementing such policy is simple:
First, Adoption by the Congress of pending resolutions reaffirming and making definite U.S. policy for the continued undiluted sovereign control over the Canal Zone and canal (S. Res. 97 and H. Res. 75, 94th Congress);
Second. Termination of the current treaty negotiations.
Third. Enactment of pending measures for the major modernization of the existing treaty provisions (H.R. 15178, 49th Congress);
Fourth. Authorization for the election of a nonvoting delegate in the Congress by U.S. citizens residing in the Canal Zone (Congressional Record, June 5, 1975, p. H5035 and October 28, 1975, p. S18714);
Fifth. Reactivation of the U.S. Navy's special service squadron with home base in the Canal Zone. (Congressional Record, May 28, 1976, p. S8276.)
When the immensely complicated canal problem is evaluated from all its more significant angles, this program provides the best solution (Congressional Record, December 9, 1975), pp. H12155-H12161). Not only that, the current national debate on the canal question is serving as a catalyst for the restoration of the national will of the United States and of its true status as a great power in the struggle for the defense of freedom and civilization.
[H. Res. 92, 95th Cong., 1st sess.]
Whereas United States diplomatic representatives are presently engaged in negotiations with representatives of the de facto Revolutionary Government of Panama, under the declared purpose to surrender to Panama, at an early date, United States sovereign rights and to abandon its treaty obligations, as defined below, to maintain, operate, protect, and otherwise govern the United Statesowned canal and its protective frame of the Canal Zone, herein designated as the "canal" and the "zone", respectively, situated within the Isthmus of Panama; and
Whereas the United States is obligated by international agreement to regulate, manage, and protect a ship canal, guaranteeing its neutrality to the shipping of all nations at equal toll rates, to wit:
The Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1901 between the United States and Great Britain, under which the United States adopted the principles of the Convention of Constantinople of 1888 as the rules for operation, regulation, and management of the canal; and
Whereas title to and ownership of the zone, under the right "in perpetuity" to exercise sovereign control thereof, were vested entirely and absolutely in the United States and recognized to have been so vested in certain solemnly ratified treaties by the United States with Panama and Colombia, to wit:
(1) The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 between the Republic of Panama and the United States, by the terms of which the Republic of Panama granted to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation, and control of the zone with full sovereign rights, power, and authority over the zone for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the canal to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any such sovereign rights, power, or authority; and
(2) The Thomson-Urrutia Treaty of April 6, 1914, proclaimed March 30, 1922, between the Republic of Colombia and the United States, under which the Republic of Colombia recognized that the title to the canal and the Panama Railroad is vested "entirely and absolutely" in the United States, which treaty granted important rights in the use of the canal and railroad to Colombia; and
Whereas the United States, in addition to having so acquired title to and ownership of the zone by constitutional means pursuant to congressional authorization, purchased all privately owned land and property in the zone, making it the most costly United States territorial possession; and
Whereas the United States since 1904 has continuously occupied and exercised sovereign control over the zone, constructed the canal, and, since 1914, for a period of more than sixty years, operated the canal in a highly efficient manner at reasonable toll rates to the vessels of all nations without discrimination under the terms of the above-mentioned treaties, thereby honoring its obligations; and Whereas from 1904 through June 30, 1974, the United States made a total investment in the canal, including defense, at a cost to the taxpayers of the United States of over $6,880,370,000; and
Whereas the investment of the United States in the canal includes the sacrifices of many thousands of United States citizens who have worked to construct the canal, to keep it operating smoothly and efficiently, and to protect it; and
Whereas the canal is of vital and imperative importance to hemispheric defense and to the security of the United States and Panama; and
Whereas approximately 70 per centum of canal traffic either originates or terminates in United States ports, making the continued operation of the canal by the United States vital to its economy; and
Whereas the people of the United States have exhibited strong support for retention of full an undiluted jurisdiction over the canal and zone, and the Constitution insures the supremacy of the people; and
Whereas Panama has, under the terms of the 1903 treaty and the 1936 and 1955 revisions thereof, been well compensated for the sovereign rights, power, and authority it granted to the United States, in such significantly beneficial manner that said compensation and correlated benefits have constituted a major portion of the economy of Panama, giving it the highest per capita income in all of Central America; and
Whereas the long established friendly and cooperative relations between the United States and the Republic of Panama as a consequence of the benefits flowing from the present treaty structure are prone to deterioration by the dilution of any United States sovereignty or jurisdiction in the canal and zone; and
Whereas the present negotiations pursuant to the February 7, 1974, “Agreement on Principles" signed without congressional authorization by United States Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, and by Panamanian Foreign Minister Juan A. Tack, constitute a clear and present danger to the hemispheric security and the successful operation of the canal by the United States under its treaty obligations; and
Whereas the present treaty negotiations are being conducted under a cloak of unwarranted secrecy, thus withholding from our people and their representatives in Congress information vital to the commerce and security of the United States; and
Whereas the United States House of Representatives, on February 2, 1960, adopted House Concurrent Resolution 459, Eighty-sixth Congress, reaffirming the sovereignty of the United States over the zone territory by the overwhelming vote of three hundred and eighty-two to twelve, thus demonstrating the firm determination of the people that the United States should maintain its indispensable sovereignty and jurisdiction over the canal and the zone; and
Whereas under article IV, section 3, clause 2, of the United States Constitution, the power to dispose of territory or other property of the United States is specifically vested in the Congress, which includes the House of Representatives; and
Whereas the Communist regime in Cuba has made that country a satellite of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in violation of the Monroe Doctrine; and Whereas the proposed surrender of United States sovereign control over the zone and canal to Panama, which is unable to defend them, would invite the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to establish its power still more firmly in the strategic center of the Americas and threaten the operations and projected modernization of the canal; and
Whereas such a takeover would transform the Caribbean-Gulf of Mexico basin into a strategic Soviet stronghold; and
Whereas the Congress of the United States is invested with constitutional responsibilities to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States, to regulate commerce with foreign nations, to raise and support armies and provide and maintain a Navy, to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory of the United States, and to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution these and other powers, all of which denote that it is the solemn duty of Congress to safeguard the interests of the people of the United States in the canal and zone : Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives of the United States of America that
(1) the Government of the United States should remain unimpaired and protect its sovereign rights, power and authority, and jurisdiction over the Panama Canal and the entire Canal Zone, and should in no way cede, dilute, forfeit, negotiate, or transfer any such sovereign rights, power, authority, jurisdiction, territory, or property, all of which are indispensably necessary for the maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection, and for the proposed major modernization of the Panama Canal, as well as the security of the United States and the entire Western Hemisphere; and
(2) there be no relinquishment or surrender of any presently vested United States sovereign right, power, or authority in the Canal Zone without prior authorization by the Congress; and
(3) there be no recission or cession or other divestiture of any United States territory or property in the Canal Zone, tangible or intangible, to Panama or any other entity, country or international organization, without prior authorization by the Congress (House and Senate), as provided in article IV, section 3, clause 2, of the United States Constitution.
[H.R. 1587, 95th Cong., 1st sess.]
A BILL To provide for the increase of capacity and the improvement of operations of the Panama Canal after the President terminates negotiations by the United States with the Republic of Panama to surrender the Panama Canal and the Canal Zone to the Republic of Panama, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Panama Canal Modernization Act."
SEC. 2. The Congress hereby finds and declares that
(1) the United States of America is a high contracting party to the HayPauncefote Treaty of 1901 in force with Great Britain;
(2) the treaty serves as the basis for daily regulation and management of the Panama Canal, including the establishment of tools for use of the canal;
(3) the treaty imposes upon the United States obligations to uphold "the general principle of neutralization" of the Panama Canal; to maintain it "free and open to the vessels of commerce and of war of all nations observing these rules, on terms of entire equality, so that there shall be no discrimination against any such nation, or its citizens or subjects, in respect of the conditions or charges of traffic, or otherwise"; to insure that "the canal shall never be blockaded, nor shall any right of war be exercised nor any act of hostility be committed within it"; and "to protect it against lawlessness and disorder";
(4) under the direction of the President, the United States Department of State, despite the obligations of the United States under the treaty, has been negotiating with the Republic of Panama to cede the Canal Zone and Panama Canal to that country;
(5) such cession would render the United States incapable of fulfilling its obligations under the treaty;
(6) further, the United States is a party to a treaty with the Republic of Colombia signed April 6, 1914, by which that country recognizes the title to the Panama Canal and Panama Railroad as "vested entirely and absolutely in the United States of America, without any incumbrances or indemnities whatever", and by which the United States guarantees that "the products of the soil and industry of Colombia passing through the canal, as well as the Colombian mails, shall be exempt from any charge or duty other than those to which the products and mails of the United States may be subject”, an obligation we could not fulfill upon the surrender of the Canal Zone and waterway to the Republic of Panama or to any international organization; (7) the undertaking of the United States in constructing, maintaining, operating, sanitating, and protecting the Panama Canal has proven to be of enormous benefit to the people of the United States, the Republic of Panama, and the entire world;
(8) the interests of defense and interoceanic commerce, and the increasing dimensions of ships, require an increase of canal capacity and operational improvement of existing facilities and installations;
(9) the greater marine operational and logistical capability resulting from a modernization of the canal based on decades of actual experience in transiting over half a million vessels would permit increased canal revenues; improved efficiency and economy of operations; simplified canal management and defense; capacity for handling larger ships, lessening of transit time; increased safety through diminished navigational hazards; reduction of fatigue factors for pilot personnel; minimization of dispatching problems; and a summit level lake anchorage and traffic reservoir at the Pacific end comparable to the Gatun Lock-Lake arrangement at the Atlantic end, allowing unrestricted operation of all locks, elimination of traffic bottlenecks, mitigation of the effect of fog on canal operations, and lessening of lockage water surges in Gaillard Cut;
(10) in addition to stimulating United States trade, industry, and employment, canal modernization would bring major benefits to intercoastal and international commerce and to hemispheric states, including reduced cost per cargo-ton to United States and foreign producers, suppliers, and consumers of the world's goods, as well as to canal users; generation of greater economic well-being for the American nations through improved trade and communication; strengthened hemispheric security through the canal's increased capacity for marine operations, and increased prosperity and economic opportunity for the people of the Republic of Panama by virtue of the enormous outlays for new construction involved in this Terminal LakeThird Locks Project in the Canal Zone;
(11) canal modernization by the United States, initially called the Third Locks Project, was authorized by Congress in 1939 at a cost not to exceed $277,000,000, was started in 1940, but was suspended in 1942 because of World War II priorities;
(12) $76,357,405 was expended on that project before suspension, and later an additional $95,000,000 was expended on the enlargement of the Gaillard Cut, making a total of $171,000,000 already expended toward the major modernization of the existing canal;
(13) no new treaty or agreement with the Republic of Panama was necessary for the United States to initiate such modernization in 1939 inasmuch as the United States, in accordance with the Spooner Act of 1902, and the treaty of 1903 with the Republic of Panama, paid that republic $10,000,000 to acquire control of the Canal Zone; the Republic of Panama by said treaty of 1903 granted to the United States in perpetuity full sovereign rights, power, and authority over the Canal Zone, "to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any such sovereign rights, power, or authority" (a grant recognized and not changed by subsequent treaties of 1936 and 1955 between the two nations); Panama by said treaty recognized as absolute the title of the United States to all lands and properties and rights purchased from the several companies holding railroad or canal concessions on the Isthmus of Panama; and under said treaty the United States took title to all remaining privately owned land property in the zone, purchasing such tracts from individual owners;
(14) completion under this Act of such modernization as modified and improved by additional experience with canal operations and current technology requires no new treaty arrangements with the Republic of Panama; (15) it would be both unwise and a shedding of its responsibility to the citizen-taxpayers of the United States for the Congress to authorize any funds for modernization of the Panama Canal should there be any relinquishment or surrender of the sovereign rights, power, and authority currently exercised exclusively by the United States over the Canal Zone and the waterway;
(16) although one reason for approval of modernization in 1939 was to facilitate conversion of the Panama Canal to a so-called "sea level" waterway, at this time all factors in combination indicate no weighty advantage to be gained in converting the existing high level lake and lock canal to a “sea level" canal-actually a tidal level lock canal of very complicated construction necessitated both by alternating currents that would be set up by twenty-two-foot Pacific maximum tidal range versus Atlantic tidal range of only some twenty-two inches, and by flood control requirements or in the