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construction of a new "sea level" canal at a different site, prior to either of which treaty modifications or new treaty arrangements, respectively, would have to be reached; nevertheless should new technology of the future or other considerations indicate a conversion of the Panama Canal, expenditures made in consequence of this Act shall not have been wasted, but rather shall have facilitated such a conversion by these accomplishments: (a) continuous traffic through the canal would be permitted during conversion construction; (b) the additional lockages would permit movement of construction equipment and excavated material as required; (c) lock overhaul and other major maintenance could be accomplished during conversion without traffic stoppage; and (d) transits even in excess of today's normal traffic could be handled during conversion.
SEC. 3. (a) Except as provided in section 15, the Governor of the Canal Zone, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Army, is authorized and directed to prosecute the work necessary to increase the capacity and improve the operations of the Panama Canal through the adaptation of the third locks project set forth in the report of the Governor of the Panama Canal, dated February 24, 1939 (House Document Numbered 210, Seventy-sixth Congress), and authorized to be undertaken by the Act of August 11, 1939 (53 Stat. 1409; Public Numbered 391, Seventy-sixth Congress), with usable lock dimensions of one hundred and forty feet by one thousand two hundred feet by not less than forty-five feet, except as recommended otherwise by the Board created under section 4 of this Act, and including the following: elimination of the Pedro Miguel locks, and consolidation of all Pacific locks near Agua Dulce in new lock structures to correspond with the locks capacity at Gatun, raise the summit water level to its optimum height of approximately ninety-two feet, and provide a summit-level lake anchorage at the Pacific end of the canal, together with such appurtenant structures, works, and facilities, and enlargements or improvements of existing channels, structures, works, and facilities, as may be deemed necessary, at an estimated total cost not to exceed $1,250,000,000, which is hereby authorized to be appropriated for this purpose: Provided, however, That the initial appropriation for the fiscal year 1978 shall not exceed $50,000,000.
(b) The provisions of the second sentence and the second paragraph of the Act of August 11, 1939 (53 Stat. 1409; Public Numbered 391, Seventy-sixth Congress), shall apply with respect to the work authorized by subsection (a) of this section. As used in such Act, the terms "Governor of the Panama Canal", "Secretary of War", and "Panama Railroad Company" shall be held and considered to refer to the "Governor of the Canal Zone", "Secretary of the Army", and "Panama Canal Company", respectively, for the purposes of this Act.
(c) In carrying out the purposes of this Act, the Governor of the Canal Zone may act and exercise his authority as President of the Panama Canal Company and may utilize the services and facilities of that company.
SEC. 4. (a) There is hereby established a board, to be known as the "Panama Canal Advisory and Inspection Board" (hereinafter referred to as the "Board"). (b) The Board shall be composed of five members who are citizens of the United States of America. Members of the Board shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, as follows:
(1) One member from private life, experienced and skilled in private business (including engineering).
(2) Two members from private life, experienced and skilled in the science of engineering.
(3) One member who is a commissioned officer of the Corps of Engineers, United States Army (retired).
(4) One member who is a commissioned officer of the line, United States Navy (retired).
(c) The President shall designate as Chairman of the Board one of the members experienced and skilled in the science of engineering.
(d) The President shall fill each vacancy on the Board in the same manner as the original appointment.
(e) The Board shall cease to exist on that date designated by the President as the date on which its work under this Act is completed.
(f) The Chairman of the Board shall be paid basic pay at the rate provided for level II of the Executive Schedule in section 5313 of title 5, United States Code. The other members of the Board appointed from private life shall be paid basic pay at a per annum rate which is $500 less than the rate of basic pay of the
Chairman. The members of the Board who are retired officers of the United States Army and the United States Navy each shall be paid at a rate of basic pay which, when added to his pay as a retired officer, will establish his total rate of pay from the United States at a per annum rate which is $500 less than the rate of basic pay of the Chairman.
(g) The Board shall appoint, without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, a Secretary and such other personnel as may be necessary to carry out its functions and activities and shall fix their rates of basic pay in accordance with chapter 51 and subchapter III of Chapter 53 of such title, relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates. The Secretary and other personnel appointed by the Board shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.
SEC. 5. (a) The Board is authorized and directed to study and review all plans and designs for the Third Locks project referred to in section 3 (a) of this Act, to make on-the-site studies and inspections of the Third Locks project, and to obtain current information on all phases of planning and construction with respect to such project. The Governor of the Canal Zone shall furnish and make available to the Board at all times current information with respect to such plans, designs, and construction. No construction work shall be commenced at any stage of the Third Locks project unless the plans and designs for such work, and all changes and modifications of such plans and designs, have been submitted by the Governor of the Canal Zone to, and have had the prior approval of, the Board. The Board shall report promptly to the Governor of the Canal Zone the results of its studies and reviews of all plans and designs, including changes and modifications thereof, which have been submitted to the Board by the Governor of the Canal Zone, together with its approval or disapproval thereof, or its recommendations for changes or modifications thereof, and its reasons thereof.
(b) The Board shall submit to the President and to the Congress an annual report covering its activities and functions under this Act and the progress of the work on the Third Locks project and may submit, in its discretion, interim reports to the President and to the Congress with respect to these matters.
SEC. 6. For the purpose of conducting all studies, reviews, inquiries, and investigations deemed necessary by the Board in carrying out its functions and activities under this Act, the Board is authorized to utilize any official reports, documents, data, and papers in the possession of the United States Government and its officials; and the Board is given power to designate and authorize any member, or other personnel, of the Board, to administer oaths and affirmations, subpena witnesses, take evidence, procure information and data, and require the production of any books, papers, or other documents and records which the Board may deem relevant or material to the performance of the functions and activities of the Board. Such attendance of witnesses, and the production of documentary evidence, may be required from any place in the United States, or any territory, or any other area under the control or jurisdiction of the United States, including the Canal Zone.
SEC. 7. In carrying out its functions and activities under this Act, the Board is authorized to obtain the services of experts and consultants or organizations thereof in accordance with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, at rates not in excess of $200 per diem.
SEC. 8. Upon request of the Board, the head of any department, agency, or establishment in the executive branch of the Federal Government is authorized to detail, on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis, for such period or periods as may be agreed upon by the Board and the head of the department, agency, or establishment concerned, any of the personnel of such department, agency, or establishment to assist the Board in carrying out its functions and activities under this Act.
SEC. 9. The Board may use the United States mails in the same manner and upon the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.
SEC. 10. The Administrator of General Services or the President of the Panama Canal Company, or both, shall provide, on a reimbursable basis, such administrative support services for the Board as the Board may request.
SEC. 11. The Board may make expenditures for travel and subsistence expenses of members and personnel of the Board in accordance with chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, for rent of quarters at the seat of government and
in the Canal Zone, and for such printing and binding as the Board deems necessary to carry out effectively its functions and activities under this Act.
SEC. 12. All expenses of the Board shall be allowed and paid upon the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the Chairman of the Board or by such other member or employee of the Board as the Chairman may designate. SEC. 13. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Board each fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to carry out its functions and activities under this Act.
SEC. 14. Any provision of the Act of August 11, 1939 (54 Stat. 1409; Public Numbered 391, Seventy-sixth Congress), or of any other statute, inconsistent with any provision of this Act is superseded, for the purposes of this Act, to the extent of such inconsistency.
SEC. 15. (a) This Act shall not take effect until the date the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate receive written notice from the President that thenceforth during his term or terms of office, no negotiations will be conducted, nor will any plan be initiated, for the surrender by the United States of the Canal Zone and the Panama Canal, in whole or in part, to the Republic of Panama, or to any international organization. (b) The provisions of this Act shall remain in effect only so long as all the sovereign rights, power, and authority granted in perpetuity to the United States by the Republic of Panama in articles II and III of the convention between the United States and the Republic of Panama signed on November 18, 1903, and reaffirmed in the General Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed March 2, 1936, and the Treaty of Mutual Understanding and Cooperation signed January 25, 1955, remain unaltered.
SEC. 16. The assets created by the expenditure of the funds authorized by this Act shall be considered by the Panama Canal Company as depreciable or nondepreciable in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 412 of title 2 Canal Zone Code (76A Stat. 27) as amended. The Company shall in its calculations of toll rates include as annual expense such amounts as will over the period of seventy-five years allow for a payback to the United States Treasury of 100 per centum of the funds appropriated in consequence of the provisions of this Act, except that in recognition of the defense value of said assets, and in conformity with the purposes of subsection (e) of section 412 of title 2 Canal Zone Code (76A Stat. 27), interest during construction shall not be included for purposes of repayment.
PANAMA CANAL SOVEREIGNTY AND MODERNIZATION MEMORIAL TO THE CONGRESS, 1975
COMMITTEE FOR CONTINUED U.S. CONTROL OF THE PANAMA CANAL
Honorable Members of the Congress of the United States.
The undersigned, who have studied various aspects of interoceanic canal history and problems, wish to express their views:
(1) The report of the interoceanic canal inquiry, authorized under Public Law 88-609, headed by Robert B. Anderson, recommending construction of a new canal of so-called sea level design in the Republic of Panama, was submitted to the President on December 1, 1970. The proposed canal, initially estimated to cost $2,880,000,000 exclusive of the costs or right of way and inevitable indemnity to Panama, would be 10 miles West of the existing Canal. This recommendation, which hinges upon the surrender to Panama by the United States of all sovereign control over the U.S.-owned Canal Zone, has rendered the entire canal situation so acute and confused as to require rigorous clarification.
(2) An important new angle developed in the course of the sea level inquiry is that of the Panamic biota (fauna and flora), on which subject, a symposium of recognized scientists was held on March 4, 1971 at the Smithsonian Institution. That gathering was overwhelmingly opposed to any sea level project because of the biological dangers to marine life incident to the removal of the fresh water barrier between the Oceans, now provided by Gatun Lake, including in such dangers the infestation of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean with the poisonous yellow-bellied Pacific sea snake and the crown of thorns starfish.
(3) The construction by the United States of the Panama Canal (1904–1914) was the greatest industrial enterprise in history. Undertaken as a long-range commitment by the United States, in fulfillment of solemn treaty obligations
(Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1901) as a "mandate for civilization in an area notorious as the pest hole of the world and as a land of endemic revolution, endless intrigue and governmental instability (Flood, "Panama: Land of Endemic Revolution. . ." C.R., August 7, 1969), the task was accomplished in spite of physical and health conditions that seemed insuperable. Its subsequent efficient management and operation on terms of "entire equality" with tolls that are "just and equitable" have won the praise of the world, particularly countries that use the Canal.
(4) Full sovereign rights, power and authority of the United States over the Canal Zone territory and Canal were acquired by treaty grant in perpetuity from Panama (Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903). In addition to the indemnity paid by the United States to Panama for the grant in perpetuity of the indispensably necessary sovereignty and jurisdiction, all privately owned land and property in the Zone were purchased by the United States from individual owners; and Colombia, the sovereign of the Isthmus before Panama's independence, has recognized the title to the Panama Canal and Railroad as vested "entirely and absolutely" in the United States (Thomson-Urrutia Treaty of 1914-22). The cost of acquiring the Canal Zone, as of March 31, 1964, totalled $144,568,571, making if the most expensive territorial extension in the history of the United States. Because of the vast protective obligations of the United States, the perpetuity provisions in the 1903 Treaty assure that Panama will remain a free and independent country in perpetuity, for these provisions bind the United States as well as Panama.
(5) The net total investment by the taxpayers of our country in the Panama Canal enterprise, including its defense, from 1904 through June 30, 1974 was $6,880,370.000; which, if converted into 1974 dollars, would be far greater. Except for the grant by Panama of full sovereign powers over the Zone territory, our Government would never have assumed the grave responsibilities in the construction of the Canal and its later operation, maintenance, sanitation, protection and defense.
(6) In 1939, prior to the start of World War II, the Congress authorized, at a cost not to exceed $277,000,000, the construction of a third set of locks known as the Third Locks Project, then hailed as "the largest single current engineering work in the world." This Project was suspended in May 1942 because of more urgent war needs, and the total expenditures thereon were $76,357,405, mostly on lock site excavations at Gatum and Mireflores, which are still usable. Fortunately, no excavation was started at Pedro Miguel. The program for the enlargement at Gaillard Cut and correlated channel improvements, started in 1959, was completed in 1970 at a cost of $95,000,000. These two works together represent an expenditure of more than $171,000,000 toward the major modernization of the existing Panama Canal. Under current treaty provisions Panama has proclaimed that the word "maintenance" in the treaty permits "expansion and new construction" for the existing Canal (C. R., July 24, 1939).
(7) As the result of canal operations in the crucial period of World War II, there was developed in the Panama Canal organization the first comprehensive proposal for the major operational improvement and increase of capacity of the Canal as derived from actual marine experience, known as the Terminal Lake— Third Locks Plan. This conception included provisions for the following:
(1) Elimination of the bottleneck Pedro Miguel Locks.
(2) Consolidation of all Pacific Locks South of Miraflores.
(3) Raising the Gatun Lake water level to its optimum height (about 92').
(4) Construction of one set of larger locks.
(5) Creation at the Pacific end of the Canal of a summit-level terminal lake anchorage for use as a traffic reservoir to correspond with the layout at the Atlantic end, which would improve marine operations by eliminating lockage surges in Gaillard Cut, mitigate the effect of fog on Canal capacity, reduce transit time, diminish the number of accidents, and simplify the management of the Canal.
(8) Competent, experienced engineers have officially reported that all "engineering considerations which are associated with the plan are favorable to it." Moreover, such a solution:
(1) Enables the maximum utilization of all work so far accomplished on the Panama Canal, including that on the suspended Third Locks Project. (2) Avoids the danger of disastrous slides.
(3) Provides the best operational canal practicable of achievement with the certainty of success.
(4) Preserves and increases the existing economy of Panama.
(5) Avoids inevitable Panamanian demands for damages that would be involved in the proposed sea level project.
(6) Averts the danger of a potential biological catastrophe with international repercussions that recognized scientists fear might be caused by constructing a salt water channel between the Oceans.
(7) Can be constructed at "comparatively low cost" and being "an enlargement of existing facilities" without requiring additional "lands and waters" avoids the necessity for a new canal treaty with Panama.
(9) All of these facts are elemental considerations from both U.S. national and international viewpoints and cannot be ignored, especially the diplomatic and treaty aspects. In connection with the latter, it should be noted that the original Third Locks Project, being only a modification of the existing Canal, and wholly within the Canal Zone, did not require a new treaty with Panama. Nor, as previously stated, would the Terminal Lake Third Locks Plan require a new treaty. These are paramount factors in the overall equation.
(10) In contrast, the persistently advocated and strenuously propagandized Sea-Level Project at Panama, initially estimated in 1970 to cost $2,880,000,000, exclusive of the costs of right of way and indemnity to Panama, has long been a "hardy perennial," according to former Governor Jay J. Morrow. It seems that no matter how often the impossibility of realizing any such proposal within practicable limits of cost and time is demonstrated, there will always be someone to argue for it; and this, despite the economic, engineering, operational, marine biological and navigational superiority of the Terminal Lake solution. Moreover, any sea-level project, whether in the U.S. Canal Zone territory or elsewhere, will require a new treaty or treaties with the countries involved in order to fix the specific conditions for its construction; and this would involve a huge indemnity and a greatly increased annuity that would have to be added to the cost of construction and reflected in tolls, or be wholly borne by the taxpayers of the United States.
(11) Starting with the 1936-39 Treaty with Panama, there has been a sustained erosion of United States rights, power and authority on the Isthmus, culminating in the reopening in 1971 of negotiations for a proposed new canal treaty or treaties that would:
(1) Surrender United States sovereignty over the Canal Zone to Panama; (2) Make that weak, technologically primitive and unstable country a senior partner in the management and defense of the Canal;
(3) Ultimately give to Panama not only the existing Canal, but also any new one constructed in Panama to replace it, all without any compensation whatever and all in derogation of Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution. This Clause vests the power to dispose of territory and other property of the United States in the entire Congress (House and Senate) and not in the treaty-making power of our Government (President) and Panama.
(12) It is clear from the conduct of our Panama Canal policy over many years that policy-making elements within the Department of State, in direct violation of the indicated Constitutional provision, have been, and are yet, engaged in efforts which will have the effect of diluting or even repudiating entirely the sovereign rights, power and authority of the United States with respect to the Canal and of dissipating the vast investment of the United States in the Panama Canal project. Such actions would eventually and inevitably permit the domination of this strategic waterway by a potentially hostile power that now indirectly controls the Suez Canal. That Canal, under such domination, ceased to operate in 1967 with vast consequences of evil to world trade.
(13) Extensive debates in the Congress over the past decade have clarified and narrowed the key canal issues to the following:
(1) Retention by the United States of its undiluted and indispensable sovereign rights, power and authority over the Canal Zone territory and Canal as provided by existing treaties;
(2) The major modernization of the existing Panama Canal as provided for in the Terminal Lake-Third Locks Plan.
Unfortunately, these efforts have been complicated by the agitation of Panamanian extremists, aided and abetted by irresponsible elements in the United