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Senator and Senators, I appreciate your indulgence in letting me ask and answer my own questions.
Senator THURMOND. Are there any other questions, Mr. Chairman. Senator CHURCH [presiding]. We all, including you, Senator, have a rollcall vote.
There are no further questions, Senator Thurmond. Thank you very much.
This committee will stand in recess and hear from its next witness upon the members' return.
Senator THURMOND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[A brief recess was taken.]
The CHAIRMAN [presiding]. I think we had better move on. Other members will be coming back, I presume, as soon as the rollcall is completed.
Our next witness is the Honorable Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina.
Senator Hollings, we would be very glad to hear from you now.
STATEMENT OF HON. ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, U.S. SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA
Senator HOLLINGS. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Church and Senator Sarbanes had asked me in the hall if I would please hold up, until their return, but I am at the chairman's command.
I appreciate very much the opportunity of appearing before this committee.
Let me say something at the very beginning, while we are waiting, so that it is in the record, as I think it is extremely important. It is almost like "Carter's Little Liver Pills," that is, how many New York doctors or how many retired admirals each side has.
COMMENDATION OF SENATOR SARBANES' CONCERNING JCS TESTIMONY
I commend Senator Sarbanes. I know of nothing more damaging to the military, and we have had cheating scandals and everything else, than for the general message to go out from this body, unchallenged, that the Chiefs of Staff are just robots and do not give their personal views. Such view would be totally inaccurate and would worry us all about our national defense, if that were the case.
I serve as chairman of the defense task force on the Budget Committee. I have heard Admiral Holloway, for example, attest personally to the desire to have a large aircraft carrier, one that is Nimitz-sized, as opposed to the administration's V-STOL. He was giving his personal
I have heard, similarly, members of our Joint Chiefs express their personal views on the B-1 bomber. The record is replete with such statements, and it should be so stated. As General Brown set out in the record already, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have a responsibility in responding to questions of the members of the Congress. It is the right of the people to have these officers' personal opinions expressed.
Now, whether they will give them is another question. But to infer categorically that it is never given, that they are under the gun, is just wrong.
I would go from this particular point right to midfield of the NavyCitadel game. I am seated there with Gen. George Brown and Gen. Russell Dougherty of SAC, our SAC Commander. We are talking informally, not officially. We are not under any "gun." We are under a cloudy sky hoping like the dickens that the Citadel will sink Navy. George Brown says that unquestionably under the new defense treaty he can better defend-improve, if you please-our national security than he can under the old.
I was talking the other night over at the Pentagon with Gen. Bernie Rogers, the Chief of Staff of the Army. He said that there is a tremendous difference. We have to follow the command-that is understood. Once that command is given, nobody in an official capacity can do otherwise. But he said that in this case we are the advocates.
I think the exercise along this point obscures one of the real fundamentals. I could come up with my commanders. I would cite General Westmoreland, who is not under the gun. He is a former Chief of Staff and Commander in Vietnam. I could cite General Ridgeway or General Maxwell Taylor. I can see that my distinguished senior colleague and I are going to be chasing each other over the State of South Carolina this fall with our "New York doctors." He is going to have four admirals and I will have four generals, or Admiral Holloway.
I want to emphasize both Admiral Holloway and the Brown statement about improving our security. This goes to the lesson in Vietnam. We got into the question of serving and controlling a country.
PROTECTION OF CANAL
The opponents contend, in absolutely categorical fashion, that it is simply a question of who can protect the canal-Panama or the United States. This is an "either/or" question with them. Such an approach must be corrected.
I spent 3 years overseas, and I was a retired captain, in a war where it was a policy of unconditional surrender. In that war, we were not trying to build and defend at the same time. But when you have a Korea, or more particularly, a Vietnam, and try to build and defend at the same time, that is another experience. It was a bitter experience; 56,000 lives were lost. I hope we learned something there.
I come back to Admiral Holloway. It is not a question of whether or not the fellow is under the gun or whether or not he is speaking the truth. It is him speaking his experience and why he favors the treaties. It is for external security, but also for internal security. It is not "either/or."
Incidentally, I would strongly recommend and urge a visit to the canal by the members of this Foreign Relations Committee. Among the many, many things that I could list before your committee this morning, I would emphasize the fact that the Navy is there in a noncombatant role. You will see the General of the Air Force, the General of the Army, and the gentleman who is the Governor of the Canal Zone. But some 600 Navy personnel are there for communications and to help guide the ships to and from the canal and for other such pur
poses. The Navy's role is way beyond, miles from the approaches to the canal. It is not within the Canal Zone. That is for experts, those who are more experienced. It is for the Army itself, because they have the fundamental responsibility and understanding.
That is what Admiral Holloway understands, and that is what we as Senators understand.
After all, we all were in the Vietnam debate. We are all alumni of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. We learned after 10 years that you just cannot maintain internal security, with all of the thousands of lives and the billions of dollars involved, without a friendly population. People just don't like foreigners in their country. It got to be an issue with France under NATO and we had to remove ourselves. It was the issue in Vietnam.
Just to say categorically you cannot control it but with the United States misses the point. This Congress is going to have to decide in the light of experience that it can only be controlled as a running canal. as a running operation, by both Panama and the United States.
The answer to the question of my friend, the senior Senator, in his appearance before me, is that the only way the United States can protect that canal is with a friendly force in the country of Panama. That cannot be overemphasized. We seem to want to miss that point and not learn anything from our experience. That is why those who have been there, like Ridgeway, Taylor, Westmoreland, and everyone else, have learned something. I hope we in the Congress have learned something.
STUDY MISSION TO LATIN AMERICA
Now that my other friends are back, let me begin by submitting at this point for the record, Mr. Chairman, the "Study Mission to Latin America Report" dated September 1977. I would like to have the portion on Panama printed in this hearing record.
I didn't volunteer as a leader or initiator in this side of the Panama Canal question. I had grave misgivings. I answered the call of Senator Ribicoff and the Senate majority leader to go along with a group of visiting Senators, and through different personal circumstances with the other Senators, I ended up as chairman of the group. As chairman, I not only had to observe, but I had to report. I could not help but report conscientiously, and I submit the Panama portion of my report for the record along with my prepared newsletter to my constituents. I hope they will see some of the complexities and why I have come down on the side of this President and other Presidents, feeling this treaty is in our best national interest.
[The information referred to follows:]
Do you want to give the Panama Canal away? No! I don't either. Nor does President Carter. If President Carter's treaty is not giving it away, what is it doing? Keeping it to use! Given the present circumstances, the two new treaties are the only reliable and fair way for the United States to keep the Canal to use. We all start by agreeing that the Panama Canal is important to the United States, both from a commercial standpoint and from a strategic standpoint. We all start by agreeing that the Canal should be continuously open and continu
ously in use. The debate centers on how best to keep it open and operating, so that our commerce can flow and our Naval fleets can remain mobile.
After looking at this question from every angle, listening to both sides over the years, and visiting Panama for another first-hand look, I join all our recent Presidents, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a bipartisan group of political leaders in supporting Senate ratification of the treaties. They are the best safeguards for an open Canal, and they guarantee America's continued access and continued freedom of transit permanently.
If this treaty prevented our ability to use or defend the Canal, it would be different. But is does no such thing. On the contrary, the United States continues to operate and defend the Canal until the year 2000. After 2000, we retain the right to intervene to guarantee the Canal's accessibility to U.S. shipping.
Let's be practical. The Canal is like an airplane-it is no good unless it can be used. We can go out and squat in the airplane, but unless we can fly it, the plane is of no use. So title to the Canal is not the issue. The problem is the unimpeded right to use it. Does the treaty give the United States the permanent, unimpeded right to use the Canal? Are we guaranteed freedom of transit even after 2000? A few days ago in Panama when President Demetrio Lakas was asked these questions, he answered "Yes" to both. Returning home and checking, Article IV of the treaty provides it, and Dictator Torrijos states in Washington, "we are agreeing to a treaty of neutrality which places us under the protective umbrella of the Pentagon."
Why, then, all the hubbub? Two main reasons. First, we have not yet fully learned the lesson of Vietnam. A decade there should have convinced us that people do not like foreigners in their country. The Vietnamese did not like it. The Panamanians do not like it. But failing to recognize this, the treaty opponents see no problem. They think the whole thing is a scheme of the State Department, and all we need to do is prove title or sovereignty and the treaty will be defeated. Second, we feel frustrated. The cry is, "We lost in Vietnam; we lost in Angola ; we are pulling out of Korea; we talk about abandoning Taiwan. We have given away too much and 'detented' too much, and just once we should stand up and say 'No!'" This was exactly my reaction ten years ago when former Secretary of the Navy Robert Anderson came before our Commerce Committee to testify on a proposed new treaty for the Canal. "We bought the Zone, we built the Canal, we paid for it all. Why should we want a new treaty?" Secretary Anderson said quietly, "We made a bad treaty. The people of Panama have never accepted it, and now they are ready to lay down their lives for their country." "Baloney" was the reaction. America's sovereignty must be protected at all costs. In 1967 in Vietnam, it was becoming difficult to explain to next-of-kin how their sons were being sacrificed for U.S. sovereignty. But in Panama-it could be explained easily. This feeling permeated a glowing newsletter about U.S. "sovereignty" five years ago. But the legal opinions to support sovereignty were not forthcoming.
President Lyndon Johnson had conferred with former Presidents Eisenhower and Truman and the three Presidents agreed we needed a new treaty. When President Nixon and President Ford also endorsed the idea, everyone began to wonder. Nixon had ignored the State Department and Ford would like to have ignored State if his conscience would allow him. Ronald Reagan was giving him a fit and it would have been a lot easier for Ford if he could just stand up and say "No" on the Panama Canal. My conscience hurt-and in another newsletter last year, it was pointed out that we did not have sovereignty, and the need was emphasized to rid ourselves of the vestiges of the "Ugly American" in the Canal Zone by relinquishing separate courts, the commissaries, special stores, etc. But, the newsletter concluded, the United States should make sure that we will be
in charge of the Canal both five years and 50 years from now." Previously, I had joined in the Panama Canal resolution putting Henry Kissinger on notice. We never knew what he was up to and it was thought healthy to let him know that some of us in the Senate were watching. In January of this year, with Henry gone, there was no need to co-sponsor the resolution.
Today I am better informed-reading “The Path Between the Seas" by David McCullough--a 698 page historical account of how we created the Republic of Panama after Colombia, the sovereign, refused to ratify our treaty. Talking and listening at length to Ambassador Bunker and Ambassador Linowitz, who was President Johnson's Ambassador to the Organization of American States-hearing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including General Brown, the Chairman, and General
Jones, head of the Air Force-talking more recently with Army Secretary Alexander after his return from a trip to the Canal Zone-traveling to Colombia, Argentina, Peru and the Canal Zone, meeting with their Presidents-talking in Brazil to the Foreign Minister and the President of the Brazilian Senate and with many other officials-talking with the Economic Minister and Secretary of Commerce in the Republic of Panama-meeting with a group of Zonians, people living in the Canal Zone-lunching with American business leaders who had lived from two to twelve years in Panama City-outside the Zone-traveling with the U.S. Governor of Panama over the entire Canal--being briefed all along by Lt. General Dennis P. McAuliffe, the U.S. Commander of the Canal Zone-spending an evening with the U.S. Ambassador to Panama Jorden, meeting with a former prisoner of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. With the exception of some of the Zonians, they agree to a man that the Senate should ratify the treaty. Even the Zonians emphasize that the treaty ought to be "modernized."
There must be good reason for all of these leaders plus six American Presidents to favor a new treaty. The good reason, of course, is an appreciation of the true character of America. Some think our strength lies in our military might alone. But America's power lies in its solid stand on the principle of self-determination. Having lost 56,000 for this principle in Vietnam, it is appalling that some would suggest we now lose Americans to deny the principle in Panama.
Much is proclaimed about building the Canal-but so little said about building the Republic of Panama. If ever a country should be stamped, "Made in the USA," Panama is the country. We created it 70 years ago and today it is a stronghold of American free enterprise. Seventy major U.S. banks operate in Panama City-those which refuse to operate in Communist countries. Recently, when Panama needed increased revenues, she took the Chamber of Commerce approach-a value-added tax rather than an increase in income tax. Dictator Torrijos' economic team are all U.S. trained and educated. President Lakas-six years in the United States, a graduate of Texas Tech. Planning Minister Nicolas Barletta, a classmate of Governor Hunt of North Carolina-both graduates of N.C. State. The Guardia Nacional, or army-U.S. trained. Like many other heads of state in Latin America, Torrijos has visited with Castro. But Panama does not recognize the Soviet Union and Panama refuses to recognize Red China-she recognizes Taiwan instead. In a population of 1,700,000-there are reportedly 600 Communists-but none in the government. The government is patterned after the United States with three branches-legislative, executive and judicial. And they have an American system of education. Now the important point of all this is that we have taught them one American trait-patriotism. The Republic of Panama has developed a nationalism of its own. The people are proud, they are patriotic. They have learned the cardinal principle of government-the right of the people to determine their own destiny. The ten-mile strip of foreign occupation in the heart of their country is viewed the same way as if the French had retained a five-mile zone on either side of the Mississippi. Every Panamanian schoolchild is taught the wrong that the United States did in obtaining the treaty in 1903. Everyone in the city and countryside of Panama feels it and as they showed in 1964, they are willing to die for it. But most importantly, in this section of the world when the United States lacks strong friends, the Panamanians are friends of the United States. Everything they feel or know comes from the United States. Pointing out to President Lakas the feeling that existed in the United States, that the people were tired of being pushed around, that somewhere, sometime we had to stand up and say "No"-the President responded quietly, “But why do it to a friend."
Let me touch briefly on the certain aspects of the Panama Canal controversy:
Legally, we don't have sovereignty; morally, we don't have sovereignty; realistically, we don't need, we don't want sovereignty.
Legally-Article III of the 1903 treaty grants to the United States certain rights as ... if it were the sovereign of the territory." This retained sovereignty in Panama. President Roosevelt's Secretary of War William Howard Taft, later to become President, said in a 1905 report: "The truth is that while we have all the attributes of sovereignty, the very form in which the attributes are conferred in the treaty seems to preserve the titular sovereignty over the Canal Zone in the