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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

FEBRUARY 24, 1976. Hon. THOMAS E. MORGAN, Chairman, Committee on International Relations, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I enclose a report on a study mission to the Republic of Panama which I conducted with Congressman David Obey of the Committee on Appropriations from November 21 to 23, 1975. This report deals with the

ongoing negotiations between the United States and the Republic of Panama to reach an agreement on a draft treaty for the future operation and defense of the Panama Canal.

We believe this report will be useful to Members of Congress and all persons interested in a background study of an important foreign policy issue confronting the United States.

The findings and recommendations of this report are entirely ours. Your comments and those of any of our colleagues would be most welcome. Respectfully submitted,

LEE H. HAMILTON, Chairman, Special Subcommittee on Investigations.

(V)

CONTENTS

Page

APPENDIXES

PREFACE

From November 21 to November 23, 1975, we undertook a study mission to the Republic of Panama, the purpose of which was to learn more about the Panama Canal and the status of negotiations for a new Panama Canal Treaty.

During our visit we talked to scores of Panamanian and American officials and visited the facilities of the Canal. This brief study mission proved beneficial and useful. While some of our colleagues in Congress may dissent from the findings and recommendations in this report, we hope that this report will encourage members to examine this issue carefully and, if need be, to travel to Panama. Without doubt, Congress will soon confront the important foreign policy issues raised by the proposed new treaty. The better acquainted we are with the complicated and difficult issues involved, the better we will understand and promote our Nation's best interest.

We were accompanied on this study mission by Michael H. Van Dusen, staff consultant for the Special Subcommittee on Investigations of the House International Relations Committee, representatives of the Departments of State and Defense, and a member of the White House National Security Council staff.

We wish to acknowledge with appreciation the helpful and unfailingly courteous support given to us during our visit to Panama by many Americans, both in the Embassy and in the Canal Zone, and by several Panamanians. Their many efforts on our behalf and their generous gift of time made this study mission successful. We are indebted especially to William J. Jorden, U.S. Ambassador to Panama, and John D. Blacken, Political Counselor to the Embassy.

The findings and recommendations presented here are our own. We hope this report is helpful to our colleagues and will stimulate further interest in this important foreign policy issue. Respectfully submitted,

LEE H. HAMILTON, Chairman, Special Subcommittee on Investigations.

DAVID R. OBEY,

Committee on Appropriations. FEBRUARY 1976.

(IX)

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