Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

The Ambassador to the United States has stated that because he did not-that this gunrunning behavior has nothing to do with the Panama Canal Treaty, because the United States was going to be responsible for the next 20 years. In a sense he was saying that we have to follow the terms, and they can do whatever they want, and we will be responsible for putting it together.

To conclude, I think it is important that we note that we have a constitutional process, as Congressman Dornan brought out a moment ago, that has to be fulfilled. He is right, we are not to be considered hostage in the House of Representatives to work our will. This may be somewhat legal and somewhat a matter of international law, and somewhat political, but I do not think the House of Representatives wants to act with a gun at its head, and that is what we seem to be hearing. It seems we have other options. We can say that we feel that the canal treaties have been irreparably damaged, and on that basis international law, or any other kind of law would support us.

It is a political decision, no doubt about that, but it could support us, if these treaties are not to be carried out—then the old agreement goes on, and this means that, contrary to what General McAuliffe said, it is defensible, and that thing will go on, the employees will be paid, and all things will remain as they are.

I submit I think it is time to get the paranoia out of this, the emotional stuff out of this. The House of Representatives has to act on the basis of the merits of the case, the merits of whether there is gun running or not, whether the cost of transfer is too high, or whether it is not, whether there has been misrepresentation in the amount of money, or whether there has not been, and we make our decision in good faith, with ourselves and the people of the United States.

I might say that it is important for us to know that not only George Hansen presented a certain price tag of over $4 billion, which I consider to be conservative-I have received, partially, thanks to this committee and subcommittee, and the chairman of this committee, and the subcommittee, have arrived at a figure of $4 billion plus. I would like to bring to your attention that the State Department, in some retaliation, has come out with some figures that they say are $981 million discounted to $871 million.

I would like to point out that when you take the State Department figures that they say are appropriate, and add them to the figures they acknowledge, such as interest payments, such as amortization payments, their figures come up to $4 billion.

The General Accounting Office has now come out with a report, and their figures are in the same ballpark, the figures are billions and billions of dollars which I think in this day and age of concern over money is uncalled for.

My amendment to the legislation that will be coming up, I call it the honesty amendment, because the fact is when the Senate approved the treaty they said that there will be no costs, that tolls would be kept down, and the money. So it simply states that the taxpayers are continued to be exempt, that all taxpayers will have the promises kept to them of a minimum amount of money, and that under article III those payments-any payment or implementation and transfer, and the ongoing expenses of the United States

after T-Day, if the treaties are implemented, would be all paid by the Republic of Panama, that the payments are deemed appropriate under article 13 and other places of the treaty.

I think everything is on course for a decision next Tuesday. There is, of course, H.R. 111. There is the honesty amendment, taking the money out, taking the payoff away. There is another amendment because of what we have seen today, and that would be an amendment that would set aside, or delay implementation until we can have more assurance that the Republic of Panama is responsible, and of course, the fourth option is you could vote no on implementation.

I think it is there. I think it is a rational decision that we will be called upon to make, and I hope we will stop having the paranoia expressed by the White House and the State Department, and those who have thought this out, that we are forced to act with a gun to our heads, or we have all kinds of Panama.

I do not think there is any way to avoid trouble in Panama, certainly since they are gun smuggling and encouraging terrorism in other Latin American countries. I do not think the United States should have to take responsibility for that. I think we would identify what they are, and insist they clean up their act, if they are going to do business with us.

With that, I thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Mr. HUBBARD. Thank you for your statement. You and Congressman Bauman were the ones who requested the hearings. We have been through 2 days of extensive hearings, with many interesting witnesses, and comments by Members of Congress. Right or wrong, I realize that you do express the sentiments of many Americans. You may not have as many facts about the treaty as others, or Congressman Studds, or whoever favors the treaties, or other Members of Congress, but you do express the sentiment of Americans who are tired of bragging that we are the strongest and best, and yet have North Vietnam, Cuba, and Panama push us around.

Congressman Carney?
Mr. CARNEY. Thank you.

I would like to make a note for the record that Colonel Thomas mentioned that he was in the Air Force for 30 years, and it might have been the assumption of the members of this panel, and the assumption of the people listening to the testimony that Colonel Thomas retired because he had to after 30 years of service.

Colonel Thomas told me that he was entitled to stay in the Air Force for an additional 4 years, but he felt that he could not, as a good American, stay in the military, because of the actions of the military, and the restraints he was under, being responsible to the President of the United States. So he opted to get out of the career that he enjoyed for 30 years so that he could express what he feels to be a very important opinion as to the wrong direction that this Nation is taking pertaining to the Panama Canal issue.

I see that the colonel is still here, and perhaps I might ask him, if it would not be out of order, if what I have said is correct.

Colonel THOMAS. Yes.
Mr. CARNEY. Thank you.

I think that is worthy of the record. I would like to also take the opportunity, in closing, and I realize the late hour, I would like to

compliment my colleague, Mr. Hansen, who is not a member of this committee, but who has spent many, many hours and months, and in fact years digging into the issue of Panama, the issue of the treaties of the Panama Canal, and I might say he did that under adverse conditions. He lacked the cooperation of the State Department, the cooperation of the administration, and I think the people of America owe certainly a sense of gratitude to the Congressman for the work he has done, not being a member of this committee, and I think the people of America owe a sense of gratitude to the entire committee for the work they have done trying to get to the bottom of the truth to exactly what is happening with the Panama Canal.

I think I can only close by saying I hope the State Department will become more sensitive to the people of the United States, instead of to the left, Communist countries around the world.

Mr. DORNAN. I wanted to insert in the record at this point a twopage analysis of the much abused phrase, “law of the land." The treaties are not the law of the land, and yet I find many of our colleagues going around acting like it is a fait accompli, that we are a rubberstamp.

[The analysis follows:]

MR. DORNAN'S ANALYSIS OF "LAW OF THE LAND" Mr. Chairman: May I make an analysis of a much abused phrase?

President Carter and a number of our good colleagues in the House have declared the Panama Canal Treaty as the “Law of the Land”. With all due respect to the opinion of the President, his advisors and his Congressional supporters, this is simply untrue.

Under the Federal Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court for at least 150 years, only a “self-executing treaty”, a treaty requiring no implementation, is the “Law of the Land”. This is not my opinion. The issue was decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1829, in Foster v. Nielson, 2 Pet. 253. Speaking for the Court, the great Chief Justice John Marshall declared: "Our Constitution declares a treaty to be the law of the land. It is consequently to be regarded in courts of justice as equivalent to an act of the legislature whenever it operates of itself without the aid of any legislative provisions. But when the terms of the stipulation import a contract, when either of the parties engages to perform a particular act, the treaty addresses itself the political not the judicial department and the legislature must execute the contract before it can become a rule for the court.(emphasis mine).

In other words, until the necessary implementing legislation is actually enacted by the Congress, a treaty, in this case the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 (a non-self executing treaty by its own terms) cannot, and will not, become the "Law of the Land".

It will do no good to argue that some provisions of the Treaty are "part” of the “law of the land" without the aid of legislation to implement the Treaty. This is not only impermissible under the previously cited language of the Supreme Court, but the Treaty itself says that the crucial administrative agency, the Panama Canal Commission, can only be created by U.S. law and that all payments to Panama must be authorized by the appropriate legislation.

In substance, asser ns that the Treaty now constitutes the “law of the land" are in Constitutional terms, loose statements. They may be almost as loose as those earlier solemn Administation declarations that the Panama Canal Treaties would not cost the American taxpayers anything.

Mr. DORNAN. I do not know much about the distinguished former colleague of ours from the great State of Montana, but I am sure she voted against war with Japan, because she was a mother, and did not want to see children killed. Perhaps I should not have mentioned her gender. I also want to compliment Mr. Hansen. I

have never seen a member work harder on a committee on which he was not involved. I appreciate the heat you have taken.

I might add behind 99.99 percent of all males that have accomplished anything in the world there is a good strong woman. I know in this case you fall in the majority category.

Mr. HUBBARD. The Congressman is referring to the very lovely and helpful wife of Congressman Hansen, who has been in the committee room for 2 days. She is the lovely blond in the back row.

I must say, before we adjourn, that in all fairness, the chairman should indeed express his appreciation to the chairman of the full committee, John Murphy, for his helpful cooperation and assistance, and special thanks to these who have sat beside me, or near me, and guided me on many occasions as to what to do or say in these complex hearings. These include Carl Perian, the head of the staff for the Full Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee; Larry O'Brien, the talented expert on the law, our counsel for the full committee; Ken Merin of the minority staff; my friend Terry Modglin, who is so helpful as the head of the staff of the Panama Canal Subcommittee; and Molly Dominick, and others who have visited in the committee room from time to time as our needs arose, and were met.

Is there anyone else who has a last comment before we adjourn?

Mr. HANSEN. I would like to, for the record, just state that it was stated that I do not have much cooperation. It is true for correspondence downtown, or other areas, but this committee has been exceptional. The members, the staff, the chairman of the full committee, the chairman of the subcommittee and others, and I want this noted, when you get working on something where it is a matter of principle, it is funny how politics fall aside.

I even had a staff member ask me yesterday, which party are you a member of. So I think it is important, because that shows you are talking about something besides politics.

I would like to say, Mr. Chairman, that I have had several calls from the big banks, there was quite a bit said of how much they are out in Panama if these do not go through because of the money. The banks have expressed an interest that they have deep investments, and a lot involved.

I noticed when you were stating the big orchestration that is due on the first of the week, that apparently they are going to put their money where their mouth is in order to get what they feel is necessary in order to survive for their mistakes in judgment.

So I hope this is made a matter of the record. Perhaps as requested the committee could entertain this, without making a decision today, it seems we have raised enough controversy here, and that the Foreign Relations Committee might be requested to look into these hearings, because there are so many questions that need to be raised.

Mr. HUBBARD. I was reminded directly that in all fairness I should compliment and express appreciation to the news media, who has covered these 2 days of hearings, for their fair and correct coverage, and to all of you who have been patient, as listeners, and those who have cooperated as witnesses.

If there is nothing else--
Mr. Selva. I would like to present my subpena for the record.

Mr. HUBBARD. Thank you.
Would the Clerk please secure the subpena of Mr. Selva?

The treaty might have been saved by receiving your subpena before we adjourn.

[The following was received for the record:)

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »