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security as well as U.S. prosperity would be placed in serious jeopardy." Moorer's testimony followed by three days the Soviet-Panama Pact which would indicated Soviet involvement may come in a more direct manner than by proxy.
After listening to Moorer, one Senator recalled that General George Brown la d told him the Panama Canal was "important" but not "vital" to U.S. security. Moorer replied that, in his judgment, "it was vital," and the point is, said Moorer, "there is no point in surrendering this vital interest.
The constitutional issue on the separation of powers should be ignored according to one witness, Senator Gravel, and the United States ought to give the "old and obsolete" Canal to Panama and dig a new one at sea-level in Panamanian territory, so that Alaskan oil would have a better flow rate to the U.S. East Coast. "The new canal would also be built for about $5.9 billion. This would be done at U.S. taxpayers expense and then given to Panama to insure Panama's friendship and gratitude," said Gravel. He said Secretary of State Vance was enthusiastic about building a new canal at sea-level.
Senator ALLEN. Your statement previously' given to the committee appears on page 53 of part 2 of these hearings. They have just been printed.
Would you prefer that we come back immediately after the vote or break for lunch?
Mr. CRANE. I think, Mr. Chairman, since I have a conflict with a lunch, too, that if it suits the Chair I would prefer to continue after you have voted.
Senator Allen. We will continue your testimony then. Mr. Flood, if you can come back, we would like to address a few questions to you; but we will leave that up to you.
Mr. Flood. I believe the B-1 voting will keep me busy. Senator ALLEN. We appreciate your appearance here, Mr. Flood. We appreciate your leadership on this issue. Your leadership has been exceptionally fine. We hope that you will be able to exert your leadership in the House when this issue is brought before the House.
Mr. Flood. I am just a pale shadow of you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Crane, we are delighted to have you come before the committee to give us the benefit of your views. Please proceed.
TESTIMONY OF HON. PHILIP M. CRANE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. CRANE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I am indeed grateful to you and to the subcommittee for permitting me to appear and testify today.
I would like to make a reference to my distinguished colleague who left the room earlier, who was appearing today jointly with me. I am referring to Congressman Dan Flood, who, as you know, has had a long-time active interest in this issue, undoubtedly more so than any other Member of the House. His counsel on this question carries greater weight certainly than my own, and probably more than any of my colleagues in the House.
I might relate a quick anecdote, if I may. Before doing so, I would make a unanimous consent request that my prepared statement might be a part of the record.
Senator ALLEN. Without objection, so ordered. [Material follows:]
CONGRESSMAN CRANE'S PREPARED STATEMENT
"THE PANAMA CANAL TREATY: A QUESTION OF JURISDICTION"
SEPTEMBER 8, 1977
I am indeed grateful to you and the other members of this
subcommittee for having me here this morning. To my way of thinking,
the proposed Panama Canal treaty is one of the, if not the, most im
portant issues to come before Congress in recent years and not the
least of the problems with it is this question of jurisdiction. Un
questionably, the President had the right to negotiate the treaty
and without doubt the Senate has an obligation to either ratify or
reject it; the question is, will the House of Representatives have
the opportunity to pass on it also.
As a sponsor of a resolution calling for authorization by both
the House and Senate before any giveaway uf U.S. territory or property
in the Canal Zone is implemented, I am not exactly an objective, disin
terested party to the debate over this question. Moreover, as one who
feels that there are enough things wrong with this treaty to warrant
its rejection regardless of the jurisdiction question, I have a vested
interest in seeing this treaty brought to a vote as many times as
possible thereby increasing the chances of its defeat. But, having thus
identified my biases, let me stress my real belief, based on the language
of Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution, subsequent Supreme
Court decisions and pist precedent, that a powerlul argument can be made
for House participation in the great canal debute.
Just for the record, Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 states that:
"Congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other property belonging to the United States;
and nothing in this constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any
claims of the United States, or of any particular State." While it has
been argued that,
en read with Article 11, Section 2, Clause 2 (giving
the President the power to negotiate treaties) and Article VI, Section
2 (making treaties the supreme law of the land), this clause constitutes
a concurrent grant of power (thus making it unnecessary for the President
to consult the House), the Supreme Court has recognized Article IV, Sec
tion 2, Clause 2 as an exclusive giant ur power to Congress vis-a-vis
federal-state relations and has never circumscribed that power in a
treatymaking context. Moreover, the Congress has repeatedly asserted
its exclusive right under the clause in question and both the President
and the Senate have recognized that right in the past. In fact, on at
least three occasions, the House, as well as the Senate, has been involved
in relatively minor territorial matters involving the Canal Zone. Admittedly, none of these episodes quite parallels the situation we face
today, but if it has been deemed appropriate for the House of Represen
tatives to be involved in relatively minor matters
such as the tem
porary cession of a small plot of territory to Panama so that the
government could buid a legation
then it stands to reason
that it should be involved in what could turn out to be the biggest
giveaway in American history.
All rhetoric aside, the facts of the matter are that the United
States has spent $163.7 million to acquire rights and title to the
Canal and Canal Zone, to say nothing of the $366 million in construc
tion costs and the $6.35 billion over the years that
went for operation,
administration and defense. Just the $163.7 million for title and rights
represents more money than it cost the U.S. to acquire all the rest of
its territorial additions combined. And now it is proposed that we not
only give this entire investment away but that we pay Panama almost $2
billion more between now and the year 2000 for tuking it. The very
thought of such an incredible arrangement simply boggles the mind; and
the American taxpayers who have footed nost of the bill, and who will
be expected to continue to do so, have every right to be upset at the
prospect. In fact, they have every right to hold each and every one of
which is yet another reason why the House of
Representatives should pass judgment on this unparalleled example of
mi sguided generosity.
Actually, misguided generosity may be too kind a term
is more like it. It is no secret that one reason the Panamanians insisted
that we raise our annuity and gratuity piyment from $2.3
million a year
to at least $50 million and perhaps as high us $.70 million, is that 39%
of Panama's annual budget goes to servicing their national debt and they have
almost $325 million in debt coming due this year. Significantly, much
of the debt is held by banks in the United States and the $50 million,
plus perhaps some of the economic aid money also promised Panama, would
come in handy in paying them off. So, what it appears we really
have here is not just aid to a tinhorn dictator but a bailout of a number
of banks which should have known better than to invest in Panama and,
in any event, should not escape responsibility for having done so.
liberals can oppose bailing out Lockheed and conservatives are opposed
to bailing out New York City, then there is no reason why all of us
should not oppose bailing out Panama and those bankers who inadvisedly
lent financial support to its dictator. Certainly, the American tax
payer should not be made to bear the burden for the mistakes of others.