The Panama Canal:
1903 to 1977
By Sandra Spear
Second of a Series
Since the signing of the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty in 1903 certain
adjustments have been made in the terms under which the U.S.
operates the Panama Canal. Annual payments from the U.S. the
Republic of Panama for the use of the Canal Zone have increasedtrom
$250,000 to $2.3 Million. Additionally, by a treaty signed Jan. 25,1%5,
the U.S. agreed to give Panama $28 million wortli of buildings and real
estate no longer required by the Canal Zone Administration, and to
guarantee equality of pay and opportunity to U.S. citizens and non
citizen employees in the Canal Zone. Contrary to the terms of the 1965
treaty, U.S. citizens still enjoy a 15 per cent pay advantage.
Violence has periodically plagued the Canal ^ne since its creation.
As the result of an incident in 1959, nei&er the American nor the
Panamanian flag is'flown in front of Canal Zone schools. After 21
Panamanians and 4 American soldiers were killed in an incident in
1964 over the attempt by American students to raise the American flag
over the Canal Zone high school, the U. S. and Panama initiated
negotiations to redefine the Canal Zone’s status. The negotiations
culminated in 1974 with the signing of an agreement outlining the basic
principles for thbeventual transfer of sovereignty over the Canal Zone
to the Republic oifsPanama^ The two treaties whic President Carter ‘
signed on Sept. 7 of this year are designed to fulfill the commitment we
made in 1974.
The terms of the two treaties, which concert the operation and
defense of the Canal and the establishment of permanent neutrality
for the Canal, respectively, are: (1) the U.S. will relinquish control of
the Panama Canal at noon, Dec. 31,1999, at which time the Republic of
Panama will resume full sovereignty and responsibility for the Can^;
(2) the U.S. will have the right to share in the defense of the Canal with
Panama permanently; (3) the Canal Zone will cease to exist 6 months
after the exchange of instniments of ratification. At that time all U.S.
government territory will be transferred to Panama with the ex
ception of land, water and installations which are needed for
American operation and defense of the Canal; (4) the U.S.
Acknowledges Panama’s sovereignty over the former Canal Zone; (5)
the U.S. will provide Panama with $345 milhon in economic and
military aid over the next few years and will increase annual
payments to approximately $60 million, depending on the volume of
traffic through the Canal; and (6) a new Panama Canal Commission
will replace the Panama Canal Co. as the body in charge of operating
Next week, in the final part of this series, I will discuss arguments
for and against ratification of the treaties.
Laura M. Castellanos del Valle
The work “nepotism” had
always conjured up sinister
images in my mind, so, last
spring when my brother asked
me to work for him during the
summer, I balked a little. Per
suasion, however, is one of the
most desired qualities in his line
of work. Soon, he had not only
procured a “yes” from me, but
also from my roommate, Jane
Sparks. With that “yes”, we
become “babes in the woods” of
politics; Jane and I became part
of the young, enthusiastic Helms
for Re-Election staff in Raleigh.
Neidier Jane nor I had ever
worked in an office before this
sununer. We were somewhat
awed by all the bustle for the first
few minutes, but soon we were
too busy for awe. In no time, we
within the office. Someone
always seemed to need us, and by
the end of the summer, wh had
become acquainted with all
facets of the organization. We did
such things as: process con
tributions, type, file, go-for,
chauffer, argue with IBM
computers, wade through hun
dreds of newspaper clippings,
develop cauliflower-ears from
hours on the phone, and camp out
in front of the Xerox machine.
But, we would not have traded a
minute of it for any other job. It
was fascinating to see how a
political organization develops
and is maintained. Being a part
of such an organization was an
invaluable learning expereince.
The North Carolina
Congressional Club is a bi-
organization working with the
Helms’ staff. They sponsor a
series of dinners each month
throughout the state at which
Seantor Helms and special guests
speak and meet the public. As
staff, we helped with
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organizational work before the
dinners, such as sending out
35,000 flyers in two days. Hectic?
That was nothing compared to
the hour before the dinner as we
made sure everything was in
place. Senator Helms is one of the
leading conservative spokesmen
in America today, and I was
impressed with his abilities as an
orator. Each of his speeches gave
us a new awareness and concern
for conditions in our country.
The major project of our
summer was the organization of
a Student Leaders Caucus in
Raleigh for Aug. 5. We worked to
bring together high school and
college students from almost
every school in the state. A series
of meetings and speeches, the
weekend was the kick-off for the
Helms Youth Campaign. Very
few statesmen are as concerned
with youth as is Senator Helms.
His youth campaign is evidence
of his interest in youth activity
within the political community.
Congressman Phillip Crane of
Illinois, Congressman Jack
Kemp, of New York, A1 Long, the
only four-letterman in the history
of UNC-CH; and Ray Schrump,
former POW, were only a few of
the guest speakers. The weekend
was tremendously successful-
bringing together oyer 700
students from across the state.
The highlight of the weekend was
the opportunity for each student
to meet with Senator Helms.
Salem College was represented
by Caroline Moore, Iva Lee
Winstead, Jane Sparks and me.
This was one of the best turnouts
of any school.
This year, Caroline, Jane, and I
are working on campus with the
Helms Youth Campaign. As the
year progresses, we hope to
stimulate interest in the con
servative cause and in the im
portance of personal involvement
in the politics which affect each
Diana Jolliff, president of The
Archways, has announced the
following members for 1977-78:
Juniors, Jayne Craig, Susan
Crothers, Sabra Harper, Susan
Miller; Sophomores, Diana
Jolliff, Jean Fleming, Patsy
Miller, Arie Tubb; Freshmen,
Katarina Bonde, Laura Collins,
and Julia Owens.
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Salemite deadline, staff meetings every Monday, 4:30 p.m. Salemite office (below Student Center).
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