Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Executive Orders
Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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  EXECUTIVE ORDER 9551  
PROVIDING FOR THE TRANSFER TO THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA OF THE WATER AND SEWAGE SYSTEMS INSTALLED BY THE UNITED STATES IN THE CITIES OF PANAMA AND COLON

Whereas, as a result of discussions had between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Panama pursuant to an exchange of notes between the two Governments on March 2, 1936, accessory to the Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Panama signed at Washington on the aforesaid date, a certain agreement was concluded by and between the two Governments in the form set forth in an exchange of notes on May 18th, 1942, with respect to the transfer to the Republic of Panama of the water and sewerage systems installed by the United States in the cities of Panama and Colon;

Whereas under the provisions of article VII of the Convention between the United States and the Republic of Panama signed at Washington on November 18, 1903, as modified by article VI of the Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Panama signed at Washington on March 2, 1936, there are now in force and operation two certain contracts of September 30, 1910 (Contracts PCI p-360 and PCI p-361), between the Government of the Republic of Panama and the Isthmian Canal Commission, and the subsequent agreements, covering the operation and maintenance by the United States of the water and sewerage installed by the United States in the cities if Panama and Colon, the maintenance and repair by the United States of the pavements constructed by the United States in the cities of Panama and Colon and other related maters;

Whereas section 1 of the joint resolution of Congress approved May 3, 1943, 57 Stat. 74 provides:

"That the President of the United States be, and is hereby, authorized to transfer to the Republic of Panama all of the right, title, and interest of the United States in and to water and sewerage systems installed by the United States in the cities of Panama and Colon: Provided, however, That pending the establishment of an independent water-supply system, and so long as the Republic of Panama desires to utilize a supply of water from the Canal Zone authorities the rate of B/0.09 per one thousand gallons or such other reasonable rate as may be agreed upon by both Governments: And Provided further, That the turning over to the Government to the Republic of Panama of the physical properties of the water and sewerage systems and the administration thereof, including the collection of the water rates, does not in any way modify the existing arrangement in respect to responsibility for the public health services of the cities of Panama and Colon as specified in the second paragraph of article VII of the Convention between the United States of America and Panama, signed at Washington, November 18, 1903.":

Whereas it is necessary that the maintenance and operation of the said water and sewerage systems and the performance of other functions which the United States has been performing under the contracts and agreements hereinbefore mentioned continue without interruption; and

Whereas the Republic of Panama, for its convenience and in the interests of a smooth and efficient transition from operation by the United States to operation by the Republic of Panama may desire that the United States perform some or all of the work of such maintenance and operation and other functions until such a time as the Republic of Panama may deem it expedient to assume the full performance thereof:

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the statutory provisions above set out, and as President of the United States, I hereby authorize and direct the Governor of The Panama Canal (a) to transfer to the Republic of Panama all of the right, title, and interest of the United States in and to the water and sewerage systems installed by the United States in the cities of Panama and Colon as authorized by section 1 of the said joint resolution approved May 3, 194, and in accordance with the terms of the said agreement concluded between the two Governments on May 18, 1942 and upon such further terms respecting incidental and related matters as may be agreed upon between the authorized representatives of the Government of the Republic of Panama and the Governor of the Panama Canal; (b) after the transfer to operate and maintain the said water and sewerage systems or parts thereof, and to perform any or all of the other functions which The Panama Canal now performs under the contracts and agreements hereinbefore referred to , for the account of the Republic of Panama, during such period or periods of time and upon such period or periods of time and upon such terms and conditions as the authorized representatives of the Republic or Panama and the Governor of The Panama Canal shall determine to be mutually desirable and convenient; and (c) after the transfer to operate and maintain those parts of the said water and sewerage systems which are situated in the areas of the city of Colon known as New Cristobal, Colon Beach , and the DeLeseps Area, at the expense of the United States as heretofore, for such period or periods of time as the United States shall continue to utilize the said areas of the city of Colon and as the Republic of Panama shall continue to accord to the United States without charge the use of the said parts of the systems, and upon such incidental terms and conditions as may be arranged between the authorized representatives of the Republic of Panama and the Governor of The Panama Canal.

HARRY S. TRUMAN
THE WHITE HOUSE,
May 16, 1945