Memorandum by Mr. Murray M. Wise of the Division of Caribbean and Central American Affairs11

President Jimenez publicly announced his opinion that protective legislative measures already enacted (Law 24 of 1941) for the nationalization of retail commerce should be maintained. He added, however, that it would be inconvenient and dangerous to establish constitutional restrictions applicable to wholesale and manufacturing business. He warned against closing doors to foreign capital and added that such action might block the possibility of arriving at a commercial treaty with the United States.

The Embassy has maintained firmly and constantly its insistence on reciprocity and equal commercial rights for Americans in Panama comparable to those accorded Panamanians in the United States.

Comment: The draft of the proposed constitution has been read by the Constitutional Assembly. The second reading with debate is now in process. Articles pertaining to the nationalization of commerce as yet have not been debated in the Assembly.

  1. This memorandum is a digest of despatch 2950, October 11, 1945, from Panama, not printed.