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Canal Treaty #498406

NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 19, 1978
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(Studio) Info. learned about United States officials' knowledge nearly a week ago of Panamanian plan to put Canal out of action if treaty not passed noted. US preparations for such occurrence stated.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Panama) United States military preparations to combat any attempt to close Canal in wake of revelation of General Omar Torrijos' plan reported [US ambassador William JORDAN - doesn't think it proper to discuss reality of such plan, but doesn't think it would have succeeded if implemented.] Feeling of some Panamanians that Torrijos' threat was result of frustration from weeks of treaty debate noted. Reaction in both Panama and in Canal Zone described. Expected demonstrations and further talk about treaty in Panama City next wk. noted.
REPORTER: Bob Jimenez

(Studio) Torrijos' indication of Canal attack plan in press conference on Tuesday noted. Film shown. [TORRIJOS - (thru translator) says armed forces had decided to begin struggle for liberation on Wednesday if treaty rejected or amended against Panama's wishes.]
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Studio) Reaction from Congmen. and from administration to Torrijos' comments described.
REPORTER: Jessica Savitch

(DC) White House downplay of Torrijos' comments reported [Representative Jim WRIGHT - believes statements issued in order to placate Panamanians. Notes that President Carter thinks there'd have been mob storming of Canal Zone, not government retaliation, if treaty had been rejected.] Press Secretary Jody Powell's statement reported.
REPORTER: Judy Woodruff

(DC) Report on congress reaction to Torrijos' threat. [Senator Dennis DeCONCINI - cites reasons he believes General's comments are only help to self.] [Senator Ted STEVENS - states concerns about threat against Canal and about Panamanians' waiting till 2000 to take over Canal.]
REPORTER: Chris Wallace

(Studio) Further Senator and House action needed to complete turning over of American property to Panama outlined; expected continuing controversy noted.
REPORTER: Jessica Savitch

Chancellor, John;
Jimenez, Bob;
Savitch, Jessica;
Wallace, Chris;
Woodruff, Judy

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