Franklin D. Roosevelt

Proclamation 2536—Establishing the Cristobal and the Gulf of Panama Maritime Control Areas and Prescribing Regulations for the Control Thereof

January 13, 1942

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas the United States is now at war, and the establishment of the maritime control areas hereinafter described is essential in the interests of national defense; and

Whereas the Government of the Republic of Panama has requested the cooperation of the Government of the United States in exercising control in Panamanian waters adjacent to the Panama Canal, in accordance with the joint obligation of the two countries under their General Treaty of March 2, 1936, and otherwise, to insure the effective protection of the said Canal:

Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and in accordance with the principle of self-defense of the Law of Nations, do hereby establish and proclaim the following-described areas as the Cristobal Maritime Control Area and the Gulf of Panama Maritime Control Area for the purposes of safeguarding the Panama Canal and for national and hemispheric defense, and prescribe the following regulations for the control thereof:


All waters contained within the seaward limit of an arc described with the western breakwater entrance light at Cristobal, Canal Zone, as a center, a radius of 36 sea miles, and meeting the shore line in the east in the vicinity of position Latitude 90°35' North, Longitude 79°21' West, and in the west in the vicinity of position Latitude 09°08' North, Longitude 80°29' West.


All waters of the Gulf of Panama to the north of Latitude 8° North.


1. A vessel not proceeding under United States naval or other United States authorized supervision shall not enter or navigate the waters of the above-described Maritime Control Areas except during daylight, when good visibility conditions prevail, and then only after specific permission has been obtained. Advance arrangements for entry into or navigation through or within the said Areas must be made, preferably by application at a United States Naval District Headquarters in advance of sailing, or by radio or visual communication on approaching the seaward limits of either Area. If radio telegraphy is used, the call "NQO" shall be made on a frequency of 500 kcs, and permission to enter the port requested. The name of the vessel, purpose of entry, and name of master must be given in the request. If visual communications are used, the procedure shall be essentially the same.

2. Even though permission has been obtained, it is incumbent upon a vessel entering the said Areas to obey any further instructions received from the United States Navy, or other United States authority.

3. A vessel may expect supervision of its movements within the said Areas, either through surface craft or aircraft. Such controlling surface craft and aircraft shall be identified by a prominent display of the Union Jack.

4. These regulations may be supplemented by regulations of the local United States naval authority as necessary to meet local circumstances and conditions.

5. Should any vessel or person within the said Areas disregard these regulations, or regulations issued pursuant hereto, or fail to obey an order of the United States naval authority, or perform any act threatening the efficiency of mine or other defenses, or take any action therein inimical to the defense of the United States, such vessel or person may be subjected to the force necessary to require compliance, and may be liable to detention or arrest, or penalties or forfeiture, in accordance with law.

The Secretary of the Navy is charged with the enforcement of these regulations.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this 13th day of January in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-sixth.

Signature of Franklin D. Roosevelt

By the President:
Secretary of State.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Proclamation 2536—Establishing the Cristobal and the Gulf of Panama Maritime Control Areas and Prescribing Regulations for the Control Thereof Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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