[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] Juan Tack, reached a 1974 agreement to resume the canal negotiations.
But, the sources said, the officials also denied to the committee that the Panamanians used their knowledge of the incident to blackmail the United States. Instead, they reportedly insisted that the matter was dropped by both sides and played no role in negotiating the treaties signed by Torrijos and President Carter on Sept. 7.
When reporters asked Inouye what had been disucssed in the committee meeting, he replied "no comment" and noted that federal law prohibits "public discussion of signal-type intelligence" that has not been declassified. He said the committee does not intend to seek declassification of documents or testimony related to the allegation.
Several reporters then pointed out that the treaties are the subject of intense controversy and asked if Inouye expected the committee's statement to foreclose further discussion of the incident in the impending debate over Senate approval of the canal agreements.
He replied, "I would hope the people of the United States would have some faith" in the committee's findings. They had been reached, he sadi, after hearing the testimony of Turner, Linowtiz and Bunker, officials of the State Department and the intelligence community, and a review of "thousands of documents."
Senate sources said last night they has received no indications that opponents of the treaties attempt to pursue the matter. The sources noted that some senators considered hostile to the treaties are members of the Intelligence Committee and concurred in its conclusion yesterday.