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our Government and that Republic. It had been the policy of every administration of Government in this country since the South American Republics, following our example, had wrenched themselves from monarchical domination, to encourage them in their aspirations to follow in our footsteps. President Buchanan, in his message of 1857, said: "With the independent Republics on this continent it is both our duty and our interest to cultivate the most friendly relations. We can never feel indifferent to their fate, and must always rejoice in their prosperity." And when, in 1895, a dispute arose between Great Britain and Venezuela as to the boundary line between that Republic and British Guiana the then President of the United States showed a manifestation of our interest in and friendship for our sister Republic of the South by virtually compelling the submission of the dispute to arbitration. This feeling has been growing with the years until the present. It has been growing upon the part of our Government and upon the part of our people. It has given rise to most exultant hopes and anticipations, both in a commercial sense and in that of advancing the form of government which we believe to be the highest in existence, and under which we have achieved our present greatness.

Your distinguished President, Mr. Milburn, at a Congress of South American representatives who visited this country in 1889, expressed the sentiments of our people at that time in relation to the South American Republics when, in responding to a toast, he proposed: "The United States, bounded on the north by the North Pole, on the South by the Gulf of Mexico, and bound to her sister continent to the south by indissoluble ties of fraternal good-will and mutually advantageous commercial relations."

This feeling of friendship was closer cemented by the Pan-American Exposition, at which the South American countries, I believe, were nearly all represented. Our close and friendly relations with the government now bearing the name of the Republic of Colombia began at an early day. They arose from motives of personal interest to us. In 1846 a treaty, which is expressive of the closest friendship, was entered into between the United States and the Republic of New Grenada, which the pres-ent Republic of Colombia has succeeded. This treaty is entitled a "Treaty of Peace, Amity, Navigation and Commerce." The preamble reads: "The United States of North America and the Republic of New Granada, desiring to make lasting and firm the friendship and good understanding which happily exist between both nations, have resolved to fix in a manner clear, distinct and positive, the rules which shall in future be religiously observed between each other by means of a treaty or general convention of peace and friendship, commerce and navigation." Article 35 of this treaty provided as follows:

"The Government of New Granada guarantees to the Government of the United States that the right of way or transit across the Isthmus of Panama, upon any modes of communcation that now exist or that may be hereafter constructed, shall be open and free to the Government and citizens of the United States. * * * And in order to secure to themselves the tranquil and constant enjoyment of these advantages, and as an especial compensation for the said advantages and for the favors they have acquired by the fourth, fifth and sixth articles of this treaty, the United States guarantee positively and efficaciously to New Granada, by the present stipulation, the perfect neutrality of the before-mentioned Isthmus, with the view that the free transit from the one to the

other sea may not be interrupted or embarrassed in any future time while this treaty exists, and in consequence the United States also guarantee in the same manner the rights of sovereignty and property which New Granada has and possesses over the said territory."

"The effect of this treaty," as President Pierce says in one of his messages, "was to afford to the people of the United States facilities for at once opening a common road from Chagres to Panama, and for at length constructing a railway in the same direction, to connect regularly with steamships, for the transportation of mails, specie and passengers, to and fro between the Atlantic and Pacific States."

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President Polk, who transmitted the message to the Senate, said: "The vast advantages to our commerce which would result from such a communication (across the Isthmus), not only with the West Coast of America, but with Asia and the islands of the Pacific, are too obvious to require any detail. The treaty does not propose to guarantee a territory to a foreign nation in which the United States will have no common interest with that nation. On the contrary, we are more deeply and directly interested in the subject of this guaranty than New Granada herself or any other country." The United States about the same time endeavored to obtain from the Republic of Mexico a right of way across the northern end of the Isthmus, but failed.

I have indicated the relations existing between this Government and Colombia when the Hay-Herran treaty was transmitted to the Colombian Government for ratification by its Congress. That body convened in extra session on June twentieth last and subsequently the treaty was debated and objection to it was manifested. That a treaty of such importance to Colombia should awaken

heated discussion in her Congress is not to be wondered at. That the cession of a territory "fraught," as our President states in his message, " with such peculiar capacities as the Isthmus in question" should be ardently debated by the legislature of the nation ceding it is not surprising. As the President remarks, the canal when built "is to last for ages. It is to alter the geography of a continent. and the trade routes of the world." That a country about to cede the use of territory of such vast importance should do so with much deliberation is quite to be expected. If we bring the matter home to ourselves and bear in mind the peculiarities of our own legislators, both national, State and municipal, when dealing with a franchise where a sum reaching $10,000,000 is involved, we might not be so inclined to become indignant at the distorted morality of a Colombian Congress. It has been stated by one member of a United States commission appointed to investigate the subject of the canal that "although the payments to Colombia provided in the treaty seem liberal she is making important concessions to the United States."

President Roosevelt in his message of January 4, 1904, says, that "when in August it began to appear probable that the Colombian Legislature would not ratify the treaty, it became incumbent upon me to consider well what the situation was and to be ready to advise Congress as to what were the various alternatives of action open to us. There were several possibilities. One was that Colombia would at the last moment see the unwisdom. of her position. That there might be nothing omitted, Secretary Hay, through the minister at Bogota, repeatedly warned Colombia that grave consequences might follow from her rejection of the treaty." He further says that in case of rejection and in view of the fact that the

design of the treaty of 1846 was to secure the construction of a canal his intention at that time "was to consult the Congress as to whether under such circumstances it would not be proper to announce that the canal was to be dug forthwith; that we would give the terms that we had offered and no others; and that if such terms were not agreed to we would enter into an arrangement with Panama direct, or take what other steps were needful in order to begin the enterprise."

This is a startling doctrine. To say that if the Colombian Congress refused to ratify a treaty under which possession of certain of its territory was to be ceded to us we could in that event deal directly with the State or Department in which the territory was located or “take what other steps were needful" in order to gain possession of the territory is, I believe, an assumption decidedly at variance with the law of nations. It virtually means that a strong nation, when it sees fit, has a right of eminent domain across the territory of a weaker one. The assumption of such a right is, indeed, startling, and the more so in that it emanates from a Republic that has always boasted and justly, too of observing, in the language of Washington, "good faith and justice towards all nations."

Suppose the Hay-Herran treaty had never been negotiated or signed, can it be said that the United States could have assumed the course indicated by the President? Yet, until its ratification by the Colombian Congress, it had no more validity than if it had never been negotiated.

Until this treaty was ratified by the Colombian Congress, it was of no force whatever. It may have been discourteous for the Colombian Legislature to reject it; it may have been and I apprehend was a most corrupt and venal motive that prompted such action, but that it

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