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rights in the sea are inherent, and were not granted by the belligerents, hence cannot be taken away by their authority. No single nation can have absolute sovereignty over the public domain.
The loss of the Titanic with her human cargo was from natural causes; it was from accident and not from design. The Lusitania a peaceful ship with nearly 2,000 unfortunates on board (many being women and children) was on May 7, 1915, sunk by an enemy's submarine because she entered a supposed war zone of the sea. This ship had a mixed cargo of passengers of both neutral and enemy non-combatants, who were on legal and peaceful errands and it is now almost universally conceded by the world that they should have had the protection of international law. This appalling episode should cause the ruling powers to order and decree that the use of submarines as instruments of civilized warfare, shall for the future be absolutely forbidden.
OWNERSHIP AND DUTY.
But a few days ago we were asked: who owns the Panama Canal? The reply was that the view of our greatest statesman is, that the United States owns and has political control of the Canal, but under treaty and years of pledges she should operate it without discrimination, to all comers. This is precisely what Grant, Hayes, Blaine, Evarts and others meant, when saying that America must own the isthmian waterway. Most of them have at some time, declared that a canal should be for all on equal terms.
In 1880 the House Foreign Relations Committee had before it, the question of the canal and the Monroe Doctrine; this was brought about by the French pro
The Committee's resolution provided, "that should a canal be constructed across the isthmus this government will insist that it shall not be under the control of any European government; that it shall be free to the commerce of the world upon equal terms." Representative Crapo testified before the committee, that if the Clayton Treaty were abrogated England could not complain, if her trade could use the canal on "equal terms with our own."
In 1902 when the question was whether we should buy the French rights or build at Nicaragua, Senator Hanna (who turned the day for Panama) on June 5, 1902 declared: "I want to discuss this question from the standpoint of loyalty to my country." By constructing the canal "we owe an equal responsibility to every nation. ** I do not understand that this is any selfish project or that we are even considering the rate per cent. as a reward for our venture." And Senator Pettus on the same occasion said, the people will own and control the canal and "it is their desire to have all the world participate equally with the citizens of the United States in the use of the canal."
On June 11, 1902, Senator Fairbanks said, that by the Hay-Pauncefote treaty the United States may operate the canal and "she asks no aid of any power-and is ready to carry the enterprise to its consummation, and hold it perpetually for the commerce of the world upon terms of absolute equality."
Senator Spooner at the same session, in advocating his bill expressed himself thus:
"The unfinished canal lies there a menace to the safety of the United States. I have thought it might be completed, and that the day might come when our Oregon would go around the Horn again and an
enemy's Oregon might go through this short canal." And again: "It is a project of the whole country for all time and it is not to be belittled Mr. President, or it should not be, by action governed by mere sentiment, by prejudice or by assumed local interest."
A most dramatic incident occurred when Representative Mann on January 7, 1902, with patriotic eloquence declared: "We have benefited greatly by the work and trials of other nations and peoples. Today we will give to all nations and to all peoples without preference and without discrimination a reminder of our prosperity and our generosity, which will stand like the pyramids of Egypt-a lasting memorial to our labor and which unlike the pyramids will be of constant use and benefit to progressive mankind. (Applause.)
Have we not the right, then, to contemplate with satisfaction, the proposition we are now making, that our country at its own expense and out of its own treasury, without contribution or aid from other peoples or nations, takes this mighty step forward, in the march of civilization, not for itself, not for our advantage, not to benefit ourselves, not to gain a preference over our neighbors, but in the interest of the whole world for the good of all people? We pay the expense; they share equally the results. No sublimer conception of a great enterprise was ever entertained by man, or by spirit. The heart of the American people grows greater when it undertakes work like this. It beats in rhythm with the progress which is yet to come when it approves a project like this." (Applause) *
The speaker's sentiments were ratified by the generous applause of the body of the House, at *See, Cong. Record 1902, Appendix pg. 3.
the close of every paragraph. It was not a simple pledge but it was a pledge with a double guaranty.
It has been said that the late Secretary Hay, on being asked, if the United States was included in the words "all nations" used in the Hay-Pauncefote treaty, emphatically replied: "what else could all nations mean but all nations!"
Why does Europe concede to us the right to own and control the Panama Canal? Is it for our betterment alone? Or do they expect us to deal out evenhanded justice, to all seeking the service of the canal?
From a broad outlook and from a most thoughtful consideration of the work in hand, we now say, without sentimentality and in all reverence, that, since the Star of Fortune has led us to Panama, and by its kindly light we have been able to forge the link that now connects the two great oceans, let us look with pride at the immortal accomplishment, without boasting or arrogance, and not forget our obligations to England for the Hay-Pauncefote treaty; to Panama for cutting the Gordian knot which seemed to bind us to defeat; to the French heroes who first began the canal's construction; to the twenty-four world powers, whose generous approval, at a critical moment, assured to us the Panama route; to those officials outside and inside of Congress whose vision and courage through one of the world's most historic struggles, held fast to the route designed by creation for the canal; and to the Engineers and stalwart champions who planned, wrought, dredged, blasted and constructed under a tropical sun, in the midst of pestilence, against obstacles almost insurmountable; and, while remembering all this, and that it is through the beneficence of Destiny we are permitted to own this great work, we should recognize
our debt to the world, our years of sacred pledges, and in justice and honor grant to all peaceful ships the use of this short and safe waterway FOREVER, without discrimination, partiality or exclusion; and thereby gain the esteem, friendship and plaudits of all nations, down the courses of Time-through the cycles of Ages!