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ERRATA.

On page 46, Cristobol should be “Cristobal.”

88, Everts should be “Evarts." 113, 8 Cranch should be “7 Cranch." 218, statesman in the 11th line from the bot

tom should be "statesmen." VII, of index, 106 in 8th lines from top should

be “109.” VII, of index, 107 in 9th line from top should CONTENTS

be "106."

INTRODUCTION.

Since there is a reason for most human action, there is supposed to be a reason for this, another book on Panama and its world-renowned waterway.

Our country has gone through one of its epochmaking political struggles over the question of fixing the tolls for the use of the canal. The crucial question was: shall any ships be exempt from paying tolls ? So far as we are now able to judge, this question has been answered by Congress and the country, decidedly, in the negative.

Our present purpose is to save and record some of the main reasons urged for and against the proposition, not only in Congress, but by the unofficial citizens during the contest. The action of Congress is supposed to be in the interest of the great body of the American people; hence the right of the citizen to aid by advice in directing that action. What is stated and printed in this publication, on any controversial question relating to treaties (except citations from public documents) is not set forth as representing the view of the nation or of any of its officials, but as the individual opinion of a private citizen; and is entirely for home use and is addressed only to our own citizens.

In the arguments before Congress with respect to the rates for the service of the Panama Canal, it became necessary to discuss every possible question in the whole field of legal, moral and economic right, whether contained in treaties, or inhering in the laws, customs or constitution of the nation. The economic problem was one of vast consequence and was to a large degree local; still it extended to things external as well as internal.

While the canal is in our limits and jurisdiction, still its economic features are materially controlled by treaties, compacts and arrangements with other nations, as was demonstrated in the controversy just concluded. That once the discussion opened, there was no resting place until every nook of legal right had been searched and exposed to public view; hence the debate ran to the limit, and stopped because there was nothing beyond.

After all webs were brushed aside there was but one question: Some Americans wanted to favor ships as against the railroads regardless of the expense to be cast upon the nation. Others favored neither ships nor railroads, but believed that all the tolls would be most urgently required to maintain, improve and guard the canal, and that generosity, under the conditions, would be most impolitic.

As this situation was unique in our canal experience, it was impossible for prior writers on Panama to record or discuss such questions. As history, these matters are decidedly new.

In this work we shall only incidentally touch on the physical features, and mechanism of the canal, for the reason that this field has been fully explored and discussed by experts in that line. Our chief aim is to treat of the governmental phases, the national and international treaties and compacts, and how our operation of the canal is affected thereby.

The toll-exemption argument brought out prominently for discussion the subjects of national sovereignty, of neutralization, of fortification of the canal,

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