Page images

principle, and until very recently nobody ever suggested that there was any other principle fairly applicable to this difficulty so far as the United States was concerned.

The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was not simply an international agreement with reference to the construction of a water highway at Nicaragua or Panama or anywhere else. It is much more than that. It was a division of a maritime empire, and it was so intended. Great Britain, then the greatest maritime Power in the world, with its great navy and its great commercial marine, and the United States, then the second commercial Power in its foreign shipping in the world, were both intimately interested in America, Great Britain occupying not simply a coign of vantage in its position in Canada, but, as a great commercial nation with its interests in the West Indian colonies, a greater interest than any other Power in view of the conditions of commerce, and holding a position of greater advantage toward that canal. But the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was a triumph for the United States, in so far as it set forth the United States as an equal party to any canal and to any canal legislation that might ever be made. It was an acknowledgment, and for the first time, that in all maritime affairs the United States of America had an equal interest.

Some allusion has been made to the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine certainly cannot override a diplomatic agreement made and ratified in due form by both countries and in operation for more than sixty years, namely, the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. The ClaytonBulwer Treaty must have been in accordance with the Monroe Doctrine, because it was made by those persons and those only who had any authority in the United States to give an explanation to the Monroe Doctrine.

The second point is, that the conditions of the canal being so far changed that it has actually been constructed by one of the great Powers of the world, it makes a tremendous difference with all its relations. The idea of a canal built by a company, in which anybody may take stock, under the auspices of a great number of Powers, under the control of two of the principal Powers, who take upon themselves that great function, has gone by, and by the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty the United States has been acknowledged as the one Power that shall build the canal. But that is not all. It has not only taken that responsibility, it has not only assumed the moral risks, if you like, of making itself master of the canal strip, but it has put in hundreds

of millions of dollars of its own money; and, although Professor Johnson is to speak to-night, and whatever he says about canal tolls. and the future we must accept, because no man has given so much study to that phase of it as he, yet it seems to me highly unlikely that the tolls will ever be much more than the expense of keeping the canal open, and you and I and our children are going to pay the tax for keeping that canal up. After all, something is due and certain consideration is due to the fact that the United States is the proprietor, and there is one fact connected with that proprietorship which we absolutely cannot get away from, and that is that the canal will never be used as a military engine in any way against the United States.

You may make treaties, you may legislate until "the cows come home," but you cannot make any treaty that can bind the great nations to permit other nations to use territory under its control to its hurt. Something will happen if we go into war and the ships of other nations, our enemies, endeavor to pass through the canal. Somebody will forget to close a bilge cock; somebody will forget to close a gate; something will somehow drift across the channel, and it will be a week before that ship can be gotten through. We all know there is no equality with us in that respect, and never will be. There is no treaty that can hold any country in the world to the use of the Panama Canal in a military sense contrary to the United States.

The third point is with reference to a thing which is hardly alluded to in this discussion, and that is the Constantinople Convention. What was that convention? It was eighteen years after that convention was made before it was ratified and put in force. And why? It was because the Constantinople Convention did not exactly accord with the status of things in Egypt.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all know that the great and controlling reason why Great Britain gave up her half share in the future canal was that she had the whole share in the Suez Canal, and it was contrary to reason that any great nation should actually be the possessor and controller of one of the two great waterways and should have a half interest in the other. Great Britain had to yield the point of any kind of control, had to yield the point of control to the United States, because she was exercising that control in another part of the globe.

I went through this Suez Canal a few years ago and it did not look English. It did not wear eyeglasses. It looked very Egyptian. The reluctant camels snorted their defiance of the competition which was

depriving them of their daily dates. Yet it was English, and it is substantially under the control of the British Government.

If you will read the whole of the Constantinople Convention, you will find other things than this clause to which I have referred; for instance, a clause to the effect that Great Britain shall have a right to intervene, if necessary, for the protection of the canal and the protection of its connection with its Red Sea possessions.

Again, all the world knows that the Suez Canal can never be used in a military way against the interests of England, and never will be. Sooner or later something will happen to a canal which is involved in anything of that sort. Suppose a war breaks out next week between Germany and England, how many German vessels will ever be allowed to go through the Suez Canal to attack the British colonies and commerce of Asia?

I think one of the best things would be a study of the Constantinople Convention with respect to the relation of England to the Suez Canal, and of the attitude and administration of that canal with regard to tolls. If Great Britain in the Suez Canal does treat the ships of all nations with impartial equality, there is an added reason for supposing that the British who made the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty expect the same principle to be applied here. If it can be shown that Great Britain practices discrimination in Suez, then that nation cannot come here with clean hands and claim the kind of preference or indemnity which, under its own rules of the Constantinople Convention, it does not accord elsewhere. But that is a matter of fact, which I leave to be settled by this honorable Society.

Mr. LEWIS NIXON. Mr. Chairman, I do not think there is much more to be said. The question is on the phrase "all nations which shall agree to observe these rules"; whether the mere fact that the nation which makes them might be considered as bound to observe them, puts that nation in the place of those who shall agree to observe them; and whether the mere fact of agreeing makes them a party to the contract. That has already been clearly touched upon in the correspondence between Lord Lansdowne and the representative of Great Britain in this country, where Lord Lansdowne said that the phrase "The nations which shall agree to observe these rules" was for the purpose of showing that Great Britain was not to be caught in a disadvantageous position in comparison with other nations; and those

other nations, it is very plain to see, were not the United States. I was very glad to hear Professor Hart. Speaking about opening the canal, he says it is to be free and open. On the question of "free and open," the most important thing said here today was the outlining of the differences which existed at the time the canal was opened and conditions existing now. We were told of this great expanse of territory to the north of us, of the stations which Great Britain has dotted around both the canal and all of her territory elsewhere, and we were told she had about seven millions of people at that time, and has now reached the great sum of ten millions; that we had twenty-three millions at that time, and have now reached one hundred millions. Our interests are there, and we own this territory just as much as if it were territory around the Mississippi Valley.

The fact too, which we were told, that Great Britain's control of the commerce of the world is overwhelming is very good evidence that she will be the great beneficiary of this canal. We were also told that we are not going to raise anywhere near the amount of money necessary for expense and upkeep of this canal and interest on its bonds, so clearly in opposition to the policy in connection with the Suez Canal where they charge up to 25 per cent, and when it gets to 25 per cent, they generally cut down the rate. Lord Lansdowne said that what he considers just and equitable rates shall be rates which will pay for cost of operation and the mere cost of interest. If he would apply that to the Suez Canal, which England so much controls through its control of a great block of stock, he would find the Suez Canal rates are the ones that are unjust and inequitable and not ours, because, whether we remit the tolls on our own vessels or not, whether we charge tolls on our foreign trade and the trade of the rest of the world, it is very probable we shall not raise much more than nine million dollars. Taking out of this the cost of operation at $4,000,000, we shall have only that amount to pay interest on our bonds. So this inequitable condition, wherein we pay this great expense, exists as a subsidy to the foreign ships of the world and not to the ships of the United States.

There is some little criticism about the taking of the Panama Canal. That is a condition that was thrust upon us, as we all know. We were obligated to keep the isthmus open and to protect the neutrality and sovereignty of the isthmus on the part of Colombia. We have protected it, and it has changed the form of government. We have

a treaty with that government, which fairly covers the point. I claim that the "terms of equality" that are so much talked about here this afternoon, do apply within the field where they can apply, and that field is the field of neutral operation.

There is a very important thing that seems to be left out by so many in reading this rule, which I claim was entirely consistent with the policy of the operation of the canal as affecting belligerents, and that is that they forget the word "otherwise." They come down simply and solely to charges on traffic and forget the "otherwise" conditions which are just as binding as anything else. I have never seen a single meeting of the minds on the one great statement in connection with this canal-that is to say, that Article III covers the rules adopted for the purpose of neutralization. You cannot prove "neutralization" means equal treatment, because it does not. The mere fact is England put that clause in the first article of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty and then in Article VIII it was stated if she extended these conditions and brought about a joint protection, which she never did, that she might then have equality of treatment. Those clauses do not follow and are not observed in this particular treaty which we have before us. I only wish that people who meet and bring up this question would read more carefully Rule I of Article III. It is for a definite. purpose and clearly recognized by international law, and clearly recognized by every word in this treaty.

Rev. ROSWELL RANDALL HOES (Chaplain, U. S. N.): Mr. Chairman, I wish to make an inquiry simply as a matter of fact, not of opinion.

I have been informed that there is an error in that first chart, and if an error, no doubt inadvertently made. I have been informed the first treaty was passed by our Senate and rejected by England instead of being rejected by our Senate. What is the fact?

Chairman SCOTT. I will ask Mr. Nixon to give you response.

Mr. NIXON [pointing to chart printed on page 103]. That treaty was changed. That treaty as it stands there was rejected. That was the treaty drawn by Lord Pauncefote. It was submitted to the Senate and the Senate changed it, and then the changes were not satisfactory to Great Britain. That was the original treaty as submitted to the Senate. The Senate changed it so much that it could not be adopted by Great Britain, because we knocked out all contract rights. I believe I am right on that.

« PreviousContinue »