Page images

the police force charged with the preservation of public order outside of said zone, as well as to their baggage, munitions of war and supplies.


If by virtue of any existing treaty in relation to the territory of the Isthmus of Panama, whereof the obligations shall descend or be assumed by the Republic of Panama, there may be any privilege or concession in favor of the Government or the citizens and subjects. of a third power relative to an interoceanic means of communication which in any of its terms may be incompatible with the terms of the present convention, the Republic of Panama agrees to cancel or modify such treaty in due form, for which purpose it shall give to the said third power the requisite notification within the term of four months from the date of the present convention, and in case the existing treaty contains no clause permitting its modifications or annulment, the Republic of Panama agrees to procure its modification or annulment in such form that there shall not exist any conflict with the stipulations of the present convention.


The rights and privileges granted by the Republic of Panama to the United States in the preceding Articles are understood to be free of all anterior debts, liens, trusts, or liabilities, or concessions or privileges to other Governments, corporations, syndicates or individuals, and consequently, if there should arise any claims on account of the present concessions and privileges or otherwise, the claimants shall resort to the Government of the Republic of Panama and not to the United States for any indemnity or compromise which may be required.


The Republic of Panama renounces and grants to the United States the participation to which it might be entitled in the future earnings of the Canal under Article XV of the concessionary contract with Lucien N. B. Wyse now owned by the New Panama Canal Company and any and all other rights or claims of a pecuniary nature arising under or relating to said concession, or arising under or relating to the concessions to the Panama Railroad Company or any extension or modification thereof; and it likewise renounces, confirms and grants

to the United States, now and hereafter, all the rights and property reserved in the said concessions which otherwise would belong to Panama at or before the expiration of the terms of ninety-nine years of the concessions granted to or held by the above mentioned party and companies, and all right, title and interest which it now has or may hereafter have, in and to the lands, canal, works, property and rights held by the said companies under said concessions or otherwise, and acquired or to be acquired by the United States from or through the New Panama Canal Company, including any property and rights. which might or may in the future either by lapse of time, forfeiture or otherwise, revert to the Republic of Panama under any contracts or concessions, with said Wyse, the Universal Panama Canal Company, the Panama Railroad Company and the New Panama Canal Company.

The aforesaid rights and property shall be and are free and released from any present or reversionary interest in or claims of Panama and the title of the United States thereto upon consummation of the contemplated purchase by the United States from the New Panama Canal Company, shall be absolute, so far as concerns the Republic of Panama, excepting always the rights of the Republic specifically secured under this treaty.


If it should become necessary at any time to employ armed forces for the safety or protection of the Canal, or of the ships that make use of the same, or the railways and auxiliary works, the United States shall have the right, at all times and in its discretion, to use its police and its land and naval forces or to establish fortifications for these purposes.


No change either in the Government or in the laws and treaties of the Republic of Panama shall, without the consent of the United States, affect any right of the United States under the present convention, or under any treaty stipulation between the two countries that now exists or may hereafter exist touching the subject matter of this convention.

If the Republic of Panama shall hereafter enter as a constituent into any other Government or into any union or confederation of states, so as to merge her sovereignty or independence in such Gov

ernment, union or confederation, the rights of the United States under this convention shall not be in any respect lessened or impaired.


For the better performance of the engagements of this convention and to the end of the efficient protection of the Canal and the preservation of its neutrality, the Government of the Republic of Panama will sell or lease to the United States lands adequate and necessary for naval or coaling stations on the Pacific coast and on the western Caribbean coast of the Republic at certain points to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.


This convention when signed by the Plenipotentiaries of the Contracting Parties shall be ratified by the respective Governments and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington at the earliest date possible.

In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present convention in duplicate and have hereunto affixed their respective seals.

Done at the City of Washington the 18th day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and three.

[blocks in formation]

The attention of His Majesty's Government has been called to the various proposals that have from time to time been made for the purpose of relieving American shipping from the burden of the tolls to be levied on vessels passing through the Panama Canal, and these proposals together with the arguments that have been used to support them have been carefully considered with a view to the bearing on them of the provisions of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain of November 18th, 1901.

1Pamphlet printed by Department of State, Washington, D. C.

The proposals may be summed up as follows:

(1). To exempt all American shipping from the tolls,

(2). To refund to all American ships the tolls which they may have paid,

(3). To exempt American ships engaged in the coastwise trade, (4). To repay the tolls to American ships engaged in the coastwise trade.

The proposal to exempt all American shipping from the payment of the tolls, would, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, involve an infraction of the treaty, nor is there, in their opinion any difference in principle between charging tolls only to refund them and remitting tolls altogether. The result is the same in either case, and the adoption of the alternative method of refunding the tolls in preference to that of remitting them, while perhaps complying with the letter of the treaty, would still contravene its spirit.

It has been argued that a refund of the tolls would merely be equivalent to a subsidy and that there is nothing in the Hay-Pauncefote treaty which limits the right of the United States to subsidize its shipping. It is true that there is nothing in that treaty to prevent the United States from subsidizing its shipping and if it granted a subsidy His Majesty's Government could not be in a position to complain. But there is a great distinction between a general subsidy, either to shipping at large or to shipping engaged in any given trade, and a subsidy calculated particularly with reference to the amount of user of the Canal by the subsidized lines or vessels. If such a subsidy were granted it would not, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, be in accordance with the obligations of the Treaty.

As to the proposal that exemption shall be given to vessels engaged in the coastwise trade, a more difficult question arises. If the trade should be so regulated as to make it certain that only bona-fide coastwise traffic which is reserved for United States vessels would be benefited by this exemption, it may be that no objection could be taken. But it appears to my government that it would be impossible to frame regulations which would prevent the exemption from resulting, in fact, in a preference to United States shipping and consequently in an infraction of the Treaty.

I have the honor to be,

With the highest consideration,


Your most obedient, humble Servant,



Approved August 24, 1912.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the zone of land and land under water of the width of ten miles extending to the distance of five miles on each side of the center line of the route of the canal now being constructed thereon, which zone begins in the Caribbean Sea three marine miles from the mean low-water mark and extends to and across the Isthmus of Panama into the Pacific Ocean to the distance of three marine miles from mean low-water mark, excluding therefrom the cities of Panama and Colon and their adjacent harbors located within said zone, as excepted in the treaty with the Republic of Panama dated November eighteenth, nineteen hundred and three, but including all islands within said described zone, and in addition thereto the group of islands in the Bay of Panama named Perico, Naos, Culebra, and Flamenco, and any lands and waters outside of said limits above described which are necessary or convenient or from time to time may become necessary or convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, or protection of the said canal or of any auxiliary canals, lakes, or other works necessary or convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, or protection of said canal, the use, occupancy, or control whereof were granted to the United States by the treaty between the United States. and the Republic of Panama, the ratifications of which were exchanged on the twenty-sixth day of February, nineteen hundred and four, shall be known and designated as the Canal Zone, and the canal now being constructed thereon shall hereafter be known and designated as the Panama Canal. The President is authorized, by treaty with the Republic of Panama, to acquire any additional land or land under water not already granted, or which was excepted from the grant, that he may deem necessary for the operation, maintenance, sanitation, or protection of the Panama Canal, and to exchange any land or land under water not deemed necessary for such purposes for other land or land under water which may be deemed necessary for such purposes, which additional land or land under water so acquired shall become part of the Canal Zone.

1Public, No. 337 [H. R. 21969].


« PreviousContinue »