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This was the situation then and it is the situation now. The existing treaty is to be kept inviolate and, if changed or modified, it must be only with the consent of both parties.
Although the United States and Great Britain had accepted the principle of neutralization for the canal, with the guarantee of such of the Powers as might join, Mr. Blaine, in his circular note, assailed the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty as binding the United States not to use its military force in any precautionary measure, while it left the naval power of Great Britain perfectly free and unrestrained (as if the treaty had been made merely to be broken), ready at any moment (he said) to seize both ends of the canal, and render its military occupation on land a matter entirely within the discretion of Her Majesty's Government. He informed his lordship and the courts of Europe, through our diplomatic representatives at the various capitals, that the military power of the United States, as shown by the recent civil war, was without limit, and in any conflict on the American continent altogether irresistible. The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (he said) commanded the Government of the United States not to use a single regiment of troops to protect its interests in connection with the interoceanic canal, but to surrender the transit to the guardianship and control of the British navy. If no American soldier is to be quartered on the isthmus to protect the rights of his country in the interoceanic canal, surely (urged Mr. Blaine) by the fair logic of neutrality, no war vessel of Great Britain should be permitted to appear in the waters that control either entrance to the canal.
Then, referring to the territorial interests of the United States, he said that the States and Territories appurtenant to the Pacific Ocean and dependent upon it for commercial outlet, and hence directly interested in the canal, comprised an area of nearly eight hundred thousand (800,000) square miles-larger in extent than the German Empire and the four Latin countries of Europe combined. And as England (he argued) insists by the might of her power that her enemies in war shall strike her Indian possessions only by doubling the Cape of Good Hope, so the Government of the United States will equally insist that the interior, more speedy, and safer route of the canal shall be reserved for ourselves, while our enemies, if we shall ever be so unfortunate as to have any, shall be remanded to the voyage around Cape Horn.
This was a sudden and impassioned assault upon the neutralization which had been agreed upon in the treaty and championed by his predecessors as the only true basis for making and maintaining the canal. Mr. Blaine seems to have seen a vision and been struck with apprehension that the United States would be undone if it adhered to the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. But, nevertheless, in the same note, he defended the twin principles of that treaty-"neutralization and equal terms"-in the strongest way, only they were to be maintained by the sole power of the United States, except when she might be at war.
Referring to Colombia, then the sovereign of the Isthmus of Panama, the neutrality of which we had guaranteed by the treaty of 1846 with New Granada, Mr. Blaine remarked:
It is as regards the political control of such a canal as distinguished from its merely administrative or commercial regulation, that the President feels called upon to speak with directness and with emphasis. During any war to which the United States of America or the United States of Colombia might be a party, the passage of armed vessels of a hostile nation through the Canal of Panama would be no more admissible than would be passage of the armed forces of a hostile nation over the railway lines joining the Atlantic and Pacific shores of the United States or of Colombia. And the United States of America will insist upon her right to take all needful precautions against the possibility of the isthmus transit being in any event used offensively against her interests upon the land or upon the sea.
The two republics between which the guarantee of neutrality and possession exists have analogous conditions with respect to their territorial extension. Both have a long line of coast on either ocean to protect as well as to improve. The possessions of the United States upon the Pacific coast are imperial in extent and of extraordinary growth. Even at their present stage of development they would supply the larger part of the traffic which would seek the advantages of the canal. The States of California and Oregon, and the Territory of Washington, larger in area than England and France, produce for export more than a ton of wheat for each inhabitant and the entire freights demanding water transportation eastward, already enormous, are augmenting each year with accelerating ratio.
As to the duty of the United States to Colombia, under the treaty of 1846 (a subject of peculiar interest now), Mr. Blaine assured Great Britain and the courts of Europe that
There has never been the slightest doubt on the part of the United States as to the purpose or extent of the obligation then assumed, by which it became surety alike for the free transit of the world's commerce over whatever land-way or water-way might be opened from sea to sea and for the protection of the territorial rights of Colombia from aggression or interference of any kind. Nor has there ever been room to question the full extent of the advantages and benefits, naturally due to its geographical position and political relations on the Western Continent, which the United States obtained from the owner of the isthmian territory in exchange for that far-reaching and responsible guarantee.
Of course, this is no time, or place, or presence, to raise the question how this treaty with Colombia has been kept. I have referred to this notable state paper because I preferred that the statement of the interest of the United States in the canal should come from a source which could not be suspected of anything like anti-Americanism or "Anglo-mania."
As already remarked, Lord Granville did not enter into any argument with Mr. Blaine; he did not even remind him that it was the United States herself that had proposed the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty and had championed the principle of neutralization and "equal terms" under the guaranty of all the Powers that would join in dedicating the projected water-way between the two oceans to the peaceful commerce of the world. Nor did Lord Granville take up the gauntlet thrown down by Mr. Blaine in respect of the comparative interests of the two nations in the canal, nor refer to the plain intimation that Great Britain and the nations who might join with her and the United States in guaranteeing its neutrality might betray their trust and combine to use the water-way in the event of war against the United States; he simply said that he wished merely to point out that the position of Great Britain and the United States, with reference to the canal, irrespective of the magnitude of the commercial relations of Great Britain with the countries to and from which, if completed, it would form the highway, was determined by the engagements entered into by them respectively, in the convention which was signed at Washington on the 19th of April, 1850, commonly known as the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, and that Her Majesty's Government relied with confidence upon the observance of all the engagements of that treaty. That confidence has, so far, been justified, for it was with
the full and friendly consent of Great Britain that, after mature deliberation and re-deliberation, in 1900 and 1901, the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, being recognized by the Senate of the United States as having remained in full force and effect, was superseded by the HayPauncefote Treaty of November 18, 1901, now in force.
Although, as already said, the interpretation of the existing treaty does not depend upon and should not be affected by the comparative interests which the high contracting parties may have in the use of the canal, it may be of service to take a glance at this subject if for no other purpose than to show that Great Britain has the gravest and most abundant reasons for standing firmly on her right to equal terms under the treaty.
In 1850, when the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was concluded with Great Britain, Texas had been admitted into the Union, the war between the United States and Mexico had been fought, and the United States had obtained, as the price of peace, from her sister republic, the territory that now comprises the States of California, Nevada and New Mexico. The Gadsden purchase, that gave us Arizona, was just about to be made; we had not yet acquired Alaska, Hawaii, Porto Rico or the Philippines, but the Northwest boundary dispute had been settled, and for more than a generation the magnificent domain that Jefferson bought from Napoleon had been incorporated into the Republic.
When the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty went into effect, the British possessions in the Western Hemisphere comprised the northern part of North America extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, now known as the Dominion of Canada, with a territory of 3,600,000 square miles, one-fifth larger than the United States, exclusive of Alaska, and covering a greater extent of the earth's surface than the United States and Alaska combined.
In addition to this continental empire, are the far-spread islands along the Atlantic coast-Newfoundland, in latitude fifty degrees north, embracing 42,700 square miles; the Falkland Islands, down by the Straits of Magellan in latitude fifty degrees south, 7,500 square miles; and, between these extremes, Bermuda, a little Eden in the ocean; the Bahamas, 4,400 square miles; Barbadoes, 160 square miles; Jamaica, 4,400 square miles; the Leeward Islands, 700 square miles; Trinidad, 1,800 square miles; the Windward Islands, 540 square miles. Then, in the central part of the continent, there is British
Honduras, near the isthmus, with 8,600 square miles, and, southwards, British Guiana, with 90,200 square miles, bounding with Venezuela and Brazil. And all this outside the empire of India with its million and a half square miles and its 240 million souls, the new united nation in Africa, and the growing commonwealths of Australasia coming to the forefront of the civilization of our age.
In 1850, when the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was made, these British continental and insular possessions in the Western Hemisphere had a population of nearly three million (3,000,000) souls. In 1901, when the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty was negotiated, the population of these regions had more than doubled, the number amounting at that time to seven millions and a half; and now, when the question of the canal tolls is under discussion, it has increased to ten millions (10,000,000). So much for the extent of her territory and the number of her subjects in the Western Hemisphere at these three periods.
The development of these territories and the increase in their population, who can foretell? Canada's external trade for 1911-1912 was of the value of $874,637,794, comprising $120,534,000 in exports to the United States and $368,145,107 in imports from the United States.
The population of the United States in 1850 was 23,191,876; in 1900, 75,994,575; in 1910, 91,972,266; at present (estimated), 96,000,000.
In 1850 the value of the external trade of Great Britain, as shown by her exports and imports for that year, amounted to 177,750,000 pounds sterling, or $888,750,000, the imports amounting to 95,250,000 pounds sterling, or $476,250,000, and the exports amounting to 82,500,000 pounds sterling, or $412,500,000. At that time the external trade of the United States amounted to $762,288,500, compared with Great Britain's total of $888,750,000.
In 1900, when the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty was under negotiation, the external trade of Great Britain had increased to 877,448,917 pounds sterling, or $4,387,244,585; and in 1911 it had reached the enormous and almost inconceivable value of 1,237,035,959 pounds sterling, or approximately $6,000,000,000.
The external trade of the United States for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1912, amounted to $3,857,587,343, somewhat short of four billions, or less by $2,000,000,000 than that of Great Britain.
Nearly all this mass of British merchandise was carried in British