Page images

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.

ARTICLE XXII. 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.

ARTICLE XXIII. 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 Government, 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.



And whereas the said Convention has been duly ratified on both parts, and the ratifications of the two governments were exchanged in the City of Washington, on the twenty-sixth day of February, one thousand nine hundred and four;

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, have caused the said Convention to be made public, to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof, may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this twenty-sixth day of Febru

ary, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred [SEAL] and four, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-eighth.


John Hay

Secretary of State.



Washington, D. C., February 18, 1904. His Excellency John Hay,

Secretary of State, etc., Washington, D. C. SIR: I have the honor of acknowledging the receipt of your communication, No. 23, of January 30th, 1904, in which you express to me certain observations about the translation of the treaty of November 18th, 1903, contained in the decree ratifying the Treaty.

I accept in the name of the Government of the Republic what you propose in said letter, which reads as follows:

“Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 9th instant, transmitting a copy of the decree ratifying the treaty of November 18, 1903, and containing its text in the Spanish language.

"In reply to your request to be notified 'in case the translation is in every respect satisfactory,' I have the honor to invite your attention to a few omissions, as follows:

“1. In Article VIII, line 4, of page 6 of the translation, the words 'á la República de Panamá,' after 'traspaso de soberanía de la República de Colombia,' should be added.

"2. In the same article, last line of the article, the word '6' should be inserted between 'puertos' and 'terminales.'

"3. In Article IX, last line but two in the second paragraph of the article on page 7, the words 'cargar, descargar, almacenar y,' omitted from the English text should come before the words 'trasbordar cargas.'

“4. In Article XXII, page 11, line 2 of the last paragraph, the words ‘present or' in the English text have been omitted, and should be represented by the words ‘ó actuales' placed in the Spanish text after the words derechos de reversión.'

"In regard to the exact equivalence of words in both languages, I have to indicate the following changes which appear to be necessary:

1. In Article VII, line 2 of page 5, the word 'puertos' should be used instead of 'bahías' for the English word 'harbors.'

2. In Article IX, line 4 of the article, page 6 of the copy submitted by you, the words 'custom-house tolls' have been rendered into 'derechos de aduana,' which are understood to mean duties collected on merchandise entered for actual consumption in the country. It is believed that the word 'peajes' would be preferable.


“3. In Article XIII, line 2 of page 8, the English word 'lands' has been translated 'obras,' for which ‘terrenos' should obviously be substituted.

“There are a number of other words the accurate meaning of which may give rise to a difference of interpretation, but inasmuch as there could be no other difficulty in connection with the said words, and in view of the fact that the Spanish text has already been formally approved by your Government, the necessity of making further changes therein will be obviated by your official statement that the English text shall prevail in any case of such difference of interpretation.

"Accept, Mr. Minister, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.


Acting Secretary.

I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,




La junta de gobierno provisional de la República de Panamá,

Por cuanto se ha celebrado entre el Enviado Extraordinario y Ministro Plenipotenciario de la República acreditado ante el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos de América, y el Señor Secretario de Estado de aquella Nación un tratado que copiado á la letra dice así:

CONVENCIÓN DE CANAL A TRAVÉS DEL ISTMO. Los Estados Unidos de América y la República de Panamá, deseosos de asegurar la construcción de un Canal para naves a través del Istmo de Panamá para comunicar los oceanos Atlántico y Pacífico y habiendo expedido el Congreso de los Estados Unidos de América una ley aprobada el 28 de Junio de 1902 en prosecución de aquel objeto por la cual se autoriza al Presidente de los Estados Unidos para adquirir de la República de Colombia dentro de un plazo razonable el control del territorio necesario y perteneciendo actualmente la soberanía de ese territorio á la República de Panamá, las altas partes contratantes han resuelto con ese propósito concluir una convención y han designado de conformidad como sus Plenipotenciarios,

El Presidente de los Estados Unidos de América á John Hay, Secretario de Estado, y

« PreviousContinue »