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It is likewise understood that the provisions of the four articles aforesaid shall in no case occasion any obstacle to the measures which the Imperial Ottoman Government may think it necessary to take in order to insure by its own forces the defence of its other possessions situated on the eastern coast of the Red Sea.
The measures which shall be taken in the cases provided for by Articles 9 and 10 of the present treaty shall not interfere with the free use of the canal. In the same cases the erection of permanent fortifications contrary to the provisions of Article 8 is prohibited.
The high contracting parties, by application of the principle of equality as regards the free use of the canal, a principle which forms one of the bases of the present treaty, agree that none of them shall endeavor to obtain with respect to the canal territorial or commercial advantages or privileges in any international arrangements which may be concluded. Moreover the rights of Turkey as the territorial power are reserved. ARTICLE 13.
With the exception of the obligation expressly provided by the clauses of the present treaty, the sovereign rights of his Imperial Majesty the Sultan, and the rights and immunities of his Highness the Khedive, resulting from the Firmans, are in no way affected.
The high contracting parties agree that the engagements resulting from the present treaty shall not
be limited by the duration of the acts of concession of the Universal Suez Canal Company.
The stipulations of the present treaty shall not interfere with the sanitary measures in force in Egypt. ARTICLE 16.
The high contracting parties undertake to bring the present treaty to the knowledge of the States which have not signed it, inviting them to accede to it.
The present treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Constantinople within the space of one month, or sooner if possible. In faith of which the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present treaty and have affixed to it the seal of their
Done at Constantinople the 29th day of the month of October in the year 1888.
Signed by the representatives respectively of Great Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire.*
This treaty is given in both French and English in Senate Doc. Mis. 56 Cong. 1st sess. 1899, Vol. 10. Doc. 151; and in English in Senate Rep. 56 Cong. 2nd sess. 1900, Vol. 1, Doc. 1339; and in House Doc. 62 Cong. 2nd sess. 1912, Doc. 680; and in White's Expansion of Egypt pg. 339.
The tolls question has been tried by almost all known legal tests, excepting the one arising under the Constitution. This question could only be raised by American citizens, and not by a foreign power. What is this constitutional question?
The United States has built the canal at a large expenditure of public money. When the nation or a state builds a highway or a public utility or any other public improvement with public tax funds it cannot discriminate between its citizens, permitting some the free use thereof, and placing tolls and rates upon others. This would be opposed to the principles of the American constitutional system; opposed to a free republican government.
It is not the old question of regulating interstate traffic carried on by private industries; but it is a question of the government, with public funds of which it is trustee, itself, carrying on business, whether interstate or otherwise.
For instance, take the streets of Washington. The government could not deny one law-abiding private citizen the use thereof, while other citizens were allowed full liberty therein. The same rule would hold as to the public parks, the Congressional Library, and even as to the Capitol itself. Every public enterprise carried on at public expense must be public in fact and not in theory alone; it must be public in the sense of affording like treatment to all citizens.
A court is a public institution and all must find
justice therein at one uniform rate. All must find equal protection under the police laws of the country; equal protection from the army and navy; equal protection in his property rights and in liberty itself. There can be no discrimination in the use of the United States mail, except as to officials, and they are a part of the governmental institution. There is one fundamental principle that must pervade all proper national action, and that is that this is a government for all the people and not a government for a selected portion or class of citizens. Class distinctions seem to be running to excess under political encouragement and by the apparent approval of a large part of the citizens.
Class laws are passed and enforced which very able publicists believe to be out of harmony with the American system as ordained by the founders. Every one should realize that an act illegal at the hand of a single citizen would be equally illegal if done by any class of the people. A favor to a class should not be permitted, if denied to an individual or to another class of citizens. This is declared to be a land of freedom. How can this be if some are given liberty and others are bound under unjust restraint and discrimination? How can there be any clear and evident class distinctions under a constitution the offspring of 1776 and based on liberty and equality, and which were still more strongly guaranteed by the amendments gained by the great civil combat of 1861? There can be no assured liberty where class favoritism and distinctions are fostered and encouraged by the political opinion of the citizens.
This is not a government for John Doe and Richard Roe, but for all of the American people! The Pilgrim fathers before leaving the Mayflower signed a compact pledging their faith to establish a body politic
and thereby to enact “such just and equal laws” as shall be for the general good of the colony.
And in the famous Declaration of American Independence it is asserted that "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Jefferson's thoughts seemed to dwell on creating a nation whose very corner-stone was equality. The whole absorbing idea in the building of the great republic was that men should be equal, and governed by laws conferring equality of privilege, equality of opportunity and equality of rights in all the public benefits growing out of national exertions and operations. The colonists had lived under a different system and yearned for liberty and political equality.
The first words of our Constitution are: We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice * promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution. Can we suppose that the whole body of the people made a constitution to grant the privileges and benefits of government, in any instance, to only a part of the people?
The whole tenor of the Constitution with the amendments, is in favor of equality of rights and privileges.
We note the following provisions:
1. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the " common defense and genral welfare of the United States.''
2. To establish uniform rules of naturalization and uniform laws on bankruptcy.
3. No bills of attainder shall be passed.
4. No capitation or direct tax shall be laid only in proportion to the census or enumeration.
5. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another. 6. No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States.