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U.S. Congress. Senate.
UNITED STATES SENATE
IN THE MATTER OF THE SENATE RESOLUTION
ADOPTED JANUARY 9, 1906,
AN INVESTIGATION OF MATTERS RELATING
TO THE PANAMA CANAL, ETC.
HEARINGS BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE ON INTEROCEANIC
CANALS ON SENATE RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF MATTERS RELATING TO THE PANAMA CANAL, ETC.
WASHINGTON, D. C., Thursday, January 11, 1906. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m.
Present: Senators Millard (chairman), Kittredge, Dryden, Hopkins, Knox, Ankeny, Morgan, Gorman, and Simmons.
Also the Hon. William H. Taft, Secretary of War.
The committee thereupon proceeded with hearings under the following resolution of the Senate, adopted January 9, 1906:
Resolved, That the Committee on Interoceanic Canals, or any subcommittee thereof, be, and are hereby, authorized and directed to investigate all matters relating to the Panama Canal and the government of the Canal Zone and the management of the Panama Railroad Company, to send for persons and papers, and to administer oaths, and employ a stenographer to report such hearings; and that the committee be authorized to sit during the sessions or recess of the Senate, and that all expenses thereof be paid out of the contingent fund of the Senate.
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM H. TAFT, SECRE
TARY OF WAR.
The CHAIRMAN (Senator MILLARD). Gentlemen, we have asked the Secretary to come here this morning to explain to us the situation up to the present time. He is present now, and I presume we are ready to have him proceed with his statement. I think that if the Secretary will state the case himself, in his own way, it will be more satisfactory, to start with at least, than anything that we might suggest.
Secretary TAFT. Mr. Chairman, I of course do not like to break into the order that the committee selects in this investigation. We are very anxious to have it just as thorough as possible, and to afford to the committee every possible opportunity for investigation. But I am sure the committee would wish to make its investigation square with the needs of the public service on the Isthmus. Mr. Stevens, the chief engineer, is now in the city. He is here primarily for the purpose of advising the Isthmian Canal Commission upon the issues which will be presented to them by the two reports-the majority report and the minority report-of the Consulting Board. I received this morning a cablegram from General Davis, the chairman, who went abroad to complete and have signed the majority report, saying that it will be mailed to-day, and will reach here in due course of mail.
I presume that when that report reaches bere the minority report will also be filed, and that then Mr. Stevens will have before him the material upon which to make his recommendations. He has himself