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ilization, is a proposition which, in my judgment, does not admit of question." (President Cleveland, ann, message, Dec. 4, 1893, For. Rel.
1893, p. viii.) “The great interest expressed in the proposed construction of the interoceanic canal by citizens of the United States, under charter granted according to the laws of the United States, and the concern naturally felt for the security of the vast capital necessary for the accomplishment of such a work under effective guaranties of stability and order, should serve to advise the statesmen of Guatemala of the new and important enterprises thus inaugurated, and lead them to realize the magnitude of the concern which would necessarily be felt should any ill-counseled plans of domination or control cast a doubt upon the capacity of the independent Central American States to maintain orderly and local self-government, and observe relations of good-will toward each other." Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Hall, min. to Cent. Am., Feb. 27, 1888,
For. Rel. 1888, I. 131, referring to the disquietude felt in Nicaragua
gesting that an investigation be made of an alleged design or attempt
11. EXECUTIVE UTTERANCES, 1889–1894.
“The annual report of the Maritime ('anal Company of Nicaragua shows that much costly and necessary preparatory work has been done during the year in the construction of shops, railroad tracks, and harbor piers and breakwaters, and that the work of canal construction has made some progress.
“I deem it to be a matter of the highest concern to the United States that this canal, connecting the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and giving to us a short water communication between our ports upon those two great seas, should be speedily constructed and at the smallest practicable limit of cost. The gain in freights to the people and the direct saving to the Government of the United States in the use of its naval vessels would pay the entire cost of this work within a short series of years. The report of the Secretary of the Navy shows the saving in our naval expenditures which would result.
“The Senator from Alabama (Mr. Morgan), in his argument upon this subject before the Senate at the last session, did not overestimate the importance of this work when he said that 'the canal is the most important subject now connected with the commercial growth and progress of the United States.'
“If this work is to be promoted by the usual financial methods and without the aid of this Government, the expenditures, in its interestbearing securities and stocks, will probably be twice the actual cost. This will necessitate higher tolls and constitute a heavy and altogether needless burden upon our commerce and that of the world. Every dollar of the bonds and stock of the company should represent a dollar expended in the legitimate and economical prosecution of the work. This is only possible by giving to the bonds the guaranty of the United States Government. Such a guaranty would secure the ready sale at par of a 3 per cent bond, from time to time, as the money was needed. I do not doubt that, built upon these business methods, the canal would, when fully inaugurated, earn its fixed charges and operating expenses.
But if its bonds are to be marketed at heavy discounts and every bond sold is to be accompanied by a gift of stock, as has come to be expected by investors in such enterprises, the traffic will be seriously burdened to pay interest and dividends. I am quite willing to recommend Government promotion in the prosecution of a work which, if no other means offered for securing its completion, is of such transcendent interest that the Government should, in my opinion, secure it by direct appropriations from its Treasury.
“A guaranty of the bonds of the Canal Company to an amount necessary to the completion of the canal could, I think, be so given as not to involve any serious risk of ultimate loss. The things to be carefully guarded are the completion of the work within the limits of the guaranty, the subrogation of the United States to the rights of the first-mortgage bondholders for any amounts it may have to pay, and in the meantime a control of the stock of the company as a security against mismanagement and loss. I most sincerely hope that neither party nor sectional lines will be drawn upon this great American project, so full of interest to the people of all our States and so influential in its effects upon the prestige and prosperity of our common country."
President Harrison, annual message, Dec. 9, 1891. (For. Rel. 1891, p. xiii.) “I repeat with great earnestness the recommendation which I have made
in several previous messages that prompt and adequate support be given to the American company engaged in the construction of the Nicaragua Ship Canal. It is impossible to overstate the value from every standpoint of this great enterprise, and I hope that there may be time, even in this Congress, to give to it an impetus that will insure the early completion of the canal and secure to the United States its proper relation to it, when completed." (President Harrison, annual message, Dec. 6, 1892,
For. Rel. 1892, p. xvi.) “ In pursuance of the charter granted by Congress, and under the terms of complications for a time seemed imminent, in view of a supposed conflict of jurisdiction between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in regard to the accessory privileges to be conceded by the latter Republic toward the construction of works on the San Juan River, of which the right bank is Costa Rican territory. I am happy to learn that a friendly arrangement has been effected between the two nations. This Government has held itself ready to promote in every proper way the adjustment of all questions that might present obstacles to the completion of a work of such transcendent importance to the commerce of this country, and indeed to the commercial interests of the world.” (President Harrison, annual message, Dec. 3, 1889, For. Rel. 1889, p.
its contract with the Government of Nicaragua, the Interoceanic Canal Company has begun the construction of the important water-way between the two oceans which its organization contemplates. Grave
vii.) See report of Mr. Sherman, Committee on For. Rel., Jan. 10, 1891, in which
the ground is taken that the Clayton-Bulwer treaty is obsolete, S. Rep.
1944, 51 Cong. 2 sess. See, also, Rep. 1142, 52 Cong. 2 sess. See report of Mr. Morgan, Com, on Interoceanic Canals, June 4, 1900, on the
Clayton-Bulwer treaty, S. Rep. 1649, 56 Cong. 1 sess. “I can add little to what has been so ably and earnestly said on many occasions heretofore touching the deep conviction felt by this Government that the completion of the interoceanic canal under distinctively American auspices and in the interest of the independent states of this hemisphere and of the world's commerce is a necessity, the importance of which is shown to grow more vital with each passing year. In the President's judgment, the speedy realization of the work is one of the highest aims toward which the two Governments can move in friendly accord, and no effort will be wanting on our part to bring about so desirable a result, with due regard to all the vast interests involved therein."
Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. Guzman, Nicaraguan min., May 1, 1894,
For. Rel. 1894, 461.
notice of forfeiture of the concession of the Maritime Canal Company
12. MR. OLNEY'S MEMORANDUM, 1896.
“The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty had its origin in an earnest desire on the part of the Government and people of this country to shorten the transit and to facilitate the communications between our then newly acquired possessions on the Pacific coast and the rest of the United States. California was acquired in 1848, and the opening of its gold fields and the rush of population thither followed almost immediately. In 1849, the United States, by treaty with Nicaragua, secured concessions in favor of an American company organized for the construction of a canal between the two oceans via the lakes of Nicaragua and the River San Juan. Two obstacles, however, stood in the way of this company's successful prosecution of the work. One was the rights asserted by Great Britain over the Mosquito Coast. The other was the inability to procure the necessary capital in this country, or to procure it in England or elsewhere abroad, so long as the enterprise was conducted under purely American auspices. To remove the first of these difficulties, in 1819, Mr. Clayton, the then Secretary of State, applied to the British Government, through its minister at Washington, for the withdrawal of the British pretensions to dominion over the Mosquito Coast. The answer was a refusal coupled with an intimation that Great Britain was willing to enter into a treaty for a joint protectorate over the proposed canal. It being supposed, undoubtedly, that if the canal were built under British protection the only remaining obstacle to its construction, namely, want of sufficient capital, would also disappear, negotiations were set on foot between the two Governments on the basis of the British proposal. They progressed with great rapidity and with the result that in June, 1850, the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was signed.
“The treaty is characterized by certain remarkable features. It contains numerous and apt provisions for the protection, safety, and neutralization of the proposed ship canal; but it deals not merely with the particular subject-matter which, in the view of the United States, led to its negotiation. It also deals with others of larger magnitude, contemplates alliances with other powers, and lays down general principles for the future guidance of the parties. The United States, in entering upon the negotiation, aimed to accomplish two specific things—the renunciation by Great Britain of its claim to the Mosquito Coast and such a protectorate over the canal by Great Britain jointly with the United States as might be expected to attract to the canal British capital. As the result of the negotiations, it secured not only the two things specified, but also a third, viz, Great Britain's express agreement, so far as Central America was concerned, to give effect to the so-called Monroe doctrine. For these advantages it rendered, of course, a consideration. It waived the Monroe doctrine to the extent of the joint protectorate of the then proposed canal and by Article VIII. agreed to waive it as respects all other practicable communications across the Isthmus connecting North and South America, whether by canal or railway. In short, the true operation and effect of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty is that, as respects Contral America generally, Great Britain has expressly bound herself to the Monroe doetrine, while, as respects all water and land interoceanic communications across the Isthmus, the United States has expressly bound itself to so far waive the Monroe doctrine as to admit Great Britain to a joint protectorate.
“Assunning the effect of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty to be as above stated, the further inquiry is whether the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty is to be regarded as now in force, in whole or in part. This resolves itself into the question, whether the United States is now at liberty to regard the treaty as a nullity. Great Britain's position in the matter has never been doubtful, and has always been the same. She has always insisted, and still insists, upon the treaty being in full life and force. There was a period of ten years, indeed, from 1850 to 1860, when she undoubtedly did not fully comply with the provisions of the treaty. The complaints of this country were as loud as they were just, and might well have been made the ground for an annulment of the treaty altogether. Great Britain undertook to meet the complaints by suggesting modifications of the treaty or an arbitration as to the meaning of its terms, and, these expedients failing, even intimated a readiness to entertain a proposal for its complete abrogation. The proposal was declined by General Cass because, as Mr. Blaine conjectures, he was unwilling to give the implied consent of this country that Great Britain should be at liberty to negotiate treaties with the Central American states unhampered by the provisions of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. Modification, arbitration, and abrogation * * having been flatly rejected '—such was the language of Lord Malmesbury-Great Britain next undertook to put herself in a position in which she could no longer be charged with violating the treaty, by making separate treaties with the Central American states. Accordingly, in 1859 and 1860, she concluded treaties with Nicaragua and Honduras, substantially according with the general tenor of the American interpretation of the treaty. The result was hailed with great satisfaction in this country. The language of President Buchanan, in his annual message, December, 1860, is as follows: [Here follows the passage from President Buchanan's Fourth Annual Message, given supra, p 182.]
"This announcement of President Buchanan was received by Congress without a symptom of dissent, and since that time every Administration, and, with a single exception, every Secretary of State, has dealt with the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty as a subsisting and binding instrument. In 1866, Mr. Seward, writing to our Minister at St. James, queries whether, as the renunciatory clauses of the treaty relate to a proposed canal, they will operate forever if no canal should ever be begun. While thinking they would not still, the question being an open one, he declared that neither party could fairly do anything contrary to the spirit of the treaty, and he therefore instructed the American minister to quietly ascertain the disposition of the British Government to favor our acquiring coaling stations in Central America, notwithstanding the treaty. In 1872, Mr. Fish instructed our minister to England, if certain statements should prove to be correct, to formally remonstrate against certain trespasses upon the territory of Guatemala as being an infringement of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. In 1880, the then Secretary of State, Mr. Evarts, took the same ground, in view of a rumored alienation of the Bay Islands to Great Britain. Ilis successor, Mr. Blaine, declared