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Reports of Rear-Admiral G. H. Cooper and Lieut. R. P. Rodgers, U. S. N.,
respecting progress of work on the ship-canal across the Isthmus of Panama, with plates and maps, Mar. 12, 1884, S. Ex. Doc. 123, 48 Cong. 1
Report on the San Blas route, S. Report 774, 57 Cong. 1 sess.
By the act of June 28, 1902, Congress authorized the President to
acquire the rights of the New Panama Canal Company The route by Pan
and to enter into a treaty with Colombia for the build
ing of the canal across the Isthmus of Panama; and it also authorized him, in the event of failure to secure such a treaty after the lapse of a reasonable time, to enter into negotiations for the conclusion of a treaty for the construction of a canal by the way of Nicaragua
The conclusion of a treaty with Colombia and the subsequent revolution on the Isthmus of Panama, after the failure of the Colombian Congress to ratify the treaty, have been detailed in § 314, supra.
November 18, 1903, a convention was signed at Washington with the Republic of Panama. This convention was duly ratified and the ratifications were exchanged at Washington, February 26, 1904. By this agreement the United States guarantees the independence of the Republic of Panama, while the latter grants to the United States in perpetuity for the construction, operation, and protection of the canal, a zone 10 miles wide, extending the distance of 5 miles on either side of the middle line of the route of the proposed canal. This zone begins in the Caribbean Sea 3 marine miles from mean lowwater mark, and extends across the Isthmus of Panama into the Pacific Ocean to a distance of 3 marine miles from mean low-water mark; but the cities of Panama and Colon and the adjacent harbors are not included in the grant. Within this zone, and also within the limits of all auxiliary lands and waters which may be necessary and convenient for the construction, operation, and protection of the canal or of any auxiliary works, the Republic of Panama grants to the United States all the rights, power, and authority which the latter would possess and exercise if it were the sovereign of the territory, "to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any such sovereign rights, power or authority.”
By an order of June 24, 1904, the President of the United States declared the canal zone of the Isthmus of Panama to be open to the commerce of friendly nations, and established Ancon and Crystobal as ports of entry therein.
For. Rel. 1904, 8, 543, 585.
As to the transfer of the property of the New Panama Canal Company to
the United States, see For. Rel. 1904, 224, 302.
Political Science Quarterly, June, 1903, p. 179.
de Panama, cartas y documentos. Bogotá, 1904.
V. SUEZ CANAL.
November 30, 1854, the Viceroy of Egypt granted to M. Ferdinand de Lesseps a concession for cutting through the Isthmus of Suez a canal fit for ocean navigation. By Article I. of the concession M. de Lesseps undertook to form a company for that purpose, under the name of the Universal Company of the Suez Maritime Canal. By Article VI. it was provided that the rates of passage should be agreed on between the company and the Viceroy of Egypt and collected by the agents of the company, that they should “be always the same for all nations," and that “no special advantage" should ever be given “to the exclusive profit of any of them.”a
By Article XIV. of another concession of January 5, 1856, the Viceroy of Egypt solemnly declared, subject to the ratification of the Sultan of Turkey, that the grand maritime canal from Suez to Péluse, and the ports dependent on it, should always be open as neutral passages to every merchant ship passing from one sea to the other, without any distinction, exclusion, or preference of persons or of nationalities, on condition of paying the tolls and complying with the regulations established by the Universal Company for the use of the canal and its dependencies. As a consequence of this principle it was further declared (Art. XV.) that the Universal Company should not in any case give to any ship, company, or private person any advantage or favor which should not be accorded to all other ships, companies, or private persons on the same conditions."
By the by-laws of the Universal Company, adopted at Alexandria, January 5, 1856, the capital was fixed at 200,000,000 francs, represented by 400,000 shares of the value of 500 francs each.
By a convention of August 6, 1860, between the Egyptian Government and the company, 177,642 shares were assigned to the Viceroy. It is stated that 207,111 shares were taken in France, and a few in Austria and the Netherlands. In 1875, the British Government bought from the Khedive of Egypt 176,602 shares, which were all that then remained in his possession, paying therefor 4,000,0001. sterling, less the proportionate value of the 1,040 shares, the difference between 177,642 and 176,602.0
055 Brit. & For. State Pap. 970, 971.
(55 Brit. & For. State Pap. 982.
By Article I. of the convention of January 30, 1866, between the Egyptian Government and the company, it was agreed that the Egyptian Government should occupy, within the perimeter of the lands reserved as dependencies of the maritime canal, any strategic position or point which it should deem necessary to the defence of the country, such occupation not to be made an obstacle to navigation. This provision is repeated in Article X. of the convention between Egypt and the company, signed at Cairo, February 22, 1866. By Article XVII. of the same convention all prior acts, concessions, conventions, and statutes not inconsistent therewith were continued in force.
The Sultan of Turkey, by a firman of March 19, 1866, confirmed the convention of February 22, 1866.
In 1885 representatives of the Great Powers, who had met in London to consider the financial condition of Egypt, adopted a declaration in which it was stated that their governments had agreed to appoint a commission of delegates to meet at Paris, March 30, 1885, for the pur. pose of drawing up a convention guaranteeing at all times and for all powers the freedom of the Suez Canal. The commission met, but separated June 13 without coming to any conclusion. October 21, 1887, Lord Salisbury instructed the British embassy at Paris to lay before the French Government proposals for a convention following in the main the draft which was under discussion in 1885 and presenting on certain points alternative suggestions. Lord Salisbury remarked, however, that no instrument to which Great Britain and France might set their signatures could have any practical value till it had received the “assent of the suzerain and of the other powers concerned." He also stated that it was his duty to renew the words of a reservation made without opposition on any side by Sir Julian Pauncefote at the close of the sittings of the commission of 1885, as follows: “The British delegates, in presenting this draft of a treaty as the definitive regulation intended to guarantee the free use of the Suez Canal, think it their duty to formulate a general reservation as to the application of these provisions, in so far as they may not be compatible with the transitory and exceptional condition of things actually existing in Egypt and may limit the freedom of action of their Government during the period of the occupation of Egypt. by the forces of Her Britannic Majesty.”
A draft of a convention was signed by representatives of France and Great Britain at Paris, October 24, 1887, subject to the concurrence of the other powers represented on the commission at Paris in 1885. This draft was communicated to those powers by the French Government. At the same time Lord Salisbury sent out for communication to the powers two circulars, one of which enclosed a copy
a 56 Brit. & For. State Pap. 274. b 56 Brit. & For. State Pap. 277. € 56 Brit. & For. State Pap. 293.
d Holland, Studies in Int. Law, 287.
Blue Book, Egypt, No. 1 (1888), 35, 36. | Blue Book, Egypt, No. 1 (1888), 45.
of his instructions to the British embassy at Paris of October 21, 1887, containing the reservation made by Sir Julian Pauncefote in 1885.a The draft having received the approval of the powers, it was formally signed at Constantinople, October 29, 1888, the signatory powers being Great Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, and Turkey. The ratifications were deposited at Constantinople, October 22, 1888. This convention, after reciting the wish of the powers to establish “a definite system destined to guarantee at all times, and for all the Powers, the free use of the Suez Maritime Canal, and thus to complete the system under which the navigation of this Canal has been placed by the Firman of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, dated the 22nd February, 1866 (2 Zilkadé, 1282), and sanctioning the Concessions of His Highness the Khedive," provides as follows:
Article I. The Suez Maritime Canal shall always be free and open, in time of war as in time of peace, to every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag.
Consequently, the High Contracting Parties agree not in any way to interfere with the free use of the Canal, in time of war as in time of peace.
The Canal shall never be subjected to the exercise of the right of blockade.
Article II. The High Contracting Parties, recognizing that the Fresh-Water Canal is indispensable to the Maritime Canal, take note of the engagements of His Highness the Khedive towards the Universal Suez Canal Company as regards the Fresh-Water Canal; which engagements are stipulated in a Convention bearing date the 18th March, 1863, containing an exposé and four Articles.
They undertake not to interfere in any way with the security of that Canal and its branches, the working of which shall not be exposed to any attempt at obstruction.
Article III. The High Contracting Parties likewise undertake to respect the plant, establishments, buildings, and works of the Maritime Canal and of the Fresh-Water Canal.
Article IV. The Maritime Canal remaining open in time of war as a free passage, even to the ships of war of belligerents, according to the terms of Article I. of the present Treaty, the High Contracting Parties agree that no right of war, no act of hostility, nor any act having for its object to obstruct the free navigation of the Canal, shall be committed in the Canal and its ports of access, as well as within a radius of 3 marine miles from those ports, even though the Ottoman Empire should be one of the belligerent Powers.
Vessels of war of belligerents shall not revictual or take in stores in the Canal and its ports of access, except in so far as may be strictly necessary. The transit of the aforesaid vessels through the Canal shall be effected with the least possible delay, in accordance with the Regulations in force, and without any other intermission than that resulting from the necessities of the service.
Their stay at Port Saïd and in the roadstead of Suez shall not exceed twentyfour hours, except in case of distress. In such case they shall be bound to leave as soon as possible. An interval of twenty-four hours shall always elapse between the sailing of a belligerent ship from one of the ports of access and the departure of a ship belonging to the hostile Power.
Article V. In time of war belligerent Powers shall not disembark nor embark within the Canal and its ports of access either troops, munitions, or materials of
a Blue Book, Egypt, No. 1 (1888), 48, Doc. No. 53.
war. But in case of an accidental hindrance in the Canal, men may be embarked or disembarked at the ports of access by detachments not exceeding 1,000 men, with a corresponding amount of war material.
Article VI. Prizes shall be subjected, in all respects, to the same rules as the vessels of war of belligerents.
Article VII. The Powers shall not keep any vessel of war in the waters of the Canal (including Lake Timsah and the Bitter Lakes).
Nevertheless, they may station vessels of war in the ports of access of Port Saïd and Suez, the number of which shall not exceed two for each Power.
This right shall not be exercised by belligerents.
Article VIII. The Agents in Egypt of the Signatory Powers of the present Treaty shall be charged to watch over its execution. In case of any event threatening the security or the free passage of the Canal, they shall meet on the summons of three of their number under the presidency of their Doyen, in order to proceed to the necessary verifications. They shall inform the Khedivial Government of the danger which they may have perceived, in order that the Government may take proper steps to insure the protection and the free use of the Canal. Under any circumstances, they shall meet once a year to take note of the due execution of the Treaty.
The last-mentioned meetings shall take place under the presidency of a Special Commissioner nominated for that purpose by the Imperial Ottoman Government. A Commissioner of the Khedive may also take part in the meeting, and may preside over it in case of the absence of the Ottoman Commissioner.
They shall especially demand the suppression of any work or the dispersion of any assemblage on either bank of the Canal, the object or effect of which might be to interfere with the liberty and the entire security of the navigation.
Article IX. The Egyptian Government shall, within the limits of its powers resulting from the Firmans, and under the conditions provided for in the present Treaty, take the necessary measures for insuring the execution of the said Treaty.
In case the Egyptian Government should not have sufficient means at its disposal, it shall call upon the Imperial Ottoman Government, which shall take tho necessary measures to respond to such appeal; shall give notice thereof to the Signatory Powers of the Declaration of London of the 17th March, 1885; and shall, if necessary, concert with them on the subject.
The provisions of Articles IV., V., VII., and VIII. shall not interfere with the measures which shall be taken in virtue of the present Article.
Article X. Similarly, the provisions of Articles IV., V., VII., and VIII. shall not interfere with the measures which His Majesty the Sultan and His Highness the Khedive, in the name of His Imperial Majesty, and within the limits of the Firmans granted, might find it necessary to take for securing by their own forces the defence of Egypt and the maintenance of public order.
In case His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, or His Highness the Khedive, should find it necessary to avail themselves of the exceptions for which this Article provides, the Signatory Powers of the Declaration of London shall be notified thereof by the Imperial Ottoman Government.
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.
Article XI. The measures which shall be taken in the cases provided for by Articles IX. and X. 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 VIII. is prohibited.