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Colonel ERNST. Yes, sir.

Senator MORGAN. And you had a great many mechanics there, carpenters, and so on, for the purpose of putting up houses and repairing houses, etc.?

Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir.
Senator MORGAN. And the work went on rapidly?
Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir.
Senator MORGAN. And hurriedly. You- then added water to pro-
vide for those people?

Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir.
Senator MORGAN. And to provide a water supply for Panama?
Colonel ERNST. Yes, sir.
Senator MORGAN. And also for Colon?
Colonel ERNST. Yes, sir.

Senator MORGAN. Had the old commission made progress in furnishing a water supply for these places?

Colonel ERNST. Oh, yes, sir.

Senator MORGAN. They had pretty nearly completed it, had they not?

Colonel Ernst. They had the water turned on at Panama, which was the most important of all of the water supplies. They had brought their pipes down from the reservoir into the city and had laid, I think, 25 per cent of the pipes in the city and had turned the water on. There were public hydrants and some of the houses were supplied. But all the people could go out to the hydrants and get water at the time we went there.

Senator MORGAN. That water supply came from a distance of 6 or 7 miles ?

Colonel ERNST. Yes, sir.

Senator MORGAN. Out of the reservoir that the old Commission had constructed there in the hills?

Colonel ERNST. Yes, sir. Senator MORGAN. And they got the water chiefly, I suppose, out of the Rio Grande or its affluents?

Colonel ERNST. At the headwaters of the Rio Grande they formed the reservoir.

Senator MORGAN. Was the water usable and good?
Colonel Ernst. It seemed to be very good, indeed.
Senator MORGAN. Well, then, this first Commission had also put in
additional wharfage?

Colonel Ernst. Yes; but I do not think any of it was finished.
They had begun it.

Senator MORGAN. Had they made improvements upon the railroad?
Colonel ERNST. Yes; they had made some improvements.

Senator MORGAN. Had they extended any spur tracks into the diggings?

Colonel Ernst. I can not be sure about that. Have you our annual report here?

Senator MORGAN. I would not detain you to go over that, because it is, perbaps, not a very important item.

Colonel ERNST. They had made some improvements in the railroad. They will be found enumerated in our annual report.

Senator MORGAN. Down in the Bay of Panama, did they make any necessary improvements in order to facilitate commerce in connection with ships?

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Colonel Ernst. Well, they had a dredge at work there.
Senator Morgan. They had a dredge at work?

Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir; they had a dredge at work, and they had overhauled the repair shop there for making marine repairs.

Senator MORGAN. That was down at La Boca, at the mouth of the Rio Grande?

Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir.

Senator MORGAN. And they had overhauled and repaired other machine shops along on the line of the railroad and the canal, down clear to Colon?

Colonel ERNST. Yes, sir.

Senator MORGAN. Had they made repairs in Colon, and made any effort to clean up that place?

Colonel ERNST. Well, they had not done any engineering. They had begun on their water supply. Yes; they had cleaned all the American part.

Senator MORGAN. As to the condition of the engineering when you took over these French maps, was it at all satisfactory, in regard to projected work that the Commissioners had in view Were those maps satisfactory? Were they either reliable or sufficiently developed ?

Colonel Ernst. They were very reliable where the French had actually done work. The French are excellent engineers, and wherever these maps were the result of actual observation they were very reliable; but there was more or less sketching in some parts of those maps.

Senator MORGAN. Take the maps topographically, reaching out into the head waters of the Chagres and the other rivers, were those maps reliable?

Colonel Ernst. In many places they were not, because, as I say, they were not the result of actual observation, they were sketches.

Senator MORGAN. Was it not necessary to predicate your work in the canal upon a resurvey of the whole system from end to end?

Colonel ÉRNST. No, sir; I could not say that, Senator. The line of the canal was very thoroughly surveyed, and anything within easy reach of the canal, anything that would come anywhere near the canal prism itself. When we would come to overflowing large tracts of country by dams such as the Gamboa dam or any other dam, there you would get back into country that was not very well known, and there was where the trouble came in.

Senator MORGAN. As to the line of the canal: Take its axis through and through; had the French conducted borings along the entire line of that canal from Colon out to the Bay of Panama?

Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir.

Senator MORGAN. So as to get down to the actual condition of the substratum, as deep as sea level?

Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir; they had.
Senator MORGAN. Were those borings reliable?
Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir.

Senator MORGAN. Were they close enough together to give sufficient accuracy to the data?

Colonel Ernst. They were reasonably so. Of course, we have made a great many since; and the more borings you have the better. It is impossible to make enough borings to give anything more than

a general idea, anyway. Yes, I think you may say they were reasonably close together.

Senator MORGAN. Do you know whether the Joint Commission relied

upon the French borings at all, or whether they took the American borings as furnishing the proper data for determining what was below the surface?

Colonel Ernst. I do not know about that; but I presume they took the latest; I do not know how much attention they gave to that French profile.

Senator MORGAN. As a practical business matter, with your present knowledge of what those engineering reports and maps and contributions to literature, and so forth, were, would you give $2,000,000 for them?

Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir.
Senator MORGAN. You would?
Colonel Ernst. I would.

Senator MORGAN. And yet would not rely upon them after you got them?

Colonel Ernst. I would try to make some fair compensation for what they cost.

Senator MORGAN. I am not talking about that, but just as if you had no idea of compensation about it and were getting them at a fair price for what they were worth to the incoming Engineering Corps of the United States.

Colonel ERNST. I do not believe you could have gotten that information for $2,000,000, Senator.

Senator MORGAN. You do not think you could have gotten the information that the French had there for $2,000,000?

Colonel Ernst. No, sir; I do not believe you could have made all those surveys and constructed all those maps for $2,000,000, and of course you could not have gotten the history. The records would go back for twenty or thirty years. You could not get that at all at any price.

Senator MORGAN. Is there much use for that history?

Colonel Ernst. Yes, sir; that is what we rely on to determine what the action of the Chagres River will be in the future.

Senator MORGAN. That includes th measurements of the flow of water in the river?

Colonel Ernst. Yes; the flow of the water in the river is changing all the time, and is different in different years, and we have a fairly decent record of it now for about fifty years; only fair, though. If we had it a hundred years back we would be a good deal more sure of it.

Senator MORGAN. In that respect I suppose what the French wrote was a mere account of the operation of the water gauges

that they put in the Chagres River and watched! That is all?

Colonel Ernst. Their original observations, yes; and they collected all the information that they could collect, also.

Senator MORGAN. That was not any intricate engineering project or process?

Colonel ERNST. That is not costly except in the matter of time. It does not cost much to make those observations.

Senator MORGAN. Is there any point, or was there any point when you went to survey that Isthmus as a Commissioner and looked over

what had been done or remained to be done, in which you found that the former Commission had been deficient in industry, perseverance, knowledge, or fidelity?

Colonel Ernst. No, sir; none at all.
Senator MORGAN. None at all?
Colonel Ernst. No, sir.

Senator MORGAN. And you still do not know the reason why they were removed?

Colonel Ernst. No; I do not know of my own personal knowledge. I have seen everything that has been published in the newspapers.

Senator MORGAN. The newspapers are not always reliable upon such subjects, are they?

Colonel Ernst. No; I may say that I do not know.

Senator MORGAN. You may have formed some opinions, but you got them from newspaper accounts?

Colonel Ernst. Exactly.

Senator MORGAN. Practically-looking over the ground and survey; ing it with a view to continuing that work that had been commenced there—you found no deficiencies and no mistakes?

Colonel Ernst. Oh, I do not mean to say that I saw no mistakes, but no more than any man is liable to make. Any man is liable to make mistakes. I do not think there were any very grave mistakes except, possibly, one. No; I do not think that there were any grave mistakes.

Senator MORGAN. Have you in mind any mistake that you would call such without attributing to it any great gravity or weight?

Colonel ERNST. I have in mind a mistake which has had serious results, but I do not know but that it is a mistake that any man might have fallen into.

Senator MORGAN. I would like you to mention it.

Colonel Ernst. I think the conclusions drawn from the experimental work done in Culebra was a mistake tbat had bad results.

Senator MORGAN. What was that?

Colonel Ernst. That you could take that material out for 50 cents a yard.

Senator MORGAN. That was too cheap?
Colonel ERNST. Yes; I think so, decidedly.
Senator MORGAN. It was too cheap by a dollar, was it not?
Colonel ERNST. No, sir; by 30 cents, at least.

Senator MORGAN. The first commission estimated that you could take out that material through Culebra cut at 30 cents?

Colonel Ernst. No, sir; they estimated that you could take it out at 80 cents. You asked me what mistakes I noticed. The new Commission, or at least the engineering committee of the new Commission, thought they could take it out for 50 cents.

Senator MORGAN. That the others had priced it too high?
Colonel Ernst. Yes; they thought so.

Senator MORGAN. Mr. Wallace, who conducted that work, found that be sometimes had to pay $1.75 per cubic yard for it.

Colonel Ernst. Well, that developed afterwards. Mr. Wallace thought he could take it out for 50 cents. I think he testified that before this committee at the hearing. I think he is mistaken.

Senator Morgan. What is the unit of price that you would put upon the dry work to be done through from Gamboa to Miratlores?

Colonel ERNST. Well, for that material in there it is about 80 cents. Our estimates are 80 cents for soft rock in the dry, $1.15 for hard rock in the dry, and then we had another estimate of $4.75 for rock under water. I think they were not far out of the way.

Senator MORGAN. Are you prepared now to recommend those estimates as being such as the Government can act upon?

Colonel ERNST. I think you might reduce the rock-under-water estimate somewhat. That is the most uncertain item in the whole matter. I think those other figures are about rigbt. They are essentially what have been adopted by this Consulting Board.

Senator MORGAN. Was any of the spoil that was hauled out by the work done by the first Commission left where it has to be worked over a second time?

Colonel Ernst. I do not know of any such case at all.

Senator MORGAN. Do you think any mistake was made in selecting the dumps for the spoil?

Colonel Ernst. No, sir; I do not think so.

Senator MORGAN. So that the work done by them would bear scientific tests?

Colonel ERNST. I think so.

Senator MORGAN. I do not know that I have any further questions to ask.

Senator ANKENY. Colonel, have you any idea what area of land that dam in the lock system would overflow; that is, how much land it would destroy? In other words, how much damage this Government would be liable for in the event that lock system was completed?

Colonel ERNST. Yes; I have some idea. I think it is 105 square miles that that large lake overflows and some 8 square miles for that one. This is the principal one up here [indicating on the map). I think 58 square miles of that is now owned by the railroad or the eanal, and the remainder is either private property or owned by the Panama Government. A great deal of it is marsh. The marshes are shown on this other map perhaps better than they are on this one. There is a good deal of marsh down here [indicating). You have had some extraordinary evidence given before the committee about the value of this land.

Here is all this marsh that is overflowed now (indicating on map]. So is this. This is half overflowed [indicating). But of course there will be a good deal of land flowed. It is almost uninhabited, except right along the line of the railroad. There are a number of little villages on the line of the railroad, but I think nearly all of that property belongs to the railroad. The estimates that have been given you of $18,000,000-and one man said, I think, $25,000,000—seem to be preposterous.

Senator ANKENY. What would be your idea? You are familiar with the whole subject.

Colonel ERNST. I do not see why that estimate of the minority is not about right. They say $300,000. The Chief Engineer, Mr. Stevens, looked into that question, and independently reached that same figure without knowing at all how the other party reached it.

Senator ANKENY. How do you know what belongs to the railroad and what belongs to the citizens there? Colonel ERNST. Well, we have a land

map. Senator ANKENY. Certainly; but what titles?

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