Mr. Barrett to Mr. Hay

No. 71 B.]

Sir: I have the honor to report as follows in regard to the visit of the Secretary of War and his party.

* * * * * * *

It gives me great pleasure to state that the mission of the Secretary of War to Panama has been successful. The results he has obtained all seem to be for the best interests alike of Panama and the United States. Inclosed are copies, respectively, of the address delivered by Secretary Taft to the President upon his arrival here, of the addresses of himself and others delivered at the Government banquet last Thursday night, December 1, and of the agreement reached by him with the Panama officials and promulgated in the form of an order. Last night the Secretary of War made another address before a great crowd of people gathered in the public plaza, which created a profound and favorable impression, but I have not been able to obtain a copy of it for this report. At the second official dinner given by me at this legation on Saturday night he made an informal address that was characterized with words of deep sympathy and cordiality for the welfare of this Republic, and which was answered in a similar vein toward the United States by Vice-President Pablo Arosemena and other prominent Panama statesmen.

* * * * * * *

The Secretary of War and Mrs. Taft have made themselves most popular with everybody in Panama by their kindness and cordiality toward every one they have met, and by their hearty participation in all festivities and social events arranged in their honor.

The method of procedure followed by the Secretary in conducting the negotiations has been to lay each day before the Panama officials the proposed order to be issued by him, which in turn the Panama officials would consider and return to him; he would then lay it before Admiral Walker, General Davis, Judge Magoon, and myself in conference and return it with further amendments, suggestions, or approval of the Panama amendments. Mr. Nelson W. Cromwell, assisted by Mr. Farnham, has acted as an Intermediary between the two Governments, and as an adviser of Panama. Mr. Cromwell’s work in this respect seems to have been of great assistance in bringing about a mutually satisfactory adjustment.

The legation has done everything in its power to make the visit of the Secretary a success in all respects, and, both by arrangements before he arrived and by close attention to the necessities of the situation during his stay, has been able to carry through the programme with hardly a change and with no serious delays or hindrances. The Secretary of War has been good enough especially to compliment the legation on what it has done to facilitate his labors.

* * * * * * *

I have, etc.,

John Barrett.
[Page 632]
[Inclosure 1.]

Remarks of Secretary Taft to President Amador, Sunday, November 27, 1904.

Mr. President: It gives me great pleasure to carry to you the greeting of the President of the United States; to congratulate you and the Republic of Panama on such an auspicious beginning of a long and prosperous life; to congratulate you on the fact that this life is to be a peaceable life; to be a life of a Government which shall know no changes, except those according to the rules of law and the constitution which you have adopted; to assure you that in securing the continuance of this life of ordered law and liberty the Government of the United States will render every needed assistance under your constitution and the treaty between the Governments; to say to you that the Government of the United States has no intention in being in this Isthmus to do other than to build a canal which shall connect the two oceans and thus bring great benefit, not only to your country, but to the United States and mankind. It has no desire to exercise any power except that which it deems necessary under the treaty to insure the building, maintenance, and protection of the canal. I hope in the next two or three days to confer with you upon these matters, with respect to which there has arisen some discussion, and hope to reach such a solution as will be honorable and useful both to the Republic of Panama and to the Republic of the United States. I have great honor, Mr. President, in conveying to you the personal greetings of the President of the United States, and his good will, both to yourself and Mrs. Amador, and to the people of the Republic of Panama.

[Inclosure 2.]

Grand banquet given by Government—Secretary Taft the honored guest of the Republic—Distinguished Americans and prominent Panamans at festal board.

The Republic of Panama extended its official hospitality to the Hon. William H. Taft, Secretary of War of the United States, at a banquet given by President Amador and his cabinet to the distinguished visitor at the Hotel Central, Thursday evening, December 1.

Never before in the history of the Republic has there been an affair of the kind of such imposing character as the repast given to Secretary Taft. The large dining hall of the hotel was transformed by tastefully-hung flags of the Republic of Panama and of the United States, which at regular intervals were supplemented by decorations of palms and festoons of native flowers. The three long tables, as well as the table for the guests of honor, were resplendent with beautiful flowers, cut glass, and ornamental candelabra. The Messrs. Ehrman and the committee in charge well deserve the praise which the appearance of the banquet hall elicited from all present.

The Republican band and a local stringed orchestra, which were stationed in an adjoining room, furnished the music during the dinner.

Besides Secretary Taft, there were present as distinguished guests of the occasion Mgr. J. Junjuito, the bishop of Panama; Hon. William Nelson Cromwell, who is general counsel for the Republic of Panama; Rear-Admiral John Walker, chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission; Judge Magoon, counsel for the canal commission: Minister Barrett; Chief Engineer Wallace; the secretary of state of the Republic of Panama, Don Santiago de la Guardia; Dr. Pablo Arosemena, Vice-President of the Republic; the French minister, and other members of the diplomatic and consular corps.

At the other tables were seated about 150 guests, comprising the leading men in the commercial and financial life of Panama.

It is principally to these gentlemen, in whose hands rest nearly all the business interests of the Republic, that the visit of Secretary Taft is of the utmost importance, for it is upon the result of his action with respect to the questions which he came to Panama to settle that their prosperity and commercial success depend.

They knew that ever since his arrival the honorable Secretary of War had been conferring with the President of the Republic and his advisors, Messrs. Cromwell and Ricardo Arias and Ministers Guardia and Obaldía, and it was [Page 633] expected that at the banquet Secretary Taft would be able to give the anxiously looked for assurance that the troubles which existed to the detriment of the business prosperity of the Republic had been cleared away.

After a most excellent menu had been disposed of, and coffee and cigars served, Secretary of State Santiago de la Guardia arose and made the speech of welcome. He spoke in Spanish, slowly and impressively, welcoming the distinguished guest of the Republic. He said:

Mr. Secretaty: In dedicating this banquet to your excellency, on behalf of the Panaman people and the Chief Magistrate of the nation, permit me, your excellency, to begin by publicly manifesting the joy that we have all experienced at the great honor with which we have been favored by his excellency, President Roosevelt, in designating such persona grata as your excellency, and who at present holds the elevated position of Secretary of War of the United States of America, to pay us this visit. This selection, so significant and so transcendental, which from the outset has been of happy augury for our fatherland your excellency, on your part, had the refined perception to embellish with the companionship of that noble dame with whom you share your illustrious name; and this pleasing circumstance enlivened the hopes which we cherished that yonder gigantic and portentious people, presided over by the great Roosevelt, and with the cooperation of men of such eminence, among which figure one Hay and one Taft, which is astonishing the universe, never would have sacrificed the interests of a people diminutive in numbers and in volume, but also great for its generous aspirations and the benevolent spirit with which it views the universal welfare of which it is to be the theater.

“The Government of Panama, sir, has always had faith in that of your excellency and in the American people, side by side with whose interest ours can and should continue parallel but never opposed.

“The events which very soon will be known to the world will confirm my assertion; and of your excellency’s visit to this country I am confident that only the most agreeable and imperishable recollections will remain.

“I offer this toast, gentlemen, for the American people, for President Roosevelt, who at present is as its symbol, as has just been demonstrated by the immense majority of his fellow citizens: for the eminent statesman, Mr. Hay, and with great pleasure and particularly for the person of Mr. Taft and his distinguished spouse.”

When Secretary Taft arose to reply he was warmly applauded. His first words with respect to the treatment of Panama brought forth a storm of cheers and applause.

Secretary Taft said:

Mr. Minister, Mr. President, and Gentlemen Citizens of the Republic of Panama:

“It is a great honor to be made the guest at such a beautiful banquet as this, attended by the President and the cabinet of the Republic of Panama, by the bishop of Panama, and by the cultured and educated gentlemen who represent the Republic of Panama at this board.

“This visit has been one of intense interest and of the pleasantest surprises to me; the truth is that the people of Panama, and the country of Panama, have not been done justice. [Applause.]

“And it is a pleasure for me to correct the impression which the slanderers of your country had made upon my mind, and I am sure, upon the minds of those who have not looked closely into the facts. [Applause.]

“Your history has been one of trial and misfortune down to the present; trial and misfortune, because there was a time in your history when your hopes were high, and when you saw before you the development of your resources, and the construction of a work which should make your country one of the most important upon the globe, and then you saw those hopes dashed to the ground. [Applause.] You had, if I might call it so, or what we would call it in the United States, a boom that burst, and you suffered the demoralization that comes from such a condition. I shall not go into the history of your politics; I wish to make no invidious charges against the countries or the confederations with which, for so long a time, your history was so intimately and, I may say, not altogether fortunately associated. [Applause.]

“But I congratulate you that circumstances have now arisen that enable you to carve out your own fortune, to make your country and its prosperity your own, and at the same time to call upon yourselves the responsibility for your future. [Applause.]

“Now you have assumed to organize a self-governing community; you have [Page 634] said to the world, if I understand what you have said, that hereafter you propose to have liberty and law—well ordered liberty and tranquillity—that you propose to have a stable government. Now, stability of government is absolutely impossible unless there is implanted in the breasts of all your people who take part in the government as voters, profound respect for the law and the constitution which you yourselves have founded. [Applause.] You must have a government necessarily because it is a popular government by the majority, but a government in which the minority shall enjoy equal rights with the majority. A government in which the minority, upon the election by the majority, retires from the borders of the country in exile only to await the result of the next successful revolution, is not a government at all. [Applause.]

“It is a tyranny! You can have a despotism as complete by a majority of the people as by one man, and unless you respect the rights of each individual in your community you will have no government worth the supporting. [Applause.]

“Now I congratulate you on your auspicious beginning. I know that your history and experience in the past have been such that you do not propose that the government which you solemnly establish shall go down, because you may disagree with the personnel of it at one time, or with the policy of it at another. If it must depend upon election, my dear friends, it must depend upon honest election. [Applause.] If it is to be understood that the men in power can control the elections so that the vote of the people amounts to nothing, then you have a tyranny, and you have a government that is not by law, and it ought to go down. [Applause.]

“Now this Republic has, in my belief, a great future before it. It is stationed at the gateway of the Pacific. The development of the future of the world in the next fifty years is likely to be in the Pacific, Orient, and in the Tropics, and here you have the gateway to both. Your future is bound up and intimately associated with the future of the United States of America. [Applause.] It can not be that the great Republic of North America, interested as it is in the construction of this gateway, should not have an intense interest in the welfare of this country and of the people thereto; and you can count on the assistance of the Government of the United States in maintaining law and order in this community, and in carrying on every work of prosperity and peace that may be for your benefit. [Applause.]

“I can not tell you, my dear friends, the intense interest that is felt in every corner of the United States in the construction of the great work which the United States has here begun. It was my good fortune to address many audiences during the late Presidential campaign in many of the important States of the Union, and it was easy to determine the intensity of interest that there was on the part of every man in the community, and every woman in the community in this work which the Administration under President Roosevelt has begun, and which the Administration of President Roosevelt intends to carry on as far as possible in the four years toward its completion. [Applause.] You have here a State of 40,000 square miles and 300,000 people. You have not scratched the earth in this State; you have not developed its resources at all; yon are apt to think that the little strip which you have turned over to the United States in which to build the canal is the kernel of your country. But the future will know that to be only a mere thread, but something which shall develop the rest of your country. Railroads must be built, and that railroad which has now proceeded so far toward completion as to reach down to the south boundary of Mexico, and which is to unite the two continents, must cross and make a junction with this gateway of the world.

“Now, under those circumstances, can it be that the State which is at the most prominent corner or cross earth, shall not enjoy the prosperity of that earth? Well, it will or it will not, according to the people of Panama. As they shall show themselves the lovers of stable government; as they shall show themselves industrious, enterprising, and prudent, so will they improve the tremendous advantage that they have in being in this center of the business of the earth. [Applause.]

“Now, it does not follow that because you are here this will necessarily be a prosperous country. Take the canal of Suez, and visit the towns along that canal, and you will see that it is possible to have a great canal and to have a very poor country at its side. But there they have a desert; here you have 40,000 square miles that will grow anything. In this Isthmus, too, you have mining capacity; you have cattle; you have things that go to make up the [Page 635] wealth of any country, and I am sure that if these things are developed the dreams which you have of the future will be fully realized.

“And now, to the canal and what good the United States may directly do. First, it is a necessary result of the early construction in the building of the canal that you will have here a water power sufficient to give you power by electricity, sufficient to light your cities, sufficient to run many of your factories; that you will have, by virtue of the treaty, sewers; that you will have that which you need so much in the dry season here, good water; that you will not have that which in the past has so interfered with your growth, the reputation for bad sanitary arrangements, the reputation for having yellow fever and malaria at every turn. [Applause.]

“The truth is that I look forward in the near future to this work in Panama to demonstrate the possibility of living in the Tropics without endangering the health. Nobody can read now the statistics of the 400 marines who have been on this Isthmus for one year without saying that the charges which have been made against your climate are unfounded; that is, that they are unfounded if the people look after themselves as they should.

“And, now, I am aware that there is impatience; that the work of the canal is not done in a night. Well, the work of this canal is a tremendous work; it needs the full time so that mistakes shall not be made. But I say to you, with a certainty of knowledge upon the subject, that the American people intend that this canal shall be built, and that they will make any administration responsible for its building that does not meet that responsibility wince under the blow that the administration will receive at the ballot box. [Applause.]

“And, now, gentlemen, your distinguished secretary of state has been good enough to refer in complimentary terms to the mission upon which I have been sent by the President to this Republic. I need not go over the circumstances that seemed to make it necessary that he should give some evidence to you of his intense desire that the people of Panama should feel confidence in the purposes of the Government of the United States. [Applause.] I do not speak with too great assurance when I say that the conferences which I have been permitted to have with your distinguished President, your distinguished secretary of state, and others in the Government, have led to a point from which there is every reason to expect that a solution has been reached of all the difficulties which will be honorable to both countries alike. [Applause.] The negotiations have not reached that final and complete character that enables me to state what the result is, but I am hopeful that to-morrow or the next day they will have reached that state. [Applause.] I had cherished the hope that I might announce the complete solution to-night, but we must understand that important things take time, and they do not suit themselves always to social engagements. [Applause.]

“And, now, gentlemen, I can not speak too much of the personal features of the visit which I have been permitted to enjoy in your community. If Mrs. Taft and I shall survive the effect of your overwhelming kindness and hospitality we shall cherish this visit to Panama as one of the most pleasant episodes of our lives. [Applause.] The opportunity to associate with your distinguished President and his charming wife, and with the delightful gentlemen who form his cabinet, and those in the opposition, who do not form his cabinet [applause], and the ladies in and out, is a pleasure I can not exaggerate. I can not offer you, should you come to Washington, the hospitality that has been offered to us here, because in the north the blood runs colder in our veins than it does through yours. [Applause.] But I can assure you a hearty and warm welcome.

“I shall take back to President Roosevelt the information that if he places his confidence in the stability, the earnestness, and the friendship of the people of Panama to assist him in the great work of building this canal, his confidence will not be misplaced.”

When the Secretary had concluded his speech, every man of Panama present felt that a load of apprehension and doubt had been lifted from him, and gave expression to his feelings in the round after round of applause which followed the end of his remarks.

After Secretary Taft the greatest interest centered in Hon. William Nelson Cromwell, who, as general counsel for the New Panama Canal Company and the Panama Railroad Company, and now general counsel for the Republic of Panama, has been known for years by name to every one on the Isthmus. Mr. Cromwell was instrumental in bringing to the attention of President Roosevelt the real condition of affairs in respect to the disagreements over the interpretation [Page 636] of the canal treaty, and after several conferences in Washington with the President was asked by the latter to accompany Secretary Taft to Panama and aid in bringing about a mutually satisfactory settlement of the troubles. It was, therefore, with great pleasure that those at the dinner saw Mr. Cromwell arise to address them. He was given an enthusiastic greeting that convinced him of the friendship and esteem in which he is held by all Panamanians.

Mr. Cromwell said:

Mr. President and Fellow-citizens of Panama: What must have been the emotions of the Roman soldiers as after years of absence in foreign wars they reentered the capital city, following their victorious generals and bearing the trophies of their valor and the symbols of fresh conquests?

“All the weary inarches, the pain of wounds, the sacrifices and privations of battle were forgotten in the glad acclaim of welcoming hosts, the flower-strewn paths, the glory of their Empire.

“Does not this suggest something of the sentiments which possess me, an humble soldier in the Panama cause, as I come to greet you after the years which have separated us while I have been battling at the front for the canal—the hope of the Isthmus, and upon the fate of which, indeed, hung its very existence?

“In speaking to you to-night I will not to any great extent refer to the campaign waged for the Panama Canal, but only to the wondrous advantages which you now enjoy, which should be treasured by you, if one but recalls the words and the struggles of the last six years; a campaign of education to reverse the conviction of 70,000,000 people, every one of whom, only five years ago, were against the Panama Canal. To educate them in an engineering question was a work of five years. Then the battle for an independent commission, like its predecessors, to inspect, examine, and determine for the first time in the history of the United States the Panama Canal as compared with the others. The law was passed in 1899, and another commission presided over, as now, by the distinguished admiral who graces this table.

“The next great campaign was the Colombian treaty, first the Hay-Concha and then the Hay-Herran, carrying us through a period of two years, under conditions that I will describe only in sentiments of regard for those who have been formerly Colombians, although those treaties proved, through the folly of our sister Republic, that they are the best logic and support of that which we now enjoy.

“The battle for the choice of route was perhaps the greatest of all, which terminated in a contest unparalleled in severity in Congress, and which resulted, as you know, in the selection of the Panama route by the narrow majority of five human beings.

“Then came the long-drawn-out negotiations for the sale of the canal property; the examination of the titles, and the preparation of legal documents in respect to the transfer of title to the United States.

“A contest of far more importance, in the wider or more philosophical sense, was the neutralization of the canal itself, and the reversing of all the predilections, sentiments, and prejudices of the American people that the work should always be done only by Americans, and the canal controlled by Americans, and that there be no participation therein by another. That policy had to be killed, or there would have been no canal. The outcome, under the leadership of our great statesman John Hay, led to the Hay-Pauncefote treaty, which made this canal neutral, and made possible the passage of the laws which led to its construction.

“But no matter what may be the fluctuations of American opinion, no matter what may be the patience, I can say with pride that in the end the American people come always to a correct conclusion; and so it transpired that the result of all these words was a victory for the Panama route, and the dream for centuries is now being realized.

“A remarkable evidence of the development and progress of civilization is that this has resulted by measures of peace, and not by war; that a nation has created the greatest work of mankind, being accomplished not by the loss of blood, but by a force intellectual and moral; not homes destroyed, but homes created; not lands demolished, but nature’s products cultivated; not commerce annihilated, but all the value and advantage of free transportation and means of transit; and all this for the benefit of all humanity and upon terms of perfect equality. [Applause.]

“This canal is not constructed for the benefit of the United States alone, and I beg you to treasure this thought, not for the benefit of the United States [Page 637] primarily or preferentially. The United States gives its services, its brains, and its influence to all the world alike, without preference to its own commerce or to its own ships of war; building this canal for the whole earth, without a contribution by any other nation, not even your good selves, of a single dollar. Let us realize, then, more fully what good things the United States has done. It has thrust aside the proffered hand of Nicaragua, and has chosen yours; it has guaranteed your independence, that which it has done for no other nation of the world. You, and you alone, are the ones favored thus; you, and you alone, are thus made brothers with that nation. [Applause.] Therefore it is at your service when needed against a foreign foe, even against internal enemies. They have neutralized the canal, as I have said.

“Now, all this would suggest that something should be done by us. When I say us, I mean Panama.

“Gentlemen and friends, the honorable Secretary has uttered a thought which never must be torn out of your minds. All this splendid opportunity must be availed of, not merely talked of. You must energize your people; you must work as we do; utilize these splendid opportunities; cultivate your land; open your mines, build your railroads, interest commerce and capital, and give the security that you expect from others. With your license and permission—an honor which I can not too highly estimate when I was delegated to associate myself with the fiscal commission to invest your millions—I invested your millions in New York City property mainly; your money is under the protection of the American flag to-day. You want it kept secure; so does capital want its investment when it comes here. [Applause.] Cultivate the arts of peace, not the arts of war; therein lies our strength.

“Speaking now of the citizens of Panama, and the voting privilege just acquired, we must cultivate those arts that entitle us to the respect of mankind the world over—quietude, restfulness, work, industry. These are the qualities that are respected everywhere; these are the qualities that will bring to you capital, friendship, and immigration; these, and these only. And I do not doubt, my friends, that all this will be availed of in the fullest measure.

“There is no part of the world more concerned to mankind that this spot on which we stand. It is literally true that the eyes of the world are upon you. Will you measure up to the expectation of mankind? The standard is high because the opportunity is so vast. The responsibility is great, greater far because the opportunities are so varied and so magnificent. Will you measure up to it? I doubt it not, and I gather confidence in you, not only from my affection for you, but from what has been done while the earth has revolved only once around the sun in the short space of a single year; you have gained your independence, and have placed yourselves as a liberty-loving, law-abiding, worthy people among the nations of the earth; you have adopted a constitution, and have had made a simple but strong and excellent workable treaty establishing upon your soil the greatest undertaking that mankind has ever adjusted itself to; laws made, organization of government complete in every department, including your ministers, of which I have had the good fortune to meet the distinguished minister in Washington who has our love and respect. [Applause.]

“You have made provision in a businesslike way for the conduct of the Government; you have treasured the millions that have certainly come to your hands. The whole world was watching you; the people of all the earth were wondering what Panama would do with its millions; grave concern was expressed about it, too. The President of the United States himself spoke to me very earnestly about it. You are provided with a wisdom that I would like the whole world to know. You have set apart six millions of those dollars, not for yourselves alone, but for posterity, and, gentlemen, every dollar of that money is invested to-day in securities as good as the bonds of the Government of the United States. [Applause.] And other millions are distributed to arrange for the internal development of your country, so that they might give you those roads which you have been deprived of.

“You have reformed your currency, established the gold standard, and placed your monetary system upon a parity with that of the most enlightened nations.

“You have joined the United States in every measure reasonably required to facilitate expedition in improving the sanitation of your ports. This, gentlemen, is a splendid record, which any nation could be proud of; all this within the compass of a single year; to come out of the old condition into the new, without a breath of scandal upon any man, and under the leadership of your George Washington, our George Washington, President Amador [applause], establishing [Page 638] a secure administration under the most trying conditions. And not only because of your birthright are you entitled to liberty.

“Now, my friends, I say that our interests are linked, and linked forever, with the United States. Everything that prospers, then, in the construction of the canal and its protection reciprocally benefis us; inevitably so. Everything that lessens the activity of operation, retards construction, or discourages capital here, like a two-edged sword, cuts our own hands in the grasping. Our interests are those of the United States, as their interests are ours; we are inevitably and happily bound together. Let us cultivate those relations; let us promote them in every reasonable manner, and in a spirit of mutual endeavor place ourselves in the aspect of joining with the United States in the construction of this canal; for it is as much our canal as theirs, in that sense. [Applause.] It is not foreign territory; it is a territory in which we have every sympathy and interest, every sympathy of association, and every interest material and honorable; and in holding the hands of the United States, gentlemen, you are giving yourselves the inestimable benefits that will come from the construction of this great work, and prosper beyond our dreams.” [Applause.]

Dr. Pablo Arosemena was the next speaker. He addressed the gathering in Spanish, and his remarks were delivered with great earnestness, which aroused those present to a high state of enthusiasm.

Doctor Arosemena said:

Gentlemen: The President of the United States of America has paid us a compliment which we should appreciate to its full value. He has made his delegate to the Republic of Panama the Secretary of War of the powerful State of which he is the worthy head, which was founded and has been maintained in constant progress by the virtues of that immortal who was first in peace, first in war, and first in the hearts of his countrymen. And I add—one of the first in the admiration of mankind. Too gallant a courtesy should not surprise us; it demonstrates the character of the eminent man who distinguishes himself as much by his prudence in the council, as by his bravery upon the battle field.

“In the speech delivered by our distinguished guest when he was received by the President of the Republic in solemn audience, he stated that our national life had to be pacific; the life of a government in which only the anticipated changes in the constitution will occur; he affirmed that in said existence we should have the aid of the United States, and that the Government of those States only desired to construct an interoceanic canal for the benefit of the universe; that it would only exercise on the Isthmus the authority necessary to carry the work to an end, maintain and protect it. In conclusion, he manifested that he, within a short time, would hold conference with the President regarding these affairs, and hoped to arrive at honorable and equitable conclusions. I think it superfluous to say that the declarations of the Secretary of War—frank and true—have given us consummate satisfaction. He is an ambassador that brings in the folds of his mantle conciliation with honor and equity.

“Referring to those declarations, I affirm, with the certainty of being the true echo of the Isthmian people, that in the Republic of Panama only those changes that are determined by the natural course of events shall occur. We have definitively closed the period of blood—so prolonged and so distressing—and opened the era of peace which the consolidation and prosperity of the Republic requires.

“We must justify the achievement of independence—so grave and transcendental—and that end can only be reached by basing peace on law, which is justice, and preserving order, which is liberty and civilization. We will discuss, but let us not quarrel. The recourse to arms so costly and fruitless shall not be made by either party of the young nation which came into existence the 3d of November of 1903. Instead of the weapon that kills, we shall employ the word that enlivens; instead of the sword, the press, the tribune, and suffrage. We shall render to reason the efforts that we have given to force, and we shall strive to win, not the victories of the bloody battle, but the triumphs of peace, legitimate and fruitful, that do not leave in our conscience the thorn of remorse.

“We appreciate with all exactness the gravity of our duties and the extension of our responsibility. We shall with determination, cordially unite, to fulfill the one and to save the other. We shall everywhere erect the temple that is called the school, and we shall lay the foundation of a morally robust State, absolutely worthy of the society of nations.

“We have not, it is true, the means of being on the morrow rich and powerful, but we have of being sound and honest, and to merit the respect and esteem of [Page 639] other peoples, practicing without vacillation the policy of honesty, which is the best policy. That policy is condensed in these words:

“In the interior, the constitution; and in the exterior, religious respect for international agreements. We know full well that living this life, and none other, we shall have the valuable support of the United States of America. An infant people, we need it; we shall accept with good will and do whatever lies in our power to deserve it.

“The logic of events, which is irrevocable, has placed us under their protection. The United States guarantees the independence of the Republic of Panama, which means that it is assured, if we do not jeopardize that inestimable blessing by persisting in those methods the fruits of which have been ruin and discredit.

“The American nation by a solemn treaty is our ally; it is necessary that it should also be our friend; let us win its affection by our conduct. Alliances are effected through documents, friendships are not. Hearts palpitate, but do not think; it is necessary to win them by good behavior, by moderation, and by patriotism. We shall adopt the criterion of the fatherland as the only one, and we shall elevate on high the national labarum. I shall answer for the victory in the battles that may be fought in its shadow.

“The rejection of the treaty celebrated January 22, 1903, between the United States and the Republic of Colombia for the excavation of an interoceanic canal was, without doubt, the decisive cause for the independence of the Isthmus. That act of the Colombian Congress was one of the highest imprudence, because it wounded interests of enormous magnitude. For the people of the Isthmus the independence was an act of defense.

“To insure the excavation of a canal by the United States, and through our territory, the convention of November 18, 1903, was celebrated. Differences, which are now being studied and discussed with serene mind, have resulted from its application. We, like the Secretary of War of the United States, are confident that useful and honorable solutions will be reached. The interests of both countries require them; they impose the ties of friendship which to-day unite them. I assure you that if it depends on us, that friendship shall be each day more firm, because we shall cultivate it with incessant energy. We are determined to take advantage of the teachings that its greatness will give us; magnificent labor of peace, of liberty, and of justice. It is a greatness which corresponds to the origin of that great nation, synthethized in these words of Abraham Lincoln—illustrious martyr of a grand cause—pronounced in Gettysburg in 1864: ‘Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are equal.’”

After a slight pause not a few of those present turned their attention in the direction of Dr. Belisario Porras, a distinguished Panaman lawyer and a man of powerful political influence. Doctor Porras, who was the last man to take the floor, arose and said:

Gentlemen: When we contemplate a beautiful statue or a valuable oil painting, and admire in ecstasy the lines, the profile, and the coloring; when we see a steamer sail or a locomotive move, they control our imagination-and carry it with them; when we take in our hands some product, the outcome of any industry, and apply it to our necessities, we do not stop to consider the patient labor, the constancy of effort, the privations of labor, the ingenuity, the inspiration, the firmness and courage with which obscure and virtuous laborers carried it to a finish—pleasing ourselves only with the actual and momentary satisfaction. So it happens to us when we contemplate, amazed, the power, the wealth, and prosperity of the great American nation.

“The present splendrous scene holds us spellbound, and we have eyes only to see it and hearts but to feel emotioned; our spirit of reflection, which might stop to consider whence comes this great power, this immense wealth, and this incalculable prosperity, is extinguished in its presence.

“It is but just that an infant nation like ours should always bear in mind that the mysterious ways by which the colossus of the north has reached the degree of splendor in which it finds itself to-day have not been by violence, nor by wars, nor by lies, nor deception, nor by spoil and usurpations, nor by privileges, nor the accumulation of wealth by the privileged ones.

“She owes it to like or similar virtues of the obscure laborer of industry, to the love of labor, to peace, and to truth, to religious and political tolerance, to respect for justice, to frugality and laborious simplicity, which in a high degree were possessed by the first settlers of that great nation and which have been afterwards imitated and practiced with such good results by their children.

[Page 640]

“In offering this glass, therefore, for the great American nation, which honors us with its friendship and by sending the illustrious guests who sit with us at this same table, let us do it invoking the remembrance of the spirit of justice, tolerance, respect for justice, of love for truthfulness which has animated their children, and let us try to imitate them in this, convinced that it is with these great virtues that we can establish something stable, lasting, and great. Let us drink it also to the person of honorable Secretary Taft, to the distinguished Minister Barrett, to the intelligent attorney, Cromwell, and to all the esteemed American gentlemen with whom we to-day break our bread, and who share with us a ray of the sun on this continent, a ray of light, and a ray of liberty.”

[Inclosure 3.]

Aware of the general eagerness and even anxiety with which the result of the conferences between Hon. William H. Taft, Secretary of War of the United States, and representative of President Roosevelt, and his excellency Dr. Manuel Amador Guerrero, President of the Republic of Panama, are awaited by our fellow-citizens and all residents on the Isthmus, we have, through the courtesy of Secretary Taft, secured the documents containing the executive order embodying the agreement reached between the two governments, and we publish them for the benefit of all interested:

Panama, December 3, 1904.

Sir: I herewith transmit an executive order of this 3d day of December for publication and enforcement.

Very respectfully,

  • Wm. H. Taft,
    Secretary of War.
  • Rear-Admiral John G. Walker, U. S. Navy,
    Chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission, Panama.

By the direction of the President it is ordered that, subject to the action of the Fifty-eighth Congress, as contemplated by the act of Congress approved April 28, 1904:

Section 1. No importations of goods, wares, and merchandise shall be entered at Ancon or Cristobal, the terminal ports of the canal, except such goods, wares, and merchandise as are described in Article XIII of the treaty between the Republic of Panama and the United States, the ratifications of which were exchanged on the 26th day of February, 1904, and except goods, wares, and merchandise in transit across the Isthmus for a destination without the limits of said Isthmus, and except coal and crude mineral oil for fuel purposes to be sold at Ancon or Cristobal to sea going vessels, said coal and oil to be admitted to those ports free of duties for said purpose:

Provided, however, that this order shall be inoperative, first, unless the Republic of Panama shall reduce the ad valorem duty on imported articles described in class 2 of the act of the national convention of Panama passed July 5, 1904, and taking effect October 12, 1904, from 15 per centum to 10 per centum and shall not increase the rates of duty on the imported articles described in the other schedules of said act except on all forms of imported wines, liquors, alcohol, and opium, on which the Republic may fix higher rates; second, unless article 38 of the constitution of the Republic of Panama, as modified by article 146 thereof, shall remain in full force and unchanged, so far as the importation and sale of all kinds of merchandise are concerned; third, unless the consular fees and charges of the Republic of Panama in respect to entry of all vessels and importations into said ports of Panama and Colon shall be reduecd to 60 per cent of the rates now in force; and, fourth, unless goods imported into the ports of Panama and Colon consigned to or destined for any part of the Canal Zone shall not be subjected in the Republic of Panama to any other direct or indirect impost or tax whatever.

Sec 2. In view of the proximity of the port of Ancon to the port of Panama and of the port of Cristobal to the port of Colon, the proper customs or port official of the canal zone shall, when not inconsistent with the interests of the United States, at the instance of the proper authority of the Republic of Panama, permit any vessel entered at or cleared from the ports of Panama and Colon, [Page 641] together with its cargo and passengers, under suitable regulations for the transit of the imported merchandise and passengers to and from the territory of the Republic of Panama, to use and enjoy the dockage and other facilities of the ports of Ancon and Cristobal, respectively, upon payment of proper dockage dues to the owners of said docks:

Provided, however, that reciprocal privileges as to dockage and other facilities at Panama and Colon, together with suitable arrangement for transit of imported merchandise and passengers to and from the territory of the canal zone, shall be granted by the authorities of the Republic of Panama, when riot inconsistent with its interests, to any vessel, together with its cargo and passengers, entered at or cleared from the ports of Ancon and Cristobal: provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall affect the complete administrative, police, and judicial jurisdiction of the two Governments over their respective ports and harbors, except as hereinafter provided in section 6.

Provided, also, that vessels entering or clearing at the port of Panama shall have the absolute right freely to anchor and lade and discharge their cargoes by lighterage from and to Panama at the usual anchorage in the neighborhood of the islands of Perico, Flamenco, Naos, and Culebra, though included in the harbor of Ancon under the provisional delimitation as amended under section 5 hereinafter, and to use the said waters of said harbor for all lawful commercial purposes.

Sec. 3. All manifests and invoices and other documents in respect to vessels or cargoes cleared or consigned for or from the ports of Panama and Colon shall, as heretofore, be made by the officials of the Republic of Panama. All manifests, invoices, and other documents in respect to the vessels and cargoes cleared or consigned for or from the ports of Ancon or Cristobal shall be made by officials of the United States.

Sec 4. No import duties, tolls, or charges of any kind whatsoever shall be imposed by the authorities of the canal zone upon goods, wares, and merchandise imported, or upon persons passing from the territory of the Republic of Panama into the canal zone; and section 5 of the executive order of June 24, 1904, providing that duties on importations into the canal zone are to be levied in conformity with such duties as Congress has imposed upon foreign merchandise imported into ports of the United States, is hereby revoked; but this order shall be inoperative unless the authorities of the Republic of Panama shall grant by proper order reciprocal free importation of goods, wares, and merchandise, and free passage of persons from the territory of the canal zone into that of the Republic of Panama.

Sec. 5. The provisions of this order also shall not be operative except upon the condition that the delimitation of the cities and harbors of Colon and Panama, signed on the 15th day of June, 1904, by the proper representatives of the governments of the Republic of Panama and of the canal zone, shall be provisionally in force; and while the same shall remain in force, with the consent of both parties thereto, the provisional delimitation shall include not only the terms set forth in the writing thereof, but also the following, viz: That the harbor of Panama shall include the maritime waters in front of said city to the south and east thereof, extending 3 marine miles from mean low-water mark, except the maritime waters lying westerly of a line drawn from a stake or post set on Punta Mala through the middle island of the three islands known as Las Tres Hermanas, and extending 3 marine miles from mean low-water mark on Punta Mala, which waters shall be considered in the harbor of Ancon.

Sec. 6. This order also shall be inoperative unless the proper governmental authorities of the Republic of Panama shall grant power to the authorities of the canal zone to exercise immediate and complete jurisdiction in matters of sanitation and quarantine in the maritime waters of the ports of Panama and Colon.

Sec. 7. The executive order of June 24, 1904, concerning the establishment of post-offices and postal service in the canal zone, is modified and supplemented by the following provisions:

All mail matter carried in the territory of the canal zone, to or through the Republic of Panama, to the United States and to foreign countries, shall bear the stamps of the Republic of Panama, properly crossed by a printed mark of the canal zone government, and at rates the same as those imposed by the Government of the United States upon its domestic and foreign mail matter, exactly as if the United States and the Republic of Panama for this purpose were common territory. The authorities of the canal zone shall purchase from the [Page 642] Republic of Panama such stamps as the authorities of the canal zone desire to use in the canal zone at 40 per centum of their face value; but this order shall be inoperative unless the proper authorities of the Republic of Panama shall by suitable arrangement with the postal authorities of the United States provide for the transportation of mail matter between post-offices on the Isthmus of Panama and post-offices in the United States at the same rates as are now charged for domestic postage in the United States, except all mail matter lawfully franked and inclosed in the so-called penalty envelopes of the United States Government, concerning the public business of the United States, which shall be carried free, both by the governments of Panama and of the canal zone: provided, however, that the zone authorities may, for the purpose of facilitating the transportation of through mail between the zone and the United States in either direction, inclose such through mail, properly stamped or lawfully franked, in sealed mail pouches, which shall not be opened by the authorities of the Republic of Panama in transit, on condition that the cost of transportation of such mail pouches shall be paid by the zone government.

Sec. 8. This order also shall not be operative unless the currency agreement made at Washington June 20, 1904, by the representatives of the Republic of Panama and the Secretary of War of the United States, acting with the approval of the President of the United States, for the establishment of a gold standard of value in the Republic of Panama and proper coinage, shall be approved and put into execution by the President of the Republic of Panama, pursuant to the authority conferred upon him by law of the Republic of Panama No. 84, approved June 20, 1904; and unless the President of the Republic of Panama, in order that the operation of the said currency agreement in securing and maintaining a gold standard of value in the Republic of Panama may not be obstructed thereby, shall, by virtue of his authority, conferred by law No. 65, enacted by the National Assembly of Panama on June 6, 1904, abolish the tax of 1 per cent on gold coin exported from the Republic of Panama.

Sec. 9. Citizens of the Republic of Panama at any time residing in the canal zone shall have, so far as concerns the United States, entire freedom of voting at elections held in the Republic of Panama and its provinces or municipalities, at such places outside of the canal zone as may be fixed by the Republic and under such conditions as the Republic may determine; but nothing herein is to be construed as intending to limit the power of the Republic to exclude or restrict the right of such citizens to vote as it may be deemed judicious.

Sec 10. The highway extending from the eastern limits of the city of Panama, as fixed in the above-mentioned provisional delimitation agreement of June 10, 1904, to the point still farther to the eastward where the road to the “savannas” crosses the zone line (which is 5 miles to eastward of the center axis of the canal), shall be repaired and maintained in a serviceable condition at the cost and expense of the authorities of the canal zone; and also in like manner the said road from the said eastern limits of the city of Panama to the railroad bridge in the city of Panama shall be repaired at the cost of the authorities of the canal zone. But this order shall not be operative unless the Republic of Panama shall waive its claim for compensation for the use in perpetuity of the municipal buildings located in the canal zone.

Sec 11. The United States will construct, maintain, and conduct a hospital or hospitals, either in the canal zone or in the territory of the Republic, at its option, for the treatment of persons insane or afflicted with the disease of leprosy, and the indigent sick, and the United States will accept for treatment therein such persons of said classes as the Republic may request; but this order shall not be operative unless, first, the Republic of Panama shall furnish without cost the requisite lands for said purposes if the United States shall locate such hospital or hospitals in the territory of the Republic, and, second, unless the. Republic shall contribute and pay to the United States a reasonable daily per capita charge in respect of each patient entering upon the request of the Republic, to be fixed by the Secretary of War of the United States.

Sec 12. The operation of this executive order and its enforcement by officials of the United States on the one hand, or a compliance with and performance of the conditions of its operation by the Republic of Panama and its officials on the other, shall not be taken as a delimitation, definition, restriction, or restrictive construction of the rights of either party under the treaty between the United States and the Republic of Panama.

This order is to take effect on the 12th day of December, 1904.

Wm. H. Taft,
Secretary of War.
[Page 643]

Your Excellency: After very full conferences with you and your advisers, I have drafted an executive order, which I have the authority of the President of the United States to sign and put in force, and which in its operation and conditions, if complied with, seems to me to offer a solution, honorable and satisfactory to both nations, of the differences between the United States and the Republic of Panama. I inclose a draft of the order. I understand that you and your advisers concur in the wisdom of this solution, but I should be glad to have an expression of your approval of it before formally signing the order and giving it effect. Your Excellency will observe that the order is drawn to take effect on the 12th of December. This delay is for the purpose of giving full publicity to all concerned.

I have the honor to be, with the assurances of my most distinguished consideration,

Your obedient servant,

  • Wm. H. Taft,
    Secretary of War.
  • Dr. Manuel Amador Guerrero,
    President of the Republic of Panama, Panama.

Hon. William H. Taft,
Secretary of War of the United States, at Panama.

Sir: As the embodiment of the conclusions reached by our respective Governments, after the full and satisfactory conferences which have been had between you, myself, and advisers, I have the pleasure to express the concurrence of the Republic in the executive order of the Secretary of War made by direction of the President of the United States under date of this the 3d day of December, 1904.

Aside from the wisdom and justice evidenced by this happy solution of the differences between the United States and the Republic of Panama, permit me to express, in behalf of the Republic and of myself and advisers, our gratitude for your gracious visit to Panama and your patient, judicial, and statesmanlike considerations of the subjects involved.

I have the honor to be, my dear Mr. Secretary, and with assurances of my highest esteem, sincerely yours,

  • M. Amador Guerrero,
    President of the Republic of Panama.
  • Santiago de la Guardia,
    Secretary of Government and Foreign Affairs.