File No. 819.77/139.


Sir: Referring to the Department’s letter of January 20, 1913,1 concerning the projected construction of a railway on the Isthmus of [Page 1086] Panama starting from a point near the mouth of the Chagres River, I have now the honor to inform you that the American Minister in Panama believes that it would be advisable to have this contract examined by a commission constituted in the same manner as the commission named to consider the railway project from Santiago to Anton in March last, referred to in this Department’s letter of March 19th1 and in your letter to this Department of April 3, 1912.1

In view of the Minister’s recommendation, I have the honor to request that appropriate instructions issue from your Department in order that the American Minister as chairman, a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission to be designated by the chairman thereof, and the Chief Engineer of the Panama Railroad may meet to pass upon the technical merits of this project and be requested to report at their earliest possible convenience. Instructions are being issued to the American Minister in this sense, who is desirous of reaching an early conclusion in view of the shortness of the time that the Panaman Assembly has to remain in session.

The finding of this board would naturally be quite apart from any decision that your Department might reach regarding the expediency of the construction of this road from a strategic point of view.

I have [etc.]

P. C. Knox.
  1. Next above.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.