File No. 819.77/143.

The Secretary of War to the Secretary of State.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters of the 20th instant, in reference to a contract [etc.].

In reply I beg to advise you that I am forwarding this correspondence to the Chairman and Chief Engineer of the Isthmus Canal Commission on the Isthmus, who is also President of the Panama Railroad Company, with instructions to designate a representative of the Isthmian Canal Commission to act with the American Minister and the Chief Engineer of the Panama Railroad as a commission to pass upon the technical merits of this project, and am also asking the Chairman of the Commission to review the report of the [Page 1087] board and to submit any recommendations which he may see fit to make in reference to the same, and also to submit his views in reference to the desirability from a strategic point of view of the proposed railroad. Upon receipt of the desired information from the Isthmus, you will be communicated with again.

Very respectfully,

Henry L. Stimson.