File No. 819.77/143.

The Secretary of State to the American Minister.

No. 101.]

Sir: The Department has received your No. 287 of the 11th instant, regarding your recent conversation with Mr. Basil Barnes [Burns] Duncan, the holder of a contract for building a railroad in Panama beginning at the west side of the Chagres River near its mouth. A copy of your despatch has been forwarded to the Secretary of War for his confidential information.

In this connection I enclose a copy of the War Department’s letter of January 22, stating that it had forwarded the correspondence regarding the matter to the Chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission with a view to his designating a commission to pass upon the technical merits of the project.

I am [etc.]

P. C. Knox.