File No. 819.74/30.

The Acting Secretary of War to the Secretary of State.

My Dear Mr. Secretary: The then President approved recommendations of the Joint Board of Army and Navy in 1911 that no private or commercial wireless installations be permitted in the Canal Zone, and that an understanding be reached with Panama to prevent the establishment of private and commercial wireless installations in its territory.13 To what extent any such understanding has been reached with Panama I do not know, but I do know that Colonel Goethals and the Isthmian Canal Commission, along with the Navy, are strongly of the opinion that no commercial wireless installations should be permitted within the Republic of Panama, and that the wireless installations in that territory should be erected by the United States Government and controlled thereby; giving to the people of Panama, however, facilities for private and commercial use.

On June 14, 1913, the Republic of Panama made a contract with the United Fruit Company for the establishment of a wireless telegraphy plant in Colon. At this time the Marconi Company of America is seeking a franchise from the Republic of Panama for the installation of a wireless outfit. It is the opinion of this Department that the effort of the Marconi Company should be frustrated and the arrangement approved by the President be carried out with the Republic of Panama whereby private wireless installations should be prohibited from the Zone and from the territory of the Republic of Panama.

Will you be so kind as to advise me of the status of this matter in your Department and of your intentions in the premises.

With great respect [etc.]

Henry Breckinridge