File No. 819.77/283
The Panaman Commission to the Department of State
Washington, May 5, 1917.
In addition to the arguments advanced in the memorandum of April 27 last of the Panaman Mission to the Department of State to demonstrate the necessity and propriety of building railways and cart roads in Panama, the Panaman Mission wishes to draw the attention of the Government of the United States to the special advantage of building the railway from the city of Panama to the border of Costa Rica as one of the links of the great Pan American Railway and as the sole way of communication by land between the United States and the Panama Canal.
At the last Pan American Financial Conference held at Buenos Aires in April 1916 and attended by the Honorable William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury, the matter of the construction of the Pan American Railway was made the subject of a special recommendation to the American Governments and the Panaman Mission believes that this offers the opportunity to act upon that recommendation in so far as it concerns the Panama section.
Panama has completed the surveys of the road, and all that is needed to start work is that some arrangement be arrived at by the two countries in regard to providing the funds required for its execution.
By way of presenting a more concrete statement of its Government’s wishes, the Panaman Mission supplements its previous memorandum as follows:
The Mission holds that the roads from Panama to the Chepo District, as far as the bank of the Bayano River, from Panama to Agua Dulce and from Panama to Puertobelo are strategic roads necessary to the defense of the Canal.
The Mission likewise holds the Panama-David Railway to be also indispensable for the defense of the Canal and Panaman territory.
Those roads while being strategic further tend to stimulate and increase on a large scale the production of food products in the Panaman territory and thus to expand the public wealth and economic power of Panama.
The Panaman Mission has proposed to divide equally between Panama and the United States the cost of building those roads and that arrangement it considers to be the most equitable.
In order to contribute toward carrying out the plan, Panama needs to receive from the United States an advance of forty annuities of the Canal Treaty, viz., a sum of ten million dollars from which there shall be deducted the unredeemed part of the loan of 1914, secured by the said annuities under the contract made with the Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company of New York.
This advance may be made by the Government of the United States under the Act which empowers the Secretary of the Treasury to make loans to countries at war with the German Empire.
- Belisario Porras
- Eusebio A. Morales
- Julio Arjona