File No. 711.21/358

reasons which prompt the ratification of the treaty with colombia

[Handed to the Secretary of State by the Colombian Minister March 12, 1917]

The United States needs to perfect its title of ownership in the Panama Canal as recognized by eminent Americans.
Colombia’s claim is extremely just from all points of view. Mr. Roosevelt himself has categorically confessed that he took the Isthmus, despite the fact that the United States by the Treaty of 1846, and in compensation for the advantages received therefrom, was pledged to maintain the sovereignty and property of Colombia over the Isthmus of Panama.
The twenty-five millions which the United States offers as indemnity are not even the tenth part of the damages suffered by Colombia.
Mr. Roosevelt himself has recognized the duty of giving satisfaction to Colombia inasmuch as he authorized his Secretary of State—the eminent jurist, Mr. Elihu Root—to draw up a treaty with the Colombian Plenipotentiary, Mr. Enrique Cortes. That authorization is a manifest admission of the obligation on the part of the United States to repair the damages caused to Colombia.
During the Taft Administration Minister DuBois was twice sent to Bogotá to propose arrangements which have served as a basis for the treaty now awaiting the approval of the American Senate.
The ratification of the treaty cannot be refused for reasons of political partisanship. It is a matter of national interest, and it is beyond question that the American people desire the settlement of the pending question with Colombia.
In the present world crisis the United States should undertake continental politics tending, at all odds, to secure the unification of the Americas. When this unification shall be solemnly proclaimed in a compact whose objective be the preservation of peace and the fostering of the progress of all the nations of this Hemisphere, then the Monroe Doctrine shall have been complied with in its broad and generous purpose.