The Secretary of State to the Panaman Chargé (Lefevre)

Sir: With reference to previous correspondence between yourself and the Department relative to the acquisition of a part of Taboga Island, Republic of Panama, by the United States for fortification purposes,1 I desire to make known to you, at the request of the Secretary of War, that it will be necessary for the safety and protection of the Canal for the United States to acquire a part of the Island in the near future in order to place fortifications thereon.

In order, however, to allay as much as possible any anxiety on the part of the inhabitants of the Island whose land must be expropriated, I desire to assure you that no step will be taken in the expropriation of the inhabitants of the Island without every consideration possible for their interests and convenience. In view of the improbability of initiating the construction of defensive works on a large scale on Taboga Island in the year 1920, the United States Government is anxious to adopt a liberal policy in regard to the removal of inhabitants of that portion of the Island transferred to its jurisdiction.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing
  1. Previous correspondence not printed.