The Panaman Chargé (Lefevre) to the Secretary of State

D–No. 220

Excellency: Supplementing my note D–No. 208 of April 30th, last, relative to the proposed occupation of part of Taboga Island for the purpose of building fortifications for the better defence of the Panama Canal, I have the honor to lay before Your Excellency the substance of my Government’s wishes in this delicate matter as follows:

Reduction to a minimum of the area to be occupied, as I said in my above-mentioned note of April 30th. My Government believes that 250 (two hundred and fifty) hectares would answer the purpose, and that to take more would force the Tabogans to emigrate and abandon their homes.
The land should be condemned only as it is needed for the work under way, and the condemnation should be with the assistance of the Panaman Government or through the Joint Commission created by the Canal Treaty.
The Tabogans should not be deprived of those things which a community must have for its immediate subsistence and hygiene; for instance, an attempt has been made to take their water supply, and occupy the cemetery where the remains of their forefathers lie.

I take the liberty of most respectfully calling Your Excellency’s attention, in connection with point 3 of this note, to the advisability of having the military authorities solve the question of drinking water by artesian or deep wells, for the boring of which there is available machinery in the Isthmus. No heavy outlay would thereby be entailed upon the United States Government, while the cutting off of drinking water would work untold injury upon the Tabogans.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency my earnest offer to cooperate with the State Department in having all that relates to the subject under consideration settled in a manner satisfactory to both parties in the most friendly cooperation.

I take [etc.]

J. E. Lefevre
  1. File translation revised.