United States. President.

A compilation of the messages and papers of the presidents online

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ences, lield In Rio de Janeiro In 1906, and
In Buenos Aires In 1910. respectively, and
Its scope widened by Imnosing many new
and Important duties. The Pan-American
Union regularly communicates with these
governments, and furnishes such Informer
tlon as It possesses or csn obtain on a great
variety of subjects to all of the Bepubllcs
and to their officials and citizens. It is
the custodian of the archives of the Pan-

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Encyclopedic Index


Paa-Amerlcaa 'UnUm - c<mUnued.
American Conferences, and Is especially
charged with the performance of duties im-
posed upon it by these conferences. The
Pan-American Union is sustained by con-
tributions from the American Republics in
proportion to their population and is gov-
erned by a board composed of their diplo-
matic represents tlTes at Washington, and
the Secretary of State of the United States,
who is ex-omcio its chairman. It Is there-
fore strictly an international institution
and not a subordinate bureau of any one
government Its chief executive officer is
the Director-General, elected by this gov-
erning board. It publishes a monthly bulle-
tin containing the latest information re-
specting the resources, commerce, and gen-
eral progress of the American Republics, as
well aa maps and geographical sketches of
these countries, handbooks of trade, travel,
and description, and special reports on
commerce, tariffs, improvements, conces-
sions, new laws, etc. It also conducts a
large correspondence not only with manu-
facturers and merchants in all countries
looking to the extension of Pan-American
trade, hut with writers, travelers, scientists,
students, and specialists, for the purpose
of promoting general Pan-American Inter-
course. Another and practical feature of the
Pan-American Union is the Columbus
Memorial Library and reading room, which
contains 22,000 volumes relating to the
American Republics. (See also Interna-
tional American Conference and American
Republics, Bureau of.)

Pan-American Union:

Financial conference, 8071.

Practical work of, 7415.
Panama. — ^The Republic of Panama occn-
pies the Isthmus which connects the conti-
nent of North and South America, and
Uee between Costa Rica and Colombia, hav-

?lng formed a department of the latter Re-
ublic until Nov. 4, 1903. The isthmus of
anama lies between 7* 15'.9' 30' N. lati-
tude and 77® Ib'SS" SV W. longitude, and
baa an area of 82,380 square miles. The
' northern coast is washed oy the Caribbean
Sea (Atlantic) and the southern coast by
the Pacific Ocean.

Physical Features, — The country is every-
where mountainous, with a ridge, more or
leas defined, extending from the western
to the eastern boundary, and consists of
a succession of hills and valleys with little
open plain. The Cordilleras of Chlrlqui
and yeraguas of the west are continued
eastward by the Cordilleras of Panama and

The largest rivers are the Tulra, or Rio
Darien, of the eastern province, rising
close to the Caribbean shore and flowing
into the Pacific in the Gulf of Son Mi-

Eiel; the Chepo, or Bavano, with a siml-
r course to the Bay of Panama ; and the
Chagres which flows northward through
Gatun Lake to the Caribbean, part of Its
course being utilized for the Panama Ca-
nal. The only lake Is that of Gatnn. which
has been formed by the construction of a
dam in order to raise the water level of the

Although lying within the tropics the
climate is not unhealthy, and the mean
temperature varies little throughout the re-
public, being about 80** Fahrenheit. The
wet season lasts from April to December,
and the dry season is bracing with dry
northeast winds from the Caribbean.

History. — Panama formed a department
of the Republic of Colombia from 1855 un-
til its secession in 1908. On Jan. 4. 1004,
a oooatitutional assembly waa elected and

a constitution was adopted, under which
a centralized republic was inaugurated.

Qovemptent. — The President Is elected by
the votes of all adult male citizens for the
term of four years and is Ineligible for a
successive term of ofBce, unless he retires
from OfBce eighteen months before the elec-
tions. There is no Vice-President, but the
assembly elects three designados to pro-
vide a head for the State lu case of the
death of the President. President (1912-
1010, elected Oct. 1, 1912) : Dr. Bellsarlo

The executive power Is vested In the
President, who appoints ministers, Judges
of the Supreme Court, diplomatic represen-
tatives, and provisional governors.

The National Assembly consists of a sin-
gle chamber of twenty-eight members, elect-
ed for four years by direct adult male suf-
frage, and meets biennially on Sept. 1.
The President has a veto on legislation, but
the Assembly can pass the same bill a
second time and the President must then
sign It. If the Supreme Court declares It
to be within the constitutional limits.

The Supreme Court consists of five
judges, appointed by the President, and
there are superior courts and circuit
courts, and Justices of municioal courts
appointed by the five Judges of the first-
named tribunal.

Each of the seven provinces Is under a
governor, appointed by the President, and

{>ossesses municipal districts with elective
eglslatures, and an alcalde appointed by
the governor. Under the treaty by which
the Panama Canal Zone was ceded to the
United States, the municipalities of Colon
and Panama within the ceded area, were
expressly excluded from the zone.

There Is no standing army, but the in-
tegrity of the republic has been guaranteed
by the United States. Order Is maintained
by a small national police force.

Education. — Primary education Is free
and compulsory, 294 primary schools be-
ing maintained by the State, the pupils
numbering nearly 20.000. There are also
secondary and special schools, for the
training of teachers, and a university has
been opened at the capital, with a com-
petent staff of professors, both native and

Finance.— The assembly meets biennially,
and votes a provision for two financial
years. The finances of the Republic at the
present time show a surplus in the treas-
ury with no debts of $500,000. In addi-
tion the United States Government paid
the first Instalment of $250,000 per annum
for rental of the Canal Zone, which sum
is oil deposit in the United States as well
as $6,000,000 gold, portion of the $10.-
000,000 paid for the Canal Zone Concea-
slon. Moreover the government has near-
ly $1,000,000 gold Invested in the National
Bank In Panama and as a guarantee for
the parity of the silver currency with gold
(balboa«$l United States money).

1912. 1918.

Revenue $3,455,287 $3,842,214

Expenditure 3,402,504 3.842,214

There is a small local debt of about
$500,000. The Government has $6,300.-
000 Invested In tbe United States, and
$750,000 in the National Bank.

Production and Industry. — The soil In ex-
tremely fertile, but there Is little cultiva-
tion, and nearly one-half the land Is un-
occupied. The greater part of the culti-
vated portion Is under bananas, other crops
including coffee, tobacco and cereals, while
cacao grows wild In tbe northwestern
province of Bocas del Toro. The forest-
clad hills provide valuable medicinal plants

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Messages and Papers of the Presidents


and dyeetuffs, India rubber, mahoganj and
other timber and cabinet woods. The live
■tock is being greatly improved and there
are excellent gracing grounds. Immigra-
tion is encouraged by the giant of small
farms to likely settlers on favorable terms.
The fisheries are important, and the pearl
industry is being largely exploited with
profitable results. Gold is mined in the
eastern provinces, and copper is found in
the west, where also valuable coal depos-
its exist and await development. Iron is
also found, and there are productive salt
mines on Parita Bay, while mineral springs

Chocolate factories and soap works have
been established In the capital, and sugar
refineries are projected. The tobacco and
salt Industries are government monopolies.

The principal exports are bananas, rub-
ber, raw cocoa, vegetable ivory, mother-of-
pearl, cabinet woods and medicinal plants;
the Imports are almost entirely manufac-
tured goods and foodstuffs. Customs du-
ties (15 per cent ad valorem, except on
flour, rice, corn and a few prime necessities
which ore 30 per cent ad valorem), are
levied at all ports, including those of the
Canal Zone, tne latter being paid over to
the Panama government by the officials
of the United States, but supplies for the
canal are exempt from duty.

Transportation. — The only railway runs
along the canal route from Colon (or
Aspinwall) to Panama and was included

in the purchase by the United States.
This interoceanlc line is fifty miles in
length and was built by United States

capitalists in 1855. In the province of
Bocas del Toro the United Fruit Company
(American) have constructed about 150
miles of rallwav (including spurs) on their
banana plantations, which cover an area of
85,000 acres. This line is being extended
toward Port LImon (Costa Rica), and only
twenty miles separates the terminal from
that port. _

In 1010 there were nlnety-slz post-offices
and thirty-seven telegraph offices, with one
wireless station. There is a wireless sta-
tion at Colon, and another with radius of
260 miles at Balboa. A high power station
to communicate 3.000 miles or more is be-
ing erected in the Canal Zone.

Oif<e«.— Canttal. Panama, on Ite south
coast, the Pacific terminus of the inter-
oceanic line from Colon (Atlantic) and
within the Canal Zone, but expressly re-
served to the Republic. Population (1911),
87,506. Other towns are Colon (17,748),
David (10.000), Los Santos, Santiago, Las
Tablas, Bocas del Toro.

Trade xcith the United Slates.-^ The value
of merchandise Imported into Panama from
the United States for the year 1913 was
124,562,247, and goods to the value of
$4,234,010 were sent thither — a balance of
$20,328,237 in favor of the United States.

Consul of United States io, absence

of referred to^ 3844.
Dispute with Costa Bica settled by

arbitration^ 7657.
Federal district created in, 5083.
Independence gained, 6741, 6771, 6787,

6809, 6814, 6833, 6919.
Our relations with, 7664.

Bevolts against Colombia, details of,

6810, 6811, 6832, 6833.

Treaty with, for canal, 6816, 6823,


United States grants $10,000,000 to,

United States minister to, status of,

United States removes discriminat-
ing tonnage duties against, 6954.
Vessels from, duties on, suspended
by proclamation, 4871.
Panama, Treaties with.— By The treaty
concluded In 1903 for the construction of
a ship canal, it was agreed that the United
SUtca guarantees and will maintain the
independence of Panama. The United
States receives in perpetuity the use, occu-

8ation, and control of a zone of land for
ae construction, maintenance and protec-
tion of a canal ; said zone to be ten miles
In width and extending five miles in width
on both sides of the central line of the path
of the canal, and three marine miles at
each end out to sea. Grant is also made
of other parts of territory adjacent which
may be necessary for the construction and
maintenance of the canal. This grant in-
cludes the islands of Perlco, Naos, Cu-
lebra, and Flamenco. The rights, power,
and authority of the United States within
the zone shall be the same as though the
territory were an integral part of th>» Unit-
ed States. The use of rivers, streams and
bodies of water is included In the grant.

The Republic af Panama acknowledges
a monopoly to the United States of the
construction of the canal within the limits
of its possessions. At the same time the
grants nereby conveyed do not In any de-
ree invalidate the claims of private land-
_olders within the area ; nor does the grant
interfere with the rights of the public to
roads and means of conveyance within the
territory. Damages arising from the occu-
pancy by the United States are to be ap-
praised by a Joint commission of Panama
and the united States and awards for dam-
ages resulting from the construction of the
canai shall be paid solely by the United

The United States has the power to make
such alterations in the sanitary arrange-
ments of the cities of Panama and Colon
as It may deem desirable for the supply
of water and the distribution of sewage;
and for such improvements made at the
cost of the United States, that government
has the authority to Impose reasonable
taxes upon the inhabitants of the cities.

Authority is granted to the United States
to adopt the measures necessary for the
maintenance of law and order within the
limits of these cities. The Republic of
Panama transfers to the United States all
rights of sovereignty over the canal, the
New Panama Canal Company, and the Pan-
ama Railroad Company which It has In-
herited from the Republic of Colombia, and
authorizes the United States to exercise all
such riehts and privileges In the construc-
tion of the canal.

The only charges. Imposts, and duties
which are to be levied by the United States
at the entrance to the canal and by the
Republic of Panama shall be the ordinary
charges of toll for the use of the canal
and the ImpoRltlon of customs duties upon
such merchandise as Is destined to be con-
sumed within the Republic of Panama.
No national, state, or municipal taxes shall
be Imposed upon the canal or upon any
machinery, or material of construction, or
auxiliaries and accessories of all kinds.
The telegraph and telephone lines within
the zone shall be at the service of the gov-
ernment of the Republic of Panama for the
transmission of oflfdal messages at the ens-

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Encyclopedic Index


Pi]iaiiia» Treaties iMit-Continued.
tomary and usual rat en. There shall be
free and safe access permitted by Panama
to the immigration to ihe zone by persons
of all classes and nationalities.

The United States agrees to pay to Pan-
ama for the rights, priTlleges and conces-
sions herein granted ten millions of dollars
In gold on ratlUcation of this treaty and
an annual sum of two hundred and fifty
thousand dollars, beginning nine years after

The canal shall be neutral in perpetuity
and shall be opened in accordance with
the treaty between the United States and
Great Britain on this subject Free trans-
portation of vessels, troops, and munitions
of war is granted to Panama. If any terms
or conditions of this treaty shall prove in-
compatible with later terms or donditions
granted to a third power, the Republic of
Panama agrees to waive its rights on such
points. Kb anterior pledges, debts, liens,
trusts, or liabilities granted by the Republic
of Panama shall operate to the detriment
of the United States«and any damages re-
soltlng therefrom shall be liquidated by

All claims for remuneration In connec-
tion with the canal construction which have
been arranged for or any profits which
might accrue to the advantage of Panama
are hereby renounced by that power.

The United States has full power to po-
lice, fortify, and station troops to preserve
order or maintain safety in the canal sone.
The rights hereby granted to the United
States shall not be lessened or Impaired
bv any changes In the laws or In tne po-
litical Integrity of Panama. Naval or coal-
ing stations will be conveyed by Panama to
the United States bv sale upon terms to
be agreed upon should such become neces-
■arv for the better maintenance or preser-
▼atlon of the canal.

An extradition treaty was signed In 1904,
the terms of which will be found In the
Encyclopedic article. Extradition Treaties.

Panama also became a party to the con-
Tention between the United States and the
several republics of South and Central
America for the arbitration of pecuniary
claims and the protection of Inventions,
etc., which was signed in Buenos Aires In
1910 and proclaimed in Washington July
29. 1914. (See South and Central America,
Treaties with.)

Panama OanaL— The idea of constmctlng
a ship canal between the Atlantic and Pa-
dflc oceans occurred to navigators as soon
as the form of the continents of North and
South America became known. As early
as 1527 H. de la Serna surveyed a canal
route from Chagres to Panama. Lopes de
Gomarfa In 1551 proposed to the Spanish
Government the building of a canal. In
1698. when William Paterson, an adventur-
ous Scot, bad established an English colony
on the Isthmus of Darlen which he called
New Caledonia, he advocated constructing
a canal across the narrow strjp of land sepa-
rating the two great oceans. Many sur-
Teys have been made of the Isthmus with
the view of piercing It with an artificial
waterway. The United States obtained

some very complete mans of the country bj
the explorations of Col. Hughes In 1849,
Lieut. Strain In 1854. Lieut. MIchler in

1858. and Commodores Sel fridge and Tull
in 1870 and 1875. In 1869 a treaty was
signed by representatives of the united
States of Colombia and the United States.

Erovlding for the construction of a canal
y the latter nation, but there was so much
delay and the treaty was so amended by th^
Colombian Congress that ths matter was


\^^F?I!^^l7 propped by the United States.
In 1877 the Colombian Government granted
a concession to a Frenchman named Wyse
for constructing a canal giving him "ex-
clusive privilege for the excavating of a
canal between the two oceans." the terminal
ports and waters to be neutral.

At the Invitation of Ferdinand de Les-
seps, an International Scientific Congress
met at^ Paris in 1879 and hastily decided
upon the Panama route for a canal, the
American members of the congress refrain-
ing from voting. The Panama Canal Com-
pany was then formed, with De Lesseps as
president, and the Wyse concession was pur-
chased for 10,000,000 francs. The route
selected was close to the present line of
the Panama Railroad, crossed the Chagres
River six times and contemplated a long
and deep cut through the Cordillera. The
cost had been estimated at $169,000,000,
and shares of the company had been taken
by French citizens, many of them of the
middle class, to the amount of $260,000.-
000. Work was begun in 1881, but the
affairs of the company were conducted with
^ Ff**,£S^™P^*?°» «»** *t became bank-
rupt in 1889. and a year later suspended
work. In 1892. after an investigation of
the affairs of the company. De Lesseps, his
son, the contractor Eiffel and others In

Fubllc life were arrested on charges of
raud in the management of the funds in-
trusted to them for use In the construction
of the canal, and In March of the follow-
ing year, the New Panama Canal Company
was formed, with renewed concessions to
terminate In April, 1910.

In the meantime American interest In an
Interoceanlc canal had revived, and there
was much discussion of a route across the
territory of Nicaragua. The Nicaragua
Canal Association obtained concessions from
Nicaragua and carried on work of construc-
tion from 1889 until 1893, when It became
bankrupt In 1899 a commission was ap-
pointed by Congress to determine the most
feasible route for an isthmian canal It
reported that if the rights and property
of the New Panama Canal Company could
be purchased for a reasonable price a canal
across Panama could be built more eco-
nomically than one across the territory of
Nicaragua, and recommended the Panama
route. In order that the United States
might have exclusive control over the pro-
posed canal the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty
(g. v.), between Great Britain and the Unit-
ed States, was superseded by the Hay-
Pauncefote Treaty on Dec. 17. 1901. In
1902. in accordance with the report of its
commission appointed In 1899. Congress
passed an act (approved June 28). author-
izing the President to secure for the United
States the property of the New Panama
Canal Company, at a cost of $40,000,000.
It was further provided In the act that
"should the President be unable to obtain
for the United States a satisfactory title
to the property of tlie New Panama Canal
Company and the control over the neces-
sary territory of the Republic of Colombia
• • • within a reasonable time and upon
reasonable terms, then the President should
endeavor to provide for a canal by the
Nicaragua route." The Colombian Govern-
ment, however, on Aug. 12, 1903, rejected
the Hay-Herran Treaty, which had been
negotiated between it and the United States,
thereby refusing the United States' final
offer of $10.0001)00 down and $250,000 an-

nually for the Panama concession. (See
Hav-Herran Treaty, page 6828.)

On Nov. 3. 1903. the Department of Pana-

ma proclaimed Its Independence of Colom-
bia, and having been recognized as an in-
dependent republic by the United States,
-on Not. 18, the Isthmian Canal Treaty he-

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Messages and Papers of the Presidents

Panama Oanal— Con({ii«eci.

tween the United States and the Repabllc

of Panama was signed at Washington.

According to this treatt the Uepublic of
Panama gi anted to the United States the
pen>etual use, occupation and control of a
zone of land ten miles wide (five miles on
each side of the central line of tlie route of
the cauul) acroKs the IsthmuM, complete
sovereignty to which was to pass to the

Unit(H3 States. The price paid the Republic
of Panama by the United States was $10,-
000,000 down and $250,000 annually as long

as the convention should continue, beginning
nine years after the date of ratlOcation.
The United States also guaranteed the
neutrality of the canal and the Independ-
ence of the Republic of i'anama. Ratifica-
tions of the treaty were exchanged at Wash-
ington on Feb. 26, 1004. According to an
act of Congress approved April 28. 1904,
the President took possession of the Canal
Zone, and organized Its government The
President also appointed an Isthmian Canal
Commission of seven members, and directed
that the War Department, through this
Commission, should undertake the supervis-
ion of the construction of the canal and the
government of the Canal Zone. On April
4, 1905, this Commission was dismissed and
a second appointed, the responsibility being
placed chiefly upon the executive committee
of three members.

A proposed expression of regret from
the United States Government for its recog-
nition of the Republic of Panama raises the
?nestlon whether the secession of Panama
rom Colombia was or was not a legal

The federation of the United States of
Colombia was formed Dec. 17. 1819, and
its Constitution promulgated July 12, 1820.
At that time the Isthmus of Panama, a
separate Spanish administrative department,
was still under Spanish control.

In November. 1821. the Isthmus of Pana-
ma revolted, expelled the Spanish garrison
and set up an independent state. In so
doing it received no Colombian assistance.
Subsequently, of Its own volition, and re-
serving Its sovereign rights. It federated
with the States of Colombia. In 1830 Pana-
ma warned the Colombian Government that
the Illegal assumption of autocratic power
by Bolivar would force It to resume Its
separate existence, and this declnlon was
only modified bv Bollvar*8 resignation of the
presidency In that year. In 1841. after five
years of civil war. an Isthmian Convi^ntlon
met at Panama and voted to separate from
the federation and to resume their Inde-

f>endent sovereign rights. Under this reso-
ution the Isthmus remained independent
for about a year, when It rejoined the fed-
eration on the promise of promulgation of a
new Constitution that should recognize its

Two Constitutions adopted In 184.3 and
1853 were unsatlnfactory and caused con-
tinuous Insurrection on the Inthrous. Finally,
by an amendment to the Constitution of
New Granada In 1855, I*anama was recog-
nlaed as a aovereign state, while all the

other provinces remained in direct control
of the central Government In 1858 this
amendment was confirmed by the promulga-
tion of a new Constitution creating the
Granadan Confederation, and constituilng a

Rroup of sovereign stales federated for
mited purposes, but otherwise Independent
and possessing at all times the rights of
nullification and secession. In 1800 sev-
eral of the states in this federation. Includ-
ing i*anama. adopted ordinances of seces-

Online LibraryUnited States. PresidentA compilation of the messages and papers of the presidents → online text (page 15 of 111)