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tectorate over the Mosquito Indian country, claiming as far south as the San Juan River. This greatly irritated the people of the United States; for, in addition to being an infringement upon the Monroe Doctrine, it would, if allowed, put Great Britain in control of the eastern end of what was then considered to be the most practicable route for a canal. The attitude of the two nations was one of mutual jealousy, each fearing that the other would attempt to get for itself some advantage not possessed by the other, with respect to a canal, although neither actually sought a monopoly of political control. In other words, it was not a question of what either nation did want to get for itself alone, but of what each suspected that the other nation might be trying to get for itself alone.
The Clayton-Bulwer treaty of 1850 settled that point, the first sentence of Article I reading: “The Governments of the United States and Great Britain hereby declare that neither the one nor the other will ever obtain or maintain for itself any exclusive control over the said ship-canal.” Other stipulations were that neither would erect or maintain fortifications commanding, or in the vicinity of the canal; nor occupy, fortify, colonize, assume or exercise any dominion over Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mosquito Coast, or any part of Central America, nor to that end make use of any intimacy or alliance; the powers jointly engaged to protect the finished canal from interruption, seizure or unjust confiscation, and to guarantee that the canal should be ever open and free; they engaged to invite other powers to join them in
similar stipulations; and they established a "general rule” by agreeing to extend their protection, not alone to a canal at Nicaragua (the then favored site), but to any other practicable communication, whether by canal or railway, across the Isthmus.
In a memorandum * of the Secretary of State, Mr. Olney, written in 1896, it is pointed out that the United States desired, in negotiating the ClaytonBulwer treaty, to overcome two difficulties: one, the rights asserted by Great Britain on the Mosquito Coast; the other, the inability to get in this country the capital necessary to prosecute the work of canal construction by the American company in whose favor the United States had obtained concessions from Nicaragua by treaty in 1849, or to get capital abroad as long as the canal enterprise was conducted under purely American auspices. After stating that the treaty secured the two objects desired, he goes on to say: "In short, the true operation and effect of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty is that, as respects Central America generally, Great Britain has expressly bound herself to the Monroe Doctrine, while, as respects all water and land interoceanic communications across the Isthmus, the United States has expressly bound itself to so far waive the Monroe Doctrine as to admit Great Britain to a joint protectorate.” The waiver of the Monroe Doctrine was even greater than Mr. Olney states, for Article VI opens with the words: “The contracting parties in this convention engage to invite every state, with which both or either have friendly
* Moore's International Law Digest, Vol. III, Sec. 364.
intercourse, to enter into stipulations with them similar to those which they have entered into with each other.” If it was a waiver of the Monroe Doctrine in any degree to enter into a joint protectorate of the canal with Great Britain, it was certainly a waiver to a greater degree to engage to invite every other state to do likewise.
For a decade after 1850 there was friction between the United States and Great Britain over the interpretation of some features of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, which were not directly connected, however, with canal matters. In 1860 these sources of friction were satisfactorily adjusted, and then the Civil War engaged this country's attention to the exclusion of everything not of immediate importance. After the Civil War there were signs of a change of sentiment in the United States regarding the control of the canal. It began to be appreciated that our interests demanded our exclusive control of the canal, instead of sharing that control with foreign nations, or with one such nation, as Great Britain. Such a complete reversal of sentiment took time to develop. In 1877, in President Grant's administration, a draft treaty looking to neutralization was prepared “to which it was proposed to obtain the accession of the principal maritime powers.” * In his message of March 8, 1880, President Hayes enunciated the new and contrary policy in these plain words: “The policy of this country is a canal under American control. The United States cannot consent to the surrender of this control to any European power, or to any combination of European powers”;* and further on he used the words so often quoted since: “It (the canal) will be . virtually a part of the coast line of the United States." This policy directly contravened our engagements with Great Britain in the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, and it became our object to get rid of those engagements in order to have the free hand we desired. For twenty years the matter was agitated until, in the HayPauncefote treaty, our wishes were met by Great Britain, and very fully met as will be seen by a perusal of the treaty which is quoted at the end of this chapter.
* Moore's International Law Digest, Vol. III, p. 187.
This treaty, as stated at the outset, is the basis of the international status of the canal. With a knowledge of the conditions before the treaty was negotiated it is difficult to see in what manner the United States has been worsted in its provisions, as has recently been claimed. Almost invariably treaties are compromises, and almost invariably for favors granted there is, expressed or implied, a quid pro quo which carries obligations complementary to the favors. In the Hay memorandum,f sent to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations while the Hay-Pauncefote treaty was under consideration, it is said: “These rules (those of Article III) are adopted in the treaty with Great Britain as a consideration for getting rid of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty.” In the Hay-Pauncefote treaty Great Britain definitely renounced her legal right, existent under the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, of sharing with the United
* Moore's International Law Digest, Vol. III, p. 188. † Senate Document No. 746, 61st Congress, 3d Session.
States in the control and protection of the canal. In consenting to the supersession of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty she gave up the only treaty right with the United States known to the writer by which a nonAmerican nation had a voice in, and consequent possibility of interference with, matters in this hemisphere external to those covered by direct treaties between the several non-American and American nations. And more than this, — Great Britain gave up the right, the duty even, of inviting other nations to join with her and the United States in stipulations similar to those of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. It is plain that the United States not only gained the free hand she wanted in canal matters when the Hay-Pauncefote treaty was concluded, but also that the Monroe Doctrine was immensely strengthened, not to say rehabilitated. The impairment of the Monroe Doctrine by the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, whether due to force of circumstances at the time or done without a realization of its import, has now been remedied, and the United States can maintain it with no embarrassing exception to explain.
With the obstacle presented by the Clayton-Bulwer treaty cleared away, everything bade fair for the attainment of the wish of this country to build and control the canal. After much discussion the Panama route was decided upon, which was doubtless good engineering, although with that we are not concerned here; it was certainly good statesmanship to dispose of any possible rival, both in a business sense and with a view to obviating any possible future diplomatic dis