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administration and once by a Republican administration, and we forced New Granada and we forced little Colombia and little Panama to yield to our citizens and to our commerce equality of treatment in the passage of that Isthmus.
“Now, that same treaty is in force. Secretary Knox officially notified the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce that that same treaty is in force and effect right now. Secretary Root and Secretary Hay based their negotiations with Colombia on the fact that that treaty is in force.
"We did require Colombia and New Granada to yield to us equality of treatment. While that same treaty is now in force, we propose to continue a law and adopt a policy which shall forbid equality of treatment by us to them. By the law now on the books we propose to exercise the same sort of discrimination which we sent warships and cannon to forbid them making against us. I leave it to you to decide as to the honesty and sincerity of that nation and that people who, after they know the facts, will insist upon that sort of discrimination and inconsistency.
“Now, it is argued, and strongly, that because we have spent $400,000,000 in the construction of this canal and must defend and maintain it that it is ours and we ought to have the right to do with it as we please, and prefer and discriminate in favor of our own people. Consider what that argument really means. We went upon that great world highway between the oceans, knowing well the rights and interests of all nations in it. We knew and loudly claimed for many years that this was a great inter
national highway and that we should insist upon our rights of equal treatment in its use. We said so for fifty years before we undertook its construction. When we actually undertook the construction of that highway, we entered into an engagement with the nation which owned the land over which it passed, and promised that it should continue to be a highway for equal use of all nations. We said so in pledges to the world; we said so in express terms to the nation which granted us the land for the highway. In the very instrument of grant, the treaty with Panama, by which the Canal Zone was ceded to us for use as a canal, among other things two were especially mentioned by Panama, one that her own public vessels should use the canal free from tolls, and second, that all vessels of all nations should be equally treated, and that there should be no discrimination to or for any traffic of any nation. These are express conditions of the grant by which we acquired the Canal Zone. Shall we now repudiate these pledges and these promises as to this waterway?
“Senator Davis, in his great report, well said that,
Our Government or our people will furnish the money to build the canal presents the single question whether it is profitable to do so. If the canal, as property, is worth more than its cost we are not called on to divide the profits with other nations. If it is worth less and we are compelled by national necessities to build the canal, we have no right to call on other nations to make up the loss to us. In any view it is a venture that we will enter upon if it is to our interest, and if it is otherwise we will withdraw from its further considerations.
“When we commenced that great undertaking we knew what we were about to do. We went into it with our eyes wide open, and told the world, and especially our neighbors, of our intention; and now that it is finished, do the American people mean to say that because we want it, because we are big and it is big, we will do as we please regardless of the promises in the past?
"Article II provides three methods for constructing the canal: First, by the United States itself, at its own cost; second, by individuals or corporations whom the United States might assist by loan or gift of money; third, by individuals or corporations with whom the United States may co-operate through subscription to or purchase of stock or shares. Article II is as follows:
Article II. It is agreed that the canal may be constructed under the auspices of the Government of the United States, either directly at its own cost or by gift or loan of money to individuals or corporations or through subscription to or purchase of stock or shares, and that, subject to the provisions of the present treaty, the said Government shall have and enjoy all the rights incident to such construction, as well as the exclusive right of providing for the regulation and management of the canal.
“Necessarily the rules as to the use of the canal prescribed in Section 1, Article III, as to equality, must apply in the same way to all of these methods of construction and to whichever one of them may be adopted. There is nothing in the treaty indicating any different treatment of American vessels, whether the canal be constructed by private corporations or by the Government itself. This being true, with no provision in the treaty granting any preferential right or privilege, but, on the contrary, the strongest kind of language forbidding it, it must be difficult for any impartial person to fairly contend that a corporation constructing the canal at its own expense and operating it for a profit, as the Suez Canal was constructed and is operated, can, under these circumstances and conditions, be compelled to give free passage to a large class of vessels possibly yielding a larger profit to their owners, owned by other corporations or interests not named, described, or excepted anywhere in the treaty.
"It is submitted that under this treaty any corporation constructing and operating the canal under this provision would not be compelled to relinquish, without consideration, any of its legitimate revenues to another corporation owning and operating American ships in the coastwise trade.
"Exactly the same rule must apply to the construction and operation by the United States itself as by a private corporation doing the same thing, because the same language and the same authority and rules apply to both. There can be no exception in one case unless it can also be an exception in the other.
"It can hardly be argued that the United States might exact as a condition of any grant, aid, or subscription that there should be a preference or discrimination to the vessels of commerce of its citizens, because that very thing is expressly forbidden by the broad terms of Section 1, Article III, prohibiting any such exception or condition.
"Any other stockholder or guarantor could have as much right to exact his own private conditions for his own private advantage, with the result that the enterprise would face ruin from the start. The treaty gives the United States as a stockholder or guarantor no other rights than any other interest also assisting in the enterprise. A British, German, French or Japanese steamship company might subscribe, own and hold large blocks of stock or bonds in a corporation provided in section 2, and with equal right under the treaty might demand a preference for its vessels as an exception on account of such ownership. Of course such a demand would be absurd and unjust, and yet equally valid and equitable as a similar demand and exception for the United States. The terms of the treaty and the existing situation would seem to practically and legally make the United States a corporation sole, for the purpose of constructing, operating, and managing the canal, with exactly the same rights, obligations and responsibilities which would pertain to any other corporation provided for by the treaty, doing exactly the same thing under the treaty. But as an incident to ownership, the vessels of the owner, used for its own purposes in connection with the project, could undoubtedly be passed. A corporation could pass its vessels used for canal purposes. Equally the United States as a sovereign passes its public vessels used for its own purposes. That is what this section means.
But its qualifying phrases clearly exclude the vessels and commerce of all else than of the owner, the sovereign in the case of the United States. The article clearly grants rights to the vessels belonging to the sovereign and as clearly puts vessels belonging to the citizens of that sovereign on the same terms as vessels of the citizens of all nations.
“One of the principal arguments that the United States is not included within the terms of all nations observing these rules,' is that because the United States