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HIS work was undertaken for the purpose of
showing the meaning of the Hay-Pauncefote
treaty; and, while the subject is uppermost in public attention, to give that meaning the widest possible publicity.
We concluded, upon examination of the record after President Wilson's brief message asking the Congress to repeal the tolls-exemption clause of the Panama Canal act, that many honest, sincere and patriotic American citizens had, as we ourselves had before examining the subject in a judicial frame of mind, assumed basic conditions contrary to the actual record, and that many had argued upon popular misconceptions of vital facts.
We aimed to present a conclusive statement of facts demonstrating that the United States cannot grant free transportation through the Panama Canal to its coastwise and foreign shipping without violating the Hay-Pauncefote treaty.
This work is primarily a source book. Chapter I contains the traditional documents and the sections of other treaties which assist one in ascertaining the real meaning of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty. The letters of the negotiators of the treaty supplement these data. By comments and the use of quotations, we aimed to weave this material into a connected whole so that the real meaning of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty would stand out distinctly.
In Chapter II we assembled able arguments of public men in favor of the repeal of the tolls-exemption clause of the Panama Canal act. This Chapter and Chapter I are primarily designed to be sources of documents, excerpts from treaties, letters and arguments by others. It is believed that therein are assembled all the documents and arguments necessary to arrive at a correct conclusion. These documents and arguments are widely scattered. They are here assembled in one volume for the convenience of those desiring a correct understanding of this memorable controversy.
Chapters I and II contain the essential documents bearing on the meaning of the treaty and excerpts from convincing arguments in favor of the repeal of the tollsexemption clause of the Panama Canal act. These are woven into a connected statement thus combining the source book and connected argument method. It seemed to the authors that this would be the most effective method of presenting the data having a bearing on the meaning of the treaty and the arguments showing that meaning.
Owing to the nature of the material used and the manner of using it, it was not always possible to give adequate credit. Readers of the able speeches of Senators Root, McCumber, Burton and Representative Stevens will readily see that great use has been made of their arguments. The addresses of these three Senators and of Representative Stevens are the principal source of the secondary material used in this work.
In Chapter III we have supplemented the meager data on the financial aspects of the question by an extended original discussion of the business and public utility aspect of the Panama Canal. The argument is based on the fact that our traditional policy, the clause of the treaty, "Such conditions and charges of traffic shall be just and equitable," and the method adopted in securing title to the Canal Zone obligate the United States to treat this international waterway as a public utility. The financial and commercial policy that the United States must adopt to conform thereto is outlined. It is shown that this policy is in complete harmony with the Hay-Pauncefote treaty.
The work contains some repetition. Because of the number of sources from which the material used was drawn, repetition could not have been avoided. It would not have been desirable to have avoided it entirely if it could have been easily done. All minds are not equally mature and so it may well be that the method of here a little and there a little from different standpoints is the way of correct understanding.
Fundamental principles and important documents are involved in the consideration of a question like this, and, as they have a bearing on the various standpoints from which the question was considered, repetition was inevitable. We aimed to assemble that which would be most effective from many sources and to weave it into a connected whole. This makes accessible in a single volume all that is worth while that has any bearing on the tolls-exemption controversy.
It is customary for quotations to be printed solid in order to set them apart from the context. It was not found feasible to do so in this work owing to the extent to which quotations have been used. Quotations within quotations are printed solid in order to differentiate them from the quotations of which they are a part.
This work was well advanced before the tolls-exemption clause of the Panama Canal act was repealed. Its tone is argumentative--urging repeal. The same arguments will apply if any attempt is made to re-enact the clause or a similar one. That is why this work was undertaken and prosecuted to its final conclusion-publication. Its sole object is opposition to tolls-exemption inasmuch as it would violate the Hay-Pauncefote treaty.
The tolls-exemption clause of the Panama Canal act is repealed. This is primarily due to the efforts of those members of the Democratic Party who loyally supported the President. Paramount credit is due to them. Able addresses in favor of the repeal of this statute were delivered by them in the Senate and in the House. To have used excerpts from these speeches would have resulted in needless repetition. Suffice it to say that excerpts therefrom could have been used in place of arguments actually used without impairment of the strength of the narrative.
The tolls-exemption clause of the Panama Canal act was clearly in violation of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty, and reversed the traditional policy of the United States. This work was prepared in the hope that it would assist in keeping tolls-exemption for our coastwise and foreign commerce in a state of innocuous desuetude.