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sels. The extensive equipment of the Panama Railroad which, of course, is a potent aid in the work of construction, is not included in the foregoing statement.
The Americans acquired from the French 2,150 buildings of various kinds.
Of this number 1,537 have been placed in use. Their estimated value at the time that they changed hands was about $2,000,000. The Commission has spent on these buildings about $890,000, making their value to-day about $2,890,000.
On March 23, 1910, the total force of the Isthmian Canal Commission and Panama Railroad Company, actually at work, was 38,732, of which 30,716 were employed by the former, 4,499 being on the gold payroll. The gold force is composed of the officials, clerical force, construction men, and skilled artificers. The silver force is made up of unskilled laborers, of whom about 5,000 are Europeans, mainly Spaniards, and the remaining 28,000 West Indian negroes. The standard wage for the latter is 10 cents an hour and for the Spaniards 20 cents.
The Subsistence Department is an extensive organization. It is divided into two branches commissary and hotel. It does about $7,000,000 worth of business in a year, two-thirds of this through the commissary and one-third through the hotels. It feeds, clothes and provides with necessaries, approximately 50,000 persons. The Department is self-sustaining. The commissary system consists of 13 general stores in as many Canal Zone villages, and three camps along the re-located line of the Panama Railroad. No goods are sold for cash, only coupons issued to employes being accepted in payment for purchases.
The hotel branch maintains the Tivoli Hotel at Ancon, and also 18 hotels for white gold employes, at which meals are served for 30 cents each; 18 messes for European laborers, who pay 40 cents per ration for three meals, and 17 kitchens for West Indian laborers, who are charged 30 cents per ration of three meals. There are served monthly in the hotels for gold employes, 188,000 meals; in the messes, 269,000 meals; and in the kitchens, 180,000. The supplies for one month cost about $90,000; labor and other expenses, $21,000. The monthly receipts, exclusive of the revenue from the Hotel Tivoli, amount to $112,000.
THE WORK UNDER ARMY ENGINEERS
For about nine months excellent work was done under John F. Stevens, as Chief Engineer, but he became dissatisfied with conditions and in April, 1907, his resignation was accepted. There is reason to believe that for some time the idea had been growing in the minds of the President and Secretary Taft that the work might better be done by engineers of the United States Army, and when the difficulty with Mr. Stevens opened the way for a change, a military organization was installed without delay. In considering the splendid progress that has been made by the Army officers, it should not be overlooked that they found excellent conditions in existence, due to the fine work of the preceding Chief Engineer and of Colonel Gorgas, the head of the Sanitary Department. The former had created order and system out of a state of affairs that was most unpromising. The latter