Зображення сторінки

Xnsular Possessions of the United States.

THE PHILIPPINES. The Philippine group, lying off the southern coast of Asia, between longitude 120 and 130 and latitude 5 and 20 approximately, number about 2,000 islands, great and small, in a land and sea area of 1,200 miles of latitude and 2, 400 miles of longitude. The actual land area is about 140,000 miles. The six New England States, New York, and New Jersey have about an equivalent area. The island of Luzon, on which the capital city (Manila) is situated, is the largest member of the group, being about the size of the State of New York. Mindanao is nearly as large, but its population is very much smaller. The latest estimates of areas of the largest islands are: Luzon, 44, 400; Mindanao, 34,000; Samar, 4,800; Panay, 4,700; Mindoro, 4,000; Leyte, 3,800; Negros, 3,300; Cebu, 2,400.

À census of the Philippines was taken by the United States Government in 1903 under the auspices of the Census Office. The population returned was 7,635, 426. Of this number almost seveu million are more or less civilized. The wild tribes form about 9 per cent, of the entire population. Racially the inhabitants are principally Malays. The civilized tribes are practically ail adherents of the Catholic Church, the religion being that introduced into the country by the Spaniards when they took possession of the islands in 1565. The Church has since then been a strong ruling power and the priesthood numerous. The Moros are Mohammedans and the other wild peoples have no recognized religious beliefs. The total number of non-Christian peoples is 647,740.

The density of population in the Philippines is 67 per square mile. In Continental United States it is 26 per square mile. Foreigners number about 50,000, of whom nearly three-fourths are Chinese. Exclusive of the Army there are 8, 135 Americans in the islands, nearly one-half being located in the municipalities. There are thirty different races in the islands, all speaking distinct dialects, the largest tribe being the Visayans, who form nearly one-fourth of the entire civilized population. The Tagalogs, occupying the provinces in the vicinity of Manila, rank second in numbers, and the Ilocanos the third. Education has been practically reorganized by the Americans. The number of persons attending school is 811,715. Six thousand teachers are employed, four-fifths of whom are Filipinos. English is very generally taught, and the next generation of Filipinos will probably speak that tongue. Pauperism is almost unknown in the islands. In 1902 there were only 1,668 paupers maintained at public charge. The average normal death rate in the Philippines is 32 per thousand. The birth rate is 48 per thousand. There were in 1902 41 newspapers published, 12 being in English, 24 in Spanish, 4 in native dialects, and 1 in Chinese. The estimated real estate property value is

The reported value of church buildings, mostly Catholic, is 911, 69, poperty 152,718,661 pesos.

While there are four towns with more than 10,000 population Manila is the only incorporated city. Its inhabitants numbered 219,928 in 1902.

The climate is one of the best in the tropics. The islands extend from 50 to 210 north latitude, and Manila is in 140 35'. The thermometer during July and August rarely goes below 790 or above 850. The extreme ranges in a year are said to be 610 and 970, and the annual mean 810.

AGRICULTURE. Although agriculture is the chief occupation of the Filipinos, yet only one-ninth of the surface is under cultivation. The soil is very fertile, and even after deducting the mountainous areas it is probable that the area of cultivation can be very largely extended and that the islands can support population equal to that of Japan (42,000,000).

The chief products are hemp, rice, corui, sugar, tobacco, cocoanuts, and cacao, hemp being the most important commercial product and constituting two-thirds of the value of all exports. Coffee and cotton were formerly produced in large quantities-the former for export and the latter for home consumption; but the coffee plant has been almost exterminated by insects and the home-made cotton cloths have been driven ont by the competition of those imported from England. The rice and corn are principally produced in Luzon and Mindoro and are consumed in the islands. The cacao is raised in the soithern islands, the best quality of it at Mindanao. The sugar cane is raised in the Visayas. The hemp is produced in Southern Luzon, Mindoro, the Visayas, and Mindanao. It is nearly all exported in bales. Tobacco is raised in all the islands.

IMPORTS AND EXPORTS. In the year ending December 31, 1906, the exports of merchandise from the United States to the Philippines were $5,458,867, and the total imports from the Philippines for the same period were $12,337,927.

The imports of merchandise from foreign countries, year ending December 31, 1906, were $25,114,852, and the exports were $16,681,097. The principal foreign countries trading with the Philippines are Great Britain, French

East Indies, China, and Spain.

CIVIL GOVERNMENT FOR THE PHILIPPINES. On July 1, 1902, Congress passed (chapter 1369) "An act_temporarily to provide for the administration of the affairs of civil government in the Philippine Islands and for other purposes.'' Under this act complete civil goverriment was established in the Archipelago and the office of Military Governor with military rule was terminated. William H. Taft was appointed Goveruor by the President. Governor Taft was succeeded by Luke E. Wright in December, 1903, by Henry Clay Ide in 1905, and James F. Smith, the present Governor, in 1906. The government is composed of a civil governor and seven commissioners, of whom four are Americans and three Filipinos. There are four executive departments-Interior Finance, and Justice, Commerce and Police, and Public Instruction. There are thirty-nine provinces, each with a governor, a supreme court with seven judges, and fourteen judicial districts. In March, 1907, the President will, in accordance with the act of Congress, direct the Commission to call a general election of delegates to a Philippine Assembly, which will take over the legislative powers hitherto exercised by the Commission. The new Assembly will consist of two houses, to be known as the Philippine Commission and the Philippine Assembly. The latter is to consist of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred members. It is probable that the present Commission will be merged into the Upper House.

PORTO RICO. The island of Porto Rico, over which the flag of the United States was raised in token of formal possession on October 18, 1898, is the most eastern of the Greater Antilles in the West Indies and is separated on the east from the Danish island of St. Thomas by a distance of about fifty miles, and from Hayti on the west by the Mona passage, seventy miles wide. Distances from San Juan, the capital, to important points are as follows: New York, 1,411 miles; Charleston, s. C., 1,200 miles; Key West, Fla., 1,050 miles; Havana, 1,000 miles.

The island is a parallelogram in general outline, 108 miles from the east to the west, and from 37 to 43 miles across, the area being about 3.600 square miles, or somewhat less than half that of the State of New Jersey (Delaware has 2,050 square miles and Connecticut 4,990 square miles). The INSULAR POSSESSIONS OF THE UNITED STATES-Continued. population according to an enumeration made by the United States Government in 1900 showea a population of 953,243, of whom 589,426 are white and 363,817 are colored. The

density was 26.4 to the square mile; 83.2 per cent of the population cannot read.

Porto Rico is unusnally fertile, and its dominant industries are agriculture and lumbering. In elevated regions the vegetation of the temperate zone is not unknown. There are more than 500 varieties of trees found in the forests, and the plains are full of palm, orange, and other trees. The principal crops are sugar, coffee, tobacco, cotton, and maize, but bananas, rice, pineapples, and many other fruits are important products. The largest article of export from Porto Rico is coffee, which is over 63 per cent of the whole. The next largest is sugar, 28 per cent. The other exports in order of amount are tobacco, honey, molasses, cattle, timber, and hides.

The principal minerals found in Porto Rico are gold, carbonates, and sulphides of copper and magnetic oxide of iron in large quantities. Lignite is found at Utuado and Moca, and also yellow amber. A large variety of marbles, limestones, and other building stones are deposited on the island, but these resources are very undeveloped. There are salt works at Guanica and Salinac on the south coast, and at Cape Rojo on the west, and these constitute the principal mineral industry in Porto Rico.

The principal cities are Mayaguez, with 15,187, Ponce, 27.962 inbabitants: and San Juan, the capital, with 32,048. The shipments of domestic merchandise from the United States to Porto Rice, year ending December 31, 1906, were $18, 648,991. The exports of domestic merchandise 10 the United States were $18.053, 808. The foreign trade, year ending December 31, 1906, was: Imports, $2,602,784; exports, $4, 115,069.

An act providing for a civil government for Porto Rico was passed by the Fifty-sixth Congress and received the assent of the President April 12, 1900. A statement of its provisions was printed in THE WORLD ALMANAC for 1901, pages 92 and 93. President Roosevelt in his message to Congress in December, 1906, recommended the granting of United States citizenship to the Porto Ricans.

Under this act a civil government was established, which went into effect May 1, 1900. There are two legislative chambers, the Executive Council, or “Upper House," composed of the Government Secretary, Attorney-General, Treasurer, Auditor, Commissioner of the Interior, and Commissioner of Education, and five citizens appointed by the President, and the House of Delegates, or **Lower House, consisting of 35 members, elected by the people. The island is represented near the Congress of the United States by a Resident Comn: issioner.

QUAM. The island of Guam, the largest of the Marianne or Ladrone Archipelago, was ceded by Spain to the United States by Article 2 of the Treaty of Peace, concluded at Paris December 10, 1898. “It lies in a direct line from San Francisco to the southern part of the Philippines, and is 5,200 miles from San Francisco and 900 miles from Manila. It is about 32 miles long and 100 miles in circumference, and has a population of about 8,661, of whom 5,249 are in Agana, the capital. The inhabitants are mostly immigrants or descendants of immigrants from the Philippines, the original race of the Ladrone Islands being extinct. The prevailing language is Spanish. Nine-tenths of the islanders can read and write. The island is thickly wooded, well watered, and fertile, and possesses an excellent harbor. The productions are tropical fruits, cacao, rice, corn, tobacco, and sugar cane.

Commander Taussig, of the United States gunboat Bennington, took possession of the island and raised the United States flag over Fort Santa Cruz on February 1, 1899.

TUTUILA. Tutuila, the Samoan island which, with its attendant islets of Tau, Olesinga, and Ofu, became a possession of the United States by virtue of the tri-partite treaty with Great Britain and Germany in 1899, covers, according to the Bureau of Statistics of the Treasury Department, fifty-four square miles, an has 5,800 inhabitants. It possesses the most valuable island harbor, Pa Pago, in the South Pacific, and perhaps in the entire Pacific Ocean. Commercially the island is unimportant at present, but is extremely valuable in its relations to the commerce of any nation desiring to cultivate transpacific commerce.

Ex-Chief Justice Chambers, of Samoa, says of Pago-Pago that “The harbor could hold the entire naval force of the United States, and is so perfectly arranged that only two vessels can enter at the same time. The coaling station, being surrounded by high bluffs, cannot be reached by shells from outside.'' The Government is increasing the capacity to 10,000 tons.

The Samoan Islands, in the South Pacific, are fourteen in number, and lie in a direct line drawn from San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand. They are 4,000 miles from San Francisco, 2,200 miles from Hawaii, 1,900 miles from Auckland, 2,000 miles from Sydney, and 4,200 miles from Manila. Germany governs all the group except the part owned by the United States. The inhabitants are native Polynesians and Christians of different denominations.

WAKE AND OTHER ISLANDS. The United States flag was hoisted over Wake Island in January, 1899, by Commander Taussig, of the Bennington, while proceeding to Guam. It is a small island in the direct route from Hawaii to Hong Kong, about 2,000 miles from the first and 3,000 miles from the second.

The United States possesses a number of scattered small islands in the Pacific Ocean, some hardly more than rocks or coral reefs, over which the flag has been hoisted from time to time. They are of little present value and mostly uninhabited. The largest are Christmas, Gallego, Starbuck, Penrhyn, Phoenix, Palmyra, Howland, Baker, Johnston, Gardner, Midway, Morell, and Marcus Islands. The Midway Islands are occupied by a colony of telegraphers in charge of the relay in the cable line connecting the Philippines with the United States and a camp of United States marines, in all about forty persons.

I'he Santa Barbara group is a part of California and the Aleutian chain, extending from the peninsula of Kamchatka in Asiatic Russia to the promontory in North America which separates Bering Sea from the North Pacific, a part of Alaska.

HAWAII. Hawaii was annexed to the United States by joint resolution of Congress July 7, 1898. A bill to create Hawaii a Territory of the United States was passed by Congress and approved April 30, 1900.

The area of the several islands of the Hawaiian group is as follows: Hawaii, 4,210 square miles; Maui, 760; Oahu, 600; Kauai, 590; Molokai, 270, Lanai, 150; Niihau, 97; Kahoolawe, 63. Total, 6,740 square miles.

At the time of the discovery of the islands by Captain Cook in 1778 the native population was about 200,000. This has steadily decreased, so that at the last census the natives numbered but 31,019, INSULAR POSSESSIONS OF THE UNITED STATES- Continued. which was less than that of the Japanese and Chinese immigrants settled in the islands. A census taken early in 1897 revealed a total population of 109,020, distributed according to race as follows: Males, Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total. Hawaiians. 16.399 14.620 31,019 Portuguese

8, 202 6,898 15, 100 Part Hawaiians. 4,249 4,236 8,485 Americans.

1,975 1,111 3,086 Japanese. 19.212 5, 195 24.407 British



2,250 Chinese ...

19, 1674 2,449 21,616 The remainder were Germans, French, Norwegians, South Sea Islanders, and representatives of other nationalities. The American population was 2.73 per cent, of the whole The American popuation has increased since annexation.

The first United States census of the islands was taken in 1900 with the following result: Hawaii Island, 46,843; Kauai Island, 20,562; Niihau Island, 172; Maui Island. 25. 416; Molokai Island and Lanai Islaud, 2.504; Oahu Işland, 58,504. Total of the Territory, 154, 001. The population of the City of Honolulu is 39,306.

The exports from Hawaii to the United States in the twelve months ending December 31, 1906, were valued at $26,850,463. The imports into Hawaii from the United States for the same period were valued at $11,771, 155. The imports from foreign countries for the same period were $3,275, 242, exports $56,313.

The new Territorial Government was inaugurated at Honolulu June 14, 1900, and the first Territorial Legislature began its sessions at Honolulu February 20, 1901. The Legislature is composed of two houses-the Senate of fifteen members, holding office four years, and the House of Representatives of thirty members, holding office two years. The Legislature meets biennially, and sessions are limited to sixty days.

The Executive power is lodged in a Governor, a Secretary, both appointed by the President, and hold office four years, and the following officials appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate of Hawaii: An Attorney-General, Treasurer, Commissioner of Public Lands, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Superintendent of Public Works, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Auditor and Deputy, Surveyor, High Sheriff, and members of the Boards of Health, Public Instruction, Prison Inspectors, etc. They hold office for four years, and must be citizens of Hawaii.

The Judiciary of the Territory is composed of the Supreme Court, with three Judges, the Circuit Court, and such inferior conrts as the Legislature may establish. The Judges are appointed by the President. The Territory is a Federal Judicial District, with a District Judge, District Attorney, and Marshal, all appointed by the President. The District Judge has all the powers of a Circuit Judge.

The Territory is represented in Congress by a Delegate, who is elected biennially by the people.

Provision is made in the act creating the Territory for the residence of Chinese in the Territory, and prohibition as laborers to enter the United States.

Territorial Expansion of the United States. THERE have been thirteen additions to the original territory of the Union, including Alaska, the Hawaiian, Philippine, and Samoan Islands and Guam, in the Pacific, and Porto Rico and Pine Islands, in the West Indies, and the Panama Canal zone; and the total area of the United States, including the noncontiguous territory, is now fully five times that of the original thirteen colonies.

The additions to the territory of the United States subsequent to the peace treaty, with Great Britain of 1783 are shown by the following table, prepared by the United States General Land Office: ADDITIONS TO THE TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES FROM 1800 TO 1900. Area



Added. Price.


S. Miles. Dollars.

S. Miles. Dollars. Louisiana purchase. 1803 875, 025 15,000,000 Porto Rico.


3,6000 Florida

1819 70.107 5, 499, 768 Pine Islands (W. Indies) 1898 882 Texas. 1845 389.795 Guam.


175 Oregon Territory. 1846 288,689

Philippine Islands. 1899 143,000 20,000,000 Mexican cession 1848 523,802 *18,250,000 Samoan Islands


73 Purchase from Texas. 1850 t 10,000,000 Additional Philippines... 1901 68 100,000 Gadsden purchase


36,211 10,000,000 Alaska... 1867 599,446 7,200,000 Total

12,937,613 87,039, 768 Hawaiian Islands


6,740 * of which $3,250,000 was in payment of claims of American citizens against Mexico. Area purchased from Texas amounting to 123,784 square miles is not included in the column of area added, because it became a part of the area of the United States with the admission of Texas.

1 ACQUISITION OF THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE IN 1904. ArticlTwo of the treaty between the United States and the Republic of Panama, ratified by the United States Senate February 23, 1904, treaty in effect February 26, 1904, provided for the cession, in perpetuity, by Panama, of a strip of territory adjacent to the canal, as follows:

“The Republic of Panama grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation, and control of the zone of land and land under water for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of said canal of the width of ten miles, extending to the distance of five miles on each side of the centre line of the route of the canal' to be constructed; the said zone beginning in the Caribbean Sea, three marine miles from mean low-water mark, and extending to and across the Isthmus of Panama into the Pacific Ocean to a distance of three marine miles from mean low-water mark, with the proviso that the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbors adjacent to said cities, which are included within the boundaries of the zone above described, shall not be included within this grant. The Republic of Panama further grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation, and control of any other lands and waters outside of the zone above described which may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the said canal or of any auxiliary canals or other work necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the said enterprise. The Republic of Panama further grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation, and control of all islands within the limits of the zone above described, and in addition thereto the group of small islands in the Bay of Panama named Perico, Nacs, Culebra, and Flamingo.”

The Panama Canal. FINAL á pproval of the lock canal project across the Isthmus of Panama was given or. Jure 21, 1906, when the United States Senate adopted the lock canal amendment offered by Senator Hopkins, of Illinois, to the bill providing for a sea-level canal of which Senator Kittredge, of soutli Dakota, was the author. The vote substituting the lock canal for one of the sea-level type was 35 to 31.

The House of Representatives had already declared itself in favor of a jock canal hy vote of 110 to 36 on June 15, when it provided that no part of the $25,000,000 appropriation carried in the Sundry Civil Appropriation bill should be expended in the construction of a sea-level canal.

The President had publicly announced that he would veto the Sundry Civi Appropriation bullin the event it carried a rider providing for a sea-level canal. It was largely this threat that won the Senate over to an indorsement of the lock canal.

The engineers in charge of the work estimate that the lock canal will cost $140,000,000 and will require eight years to complete, while a sea-level canal, the engineers agreed, would cosť mot less than $272,000,000 and would require at least twelve years and possibly twenty years to construct.

All the Democratic senators, with the exception of Senator Patterson, of Colorado, and ten of the thirty-one Republicans present voted for the sea-level cana'. Thirty-five Republicans and Senator Patterson yoted for a lock canal.

The President in sending to Congress the report of the Board of Consulting Engineers on February 19, 1006, declared hinself in favor of the lock type of canal, although the Board of Consulting Engineers had decided in favor f a canal of the sea-level type. - The President called attention to the fact that the board was divided, a najority of the board, eight in number, including the five foreign engineers, favoring a sea-level canal, and one member of the Panama Canal Commission, Admiral Endicott, taking the same position. Five of the American members of the Board of Consulting Engineers and five members of the Isthmian Canal Commission favored a lock canal, which also had the approval of Chief Engineer Stevens.

Regarding this line of the engineers and canal commissioners the President said:

* It will be noticed that the American engineers on the consulting board and on the Commission by n more than two-to-one majority favor the lock canal, whereas the foreign engineers are a unit against it. I think this is partly to be explained by the fact that the great traffic canal of the Old World is the Suez Canal, a sea-level canal, while the great traffic canal of the New World is the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, a lock canal. Although the latter, the Soo Canal, is closed during the Winter months, it carries annually three times the traffic of the Suez Canal." Summing up, the President said:

"! A careful study of the reports seems to establish a strong probability that the following are tbe facts:

**The sea-level canal would be slightly less exposed to damage in the event of war; the running expenses, a part from the heavy cost of interest on the amount employed to build it, would be less; and for small ships the time for transit would probably be less. On the other hand, the lock canal, at a level of eighty feet or thereabouts, would not cost much more than half as much to build, and could be built in about half the time, while there would be very much less risk connected with building it, and for large ships the transit would be quicker: while, taking into account the interest on the amount saved in building, the actual cost of maintenance would be less.

“ After being built it would be easier to enlarge the lock canal than the sea-level canal. Moreover, what has been actually demonstrated in making and operating the great lock canal, the Soo, a more important artery of traffic than the great sea-level canal, the Suez, goes to support the opinion of the minority of the consulting Board of Engineers and of the majority of the Isthmian Canal Commission as to the superior safety, feasibility and desirability of building a lock canal at Panama.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PANAMA CANAL. The following is an authorized detailed description of the Panama Canal by the Isthmian Canal Commission:

"The general type of canal proposed is to form a summit level about 85 feet above the sea, which is to be reached by a flight of locks located at Gatun on the Atlantic side, and by one lock at Pedro Miguel, with two others at La Boca, on the Pacific side; the locks are all to be in duplicate. The summit level will be formed by the construction of a large dam at Gatun, and a smali one at Pedro Miguel. A second lake, with a surface elevation of 55 feet, will be formed on the Pacific side between Pedro Miguel and Panama Bay by the construction of a dam at La Boca, across the mouth of the Rio Grande, and another dam between Sosa Hill and high ground near Corozal.

“The first, or Colon section, is from the Caribbean Sea to the mouth of the Mindi River, where a channel is to be excavated, having a bottom width of 500 feet and a depth of 42 feet below mean tide.

“From the mouth of the Mindi River to the Gatun locks the canal is to have a bottom width of 500 feet and a depth of 42 feet below mean tide,

“The Gatun locks are to be built in duplicate--that is, there are to be two sets of locks, side by side. The lift will be overcome by a flight of three locks of 28 1-3 feet ordinary lift each, or a flight of two locks of 421, feet lift each. Neither the details of their construction nor their exact location has yet been definitely fixed. At the upper end of the upper lock and the lower end of the lower lock guide walls will be constructed for the handling of vessels entering or departing.

"The location of the Gatun dam is near the Gatun Hills, in which the locks are ,ocated, to the hill about 3,500 feet westward, in which the spillway will be located, and extends from thence in a broken line to the high ground westward. In the construction of this dam, all trees, stumps, and roots from the site are to be removed and the surface excavated to such depth that the impervious material of which the dam will be composed will come into direct contact with that on which it is to rest.

"The object of this dam is to form a reservoir in which the floods of the Chngres will be received. Its area will be about 110 square miles. The dam is to have a height of about 135 feet above sea level. The width on top is to be 100 feet. The slopes above lake level are 1 on 2, and below this l on 3 on the lake 'side and 1 on 25 on the opposite side. Its length will be about 7,700 feet, and the width at bottom a bout 2,625 feet.

“Works for regulating the level of the lake will be located in the hill which is about midway between the two extremities of the dam These consist of a system of Stoney gates constructed on foundations of concrete. The gates proposed are almost exact counterparts of those built for controlling the flow of water in the lower end of the Chicago Drainage Canal.

From the Gatun locks to San Pablo, a distance of a hout 15% miles, the width of the channel will be at least 1,000 feet, and all growth within 50 feet of water surface of lake for that width must be destroyed or removed. The depth is to be 45 feet. Farther up the lake the width of the channel will


decreased, first, to 800 feet for a distance of 3.86 miles, from near San Pablo to Juan Grande: then to 500 feet from Juan Grande to Obispo, a distance of 3.73 miles; then to 300 feet from Obispo to Las Cascadas, a distance of 1.55 miles, where will begin the Culebra cut.

"From Luis Cascadas to near Para iso, known as the 'Culebra cut' section, a distance of 4.7 miles, the width of the canal will be 200 feet. This is the heaviest portion of the work.

"From near Paraiso, the end of the Culebra cut, to the Pedro Miguel lock, a distance of 1.88 miles, the canal will have a width of 300 feet.

**The Pedro Miguel lock will have a lift of 30 feet. It will be in duplicate, and will have approach walls constructed at each end. The details of the lock have not yet been determined. . A short dem from the lock to the hill to the northward will be constructed to retain the water in the summit level.

"From Pedro Miguellock the channel will have a width of 500 feet for a distance of 1.87 miles. It will then increase to 1,000 feet or more for a distance of 3.61 miles to near Sosa Hill, on the shore of Panama Bay, where the Sosa locks will be located.

“ The Sosa locks are to be in a flight of two with a lift of 27/4 feet each, and to be in duplicate. The details of these locks have not yet been determined,

"A dam will be constructed across the Rio Grande froin San Juan Hill to Sosa Hill, another from Sosa Hill to Corozal Hill, and a small

dam from Corozal Hill to the high ground to the eastward. These dams willform a lake known as Sosa Lake. It has an area of about eight square miles, and will be provided with regulating works for discharging its surplus waters.

"From Sosa locks to the deep water in Panama Bay, a distance of about four miles, the channel is to have a bottom width of 500 feet and a depth of 50 feet below mean tide. The mean rise and fall of the tide is about 15 feet, but it may reach as much as 22 or 23 feet,

• The Panama Railroad will be relocated throughout almost the entire distance from the mouth of the Mindi River to Panama. Some heavy embankments will be required to cross certain portions of Gatun Lake."

The details as to the construction of the canal was left by Congress to the President and the
Isthmian Canal Commission, consisting of the following persons :

Theodore P. Shonts, Chairman; salary, $30,000.
Oharles E. Magoon, Governor of canal zone; salary, $17,500.
Rear Admiral Mordecai T. Endicott, U. S. N.; salary, $7,500.
Brig.-Gen. Peter C. Haines, U.S. A., retired; salary, $7,500.
Col. Oswald H, Ernst, Corps of Engineers, U.S. A.; salary, $7,500,
Benjamin M. Harrod; salary, $7,500,
Joseph Bucklin Bishop; salary, $10,000.

Mr. Bishop was originally employed as the historian of the canal by the President and in addition to this duty was to act as the Secretary of the Commission. Congress objected to paying a salary of $10,000 a year to Mr. Bishop on the ground that he was in reality merely a "press agent" for the Commission and not entitled to receive a greater salary than three of its members. The President hotly defended the employment or Mr. Bishop and when it became certain that Congress would not provide for his salary the President appointed him a member of the Commission, and it was specified that he should have a salary of $7,500 a year with an additional $2,500 for acting as the secretary,

Commissioner Magoon has been ordered to Cuba by the President as Governor, and his place on the Canal Commission has not yet been filled.

After many consultations with the President, the Commission decided to have the canal built by contract. It was decided that this would be tlie quickest and most economical method of construction. The work will at all times be under the direction and supervision of the engineers of the Commission, The canal is to be divided into sub-divisions and contractors will be permitted to bid on as many sections or sub-divisions as they desire.

The problem of securing efficient labor to dig the canal has been a most perplexing one. There are now some 17,000 men at work. It was found after trial that the Jamaican and West Indian negroes were not dependable and could not stand the work. The President, at the solicitation of Chairman Shonts of the Commission, consented that Chinese coolie la bor might be employed on the isthmus. In accordance with this determination the Isthmian Canal Commission, on August 29, 1906,, mailed to labor agents and prospective contractors specifications which will govern in furnishing 15,000 Chinese, to begin work on January 1, 1907, Tie contracts are to be for two years, with privilege of renewal. The Chinese must come from districts in southern China, and must be between the ages of twenty-one and

forty-two years. All Chinese will be required to work ten hours a day. The Commission received * replies to these proposals offering to furnish the labor at from nine to thirteen cents per hour.

Congress passed an act waving the eight-hour law on all work on the canal zone, except as to American la bor.

On July 2 the Secretary of the Treasury, Leslie M. Shaw, announced that $30,000,000 of the two per cent. canal bonds authorized by the Spooner act, under which the canal work is progressing, would be sold. The issue was oversubscribed nearly fifteen times, and the Government received a premium of $1,200,000 on the sale because of the high prices offered. Of the $31,200,000 received by the bond sale $16,500,000 was converted into the Treasury to repay the emergency appropriations made earlier in the year.

The Isthmian Canal Commission estimated that it would require $26,348,281 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1907. Of the entire amount only $4,000,000 was for the pay of unskilled labor, the actual diggers of the canal. The amount was divided as follows: Skilled labor, $5,598,000; for the pay of officers and employés of the Commission, other than skilled and unskilled, $3,916,000; for material and supplies, $10,224,000, and for cable service, travelling expenses, &c., $800,000.

This appropriation is expected to complete the plant for the actual construction of the canal.

Because of the fact that the Canal Commission exceeded its appropriation during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1906, and authorized expenditures for which it had no authority, the Senate Committee on Interoceanie Canals undertook to investigate it. Another charge made against the Commission was that it had refused to make a detailed statement of its expenditures as requested to do by Congress.

The President at once went to the aid of the Commission, and in a special message to Congress transmitting the report of the Commission gave it a clean bill of health in the following language:

" I repeat that the work on the isthmus has been done and is being done admirably. The organization is good. The mistakes are extraordinarily few, and these few have been of practically of no consequence, The zeal, intelligence and efficient public service of the Isthmian Commission and its

« НазадПродовжити »