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Mr. Magoon. Yes; property that the Government is not utilizing, or for which the Government has no immediate use.
Senator MORGAN. That was in 1885 ?
Mr. Magoon. I think that is the date of it. I am familiar with its existence, and the leases that are issued on the property on the Zone recite the statute.
Senator MORGAN. That was before we had any interest in the canal there, was it not?
Mr. Magoon. Oh, yes, sir.
Senator MORGAN. But that is a statute to which you refer when you want to make a lease of lands to anybody in the Zone?
Mr. Magoon. Yes, sir. You see when we took over the French property on the Isthmus there were hundreds of little leaseholds where men had built houses and were cultivating the land, and the question came up as to what we should do with them, and that statute was one that was entirely familiar to all of us in the War Department, and was thought ample to confer the authority to continue those leaseholds or to grant new ones. The proceeds, of course, are converted into the Treasury of the United States.
Senator MORGAN. You would not think that because the French Company had created leases down there, or leasehold estates, that it would necessarily follow from that statute that you had the right to create others?
Mr. Magoon. The fact that the French had created leaseholds would not confer any authority, but the existence of the statute, I think, confers the authority.
Senator Morgan. I believe I will not ask the governor any further questions about this.
Senator TALIAFERRO. Are you a member of the railroad directory, Governor Magoon?
Mr. Magoon. Yes, sir; I am elected a member of it, and have attended one meeting.
Senator TALIAFERRO. Were you a member of the board when 620 bonds of the railway company were sold ?
Mr. Magoon. I was a member of it, yes, sir; but I did not attend the meeting, if that is what you mean. The directors of that company meet in New York, and, as I say, I have been on the Isthmus. I think I might explain that I was elected because all of the Commission were put on, but more especially in order that I could be put on the executive committee of that board of directors. My being a member of that board, and Mr. Wallace being also a member, made it possible for a majority of the executive committee of the railroad (consisting of five members) to be on the Isthmus at the time when Mr. Shonts would be there. Mr. Wallace and I being on that committee, the presence of Mr. Shonts would give us a majority on the Isthmus and we could occasionally transact business there.
Senator TALIAFERRO. Or the presence of Mr. Shonts here would make a majority here?
Mr. Magoon. Yes, sir.
Senator TALIAFERRO. Where was that action taken authorizing the sale of those bonds?
Mr. Magoon. In New York
Senator TALIAFERRO. You were not present?
Mr. Magoon. Not at all. All I know of that transaction is what I read in the publication which you have before you, Senator, known as Document 127.
Senator TALIAFERRO. I will not pursue the matter, then, with you.
Mr. Magoon. There is one matter which I would like to mention. I wish to refer to the testimony of Mr. Wallace at pages 508 and 509 of the record. Referring to the fact that the Young Men's Christian Association building, authorized by the old Commission, had not yet been erected, Mr. Wallace said [reading from the record, p. 508]:
“ Where the influence came from to stop, that is a matter that I am not positive about, but from some official source the intimation was made to me that it was not desired that we should go ahead. with that matter at all, and the carrying out of that plan came to a standstill.
“ Senator KITTREDGE. When was that?
“Mr. WALLACE. That was in this last spring, after I went on the executive committee—this last spring, 1905, just a few weeks before I left there. At that time we had even plans made for the construction of these buildings.
“ Senator HOPKINS. You say an intimation came to you ‘from some official source. What do you mean by that?
“Mr. WALLACE. I mean to say that after I got on the executive committee it was intimated to me that it was not the desire of the authorities that we should encourage or go ahead with that, and the plans along that line were stopped.
“ Senator Knox. Who intimated that to you?
“Mr. WALLACE. The intimation came to me, I think, from Governor Magoon. He intimated that the Secretary did not care to have us go ahead with it, and that we had better drop it.
Senator Knox. Is that what he said? “ Mr. WALLACE. That is what he said, as I recollect it.
“ Senator HOPKINS. You say the Secretary; you mean the Secretary of War?
Mr. WALLACE. Yes, sir. “ Senator Knox. Governor Magoon said that the Secretary did not want it?
“Mr. WALLACE. Yes, sir. It came up in formally. We were in the committee room, the governor and myself, and I said: “I presume that there is no objection to our going ahead with this Young Men's Christian Association.'
“ Senator Knox. Yes.
“Mr. WALLACE. And he just said, informally: 'We will have to drop that. The Secretary does not want us to do anything with it.' “Senator HOPKINS. Did he give any reason why?
“ Mr. WALLACE. Not particularly; no. I think I understood what was the reason for it, but that was a mere supposition.
“ Senator Knox. What did you suppose the reason was?
“Mr. WALLACE. That was a Catholic community there, and I think it was objectionable to them; but a large majority of our white men were Protestants."
I have no recollection of any such conversation as Mr. Wallace ra. lates, and am positive that I should remember it if there had been. I do remember that when Mr. Wallace and I first arrived on the Isthmus the question came up of the immediate construction of these buildings for the use and occupancy of our employees as living quarters, and also the construction of hospital edifices. The Walker Com. mission had authorized the erection of a large number of structures, and there was a shortage of building material and of carpenters and builders. It therefore became necessary for us to make a selection as to what structures were to be given precedence, and as we went over the list of authorized structures we came to the Y. M. C. A. buildings, and my clear recollection is that it was so obvious to both of us that these structures would have to yield precedence to the structures for living purposes that we said: “Those will have to wait until we get through with the hotels and hospitals and living houses.” That was the only time that I now recall ever having any conversation with Mr. Wallace respecting those structures.
The CHAIRMAN. If you have finished, Governor, and there is no other Senator who wishes to ask you any questions, I think we will excuse you.
Mr. Magoon. I wish to offer this detailed statement of the personnel of my department, requested by Senator Kittredge.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be put in the record here, then. (The statement referred to is as follows:)
Department of government and sanitation-Week ending December 30, 1905.
Department of government and sanitation—Week ending December 30, 1905—Continued.
Office of executive secretary.
1,500.00 1, 650.00 2, 000.00 1, 800.00 2,100.00 2,500.00 1,000.00 1,800.00 1,500.00 1,200.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 4,000.00
.do Stenographer Clerk
..do Assistant secretary Clerk
Deputy collector of revenues
.do Levelman Surveyor...
Employees paid in gold January 1, 1906–Continued.
DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT AND SANITATION-Continued.
Office of executive secretary-Con.
600.00 1,650.00 2,000.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,200.00 3,000.00 1,500.00 1,200.00 1,500.00 1,500.00
720.00 1,800.00 1,000.00 1,500.00 2,000.00 1,800.00 1,500.00 3, 600.00 2, 400.00 1,500.00 1.500.00 1,500.00 600.00 600.00
240.00 2,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00
Baker, E. Lewis
900.00 1,500.00 5,000.00 1,200.00 1,800.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 2,000.00 1,300.00 1,200.00
720.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,200.00 1,200.00
900.00 1,200.00 1,600.00 1,500.00 2,100.00
a Per hour.
900.00 1,200.00 1,500.00 1,800.00