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[Senate, Executive K, Fifty-seventh Congress, second session.]
A CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SHIP CANAL, ETC., TO CONNECT THE WATERS OF THE ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC OCEANS, SIGNED JANUARY 22, 1903.
JANUARY 23, 1903.—Read; convention read the first time and referred to the Com
mittee on Foreign Relations, and, together with the message, ordered to be printed
in confidence for the use of the Senate.
To the Senate:
I transmit herewith, with a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to its ratification, a convention between the United States of America and the Republic of Colombia for the construction of a ship canal, etc., to connect the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, signed at Washington on January 22, 1903.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT, WHITE HOUSE, January 23, 1903.
The undersigned, Secretary of State, has the honor to lay before the President for his consideration a convention between the United States of America and the Republic of Colombia for the construction of a ship canal, etc., to connect the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, signed by the respective plenipotentiaries of the two Governments on January 22, 1903.
1 The United States of America and the Republic of Colombia, 2 being desirous to assure the construction of a ship canal to con3 nect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Congress of the 4 United States of America having passed an Act approved June 5 28, 1902, in furtherance of that object, a copy of which is here6 unto annexed, the high contracting parties have resolved, for that 7 purpose, to conclude a Convention and have accordingly appoint8 ed as their plenipotentiaries, 9 The President of the United States of America, John Hay, 10 Secretary of State, and 11 The President of the Republic of Colombia, Thomas Herran, 12 Chargé d'Affaires, thereunto specially empowered by said govern13 ment, 14 who, after communicating to each other their respective full 15 powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and con16 cluded the following Articles:
18 The Government of Colombia authorizes the New Panama 19 Canal Company to sell and transfer to the United States its rights, 20 privileges, properties, and concessions, as well as the Panama 21 Railroad and all the shares or part of the shares of that company; 22 but the public lands situated outside of the zone hereinafter spec23 ified, now corresponding to the concessions to both said enter24 prises shall revert to the Republic of Colombia, except any prop25 erty now owned by or in the possession of the said companies 26 within Panama or Colon, or the ports and terminals thereof. 27 But it is understood that Colombia reserves all its rights to the 28 special shares in the capital of the New Panama Canal Company 29 to which reference is made in Article IV of the contract of 30 December 10, 1890, which shares shall be paid their full nominal
value at least; but as such right of Colombia exists solely in its 32 character of stockholder in said Company, no obligation under 33 this provision is imposed upon or assumed by the United States. 34 The Railroad Company (and the United States as owner of the 35 enterprise) shall be free from the obligations imposed by the 36 railroad concession, excepting as to the payment at maturity by 37 the Railroad Company of the outstanding bonds issued by said 38 Railroad Company.
2 The United States shall have the exclusive right for the term of 3 one hundred years, renewable at the sole and absolute option of 4 the United States, for periods of similar duration so long as the 5 United States may desire, to excavate, construct, maintain, oper6 ate, control, and protect the Maritime Canal with or without locks 7 from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, to and across the territory
of Colombia, such canal to be of sufficient depth and capacity for 9 vessels of the largest tonnage and greatest draft now engaged in 10 commerce, and such as may be reasonably anticipated, and also the 11 same rights for the construction, maintenance, operation, control, 12 and protection of the Panama Railroad and of railway, telegraph 13 and telephone lines, canals, dikes, dams, and reservoirs, and such 14 other auxiliary works as may be necessary and convenient for the 15 construction, maintenance, protection, and operation of the canal 16 and railroads. 17
To enable the United States to exercise the rights and privileges 19 granted by this Treaty the Republic of Colombia grants to that 20 Government the use and control for the term of one hundred 21 years, renewable at the sole and absolute option of the United 22 States, for periods of similar duration so long as the United States 23 may desire, of a zone of territory along the route of the canal to 24 be constructed five kilometers in width on either side thereof 25 measured from its center line including therein the necessary aux26 iliary canals not exceeding in any case fifteen miles from the main 27 canal and other works, together with ten fathoms of water in the 28 Bay of Limon in extension of the canal, and at least three marine 29 miles from mean low water mark from each terminus of the canal 30 into the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean respectively. So 31 far as necessary for the construction, maintenance and operation 32 of the canal, the United States shall have the use and occupation 33 of the group of small islands in the Bay of Panama named Perico, 34 Naos, Culebra and Flamenco, but the same shall not be construed 35 as being within the zone herein defined nor governed by the 36 special provisions applicable to the same. 37 This grant shall in no manner invalidate the titles or rights of 38 private land owners in the said zone of territory, nor shall it
1 interfere with the rights of way over the public roads of the 2 Department; provided, however, that nothing herein contained 3 shall operate to diminish, impair or restrict the rights elsewhere 4 herein granted to the United States. 5 This grant shall not include the cities of Panama and Colon, 6 except so far as lands and other property therein are now owned 7 by or in possession of the said Canal Company or the said Rail8 road Company; but all the stipulations contained in Article 35 of 9 the Treaty of 1846-48 between the contracting parties shall con10 tinue and apply in full force to the cities of Panama and Colon 11 and to the accessory community lands and other property within
the said zone, and the territory thereon shall be neutral terri13 tory, and the United States shall continue to guarantee the 14 neutrality thereof and the sovereignty of Colombia thereover, in 15 conformity with the above-mentioned Article 35 of said Treaty. 16 In furtherance of this last provision there shall be created a 17 Joint Commission by the Governments of Colombia and the 18 United States that shall establish and enforce sanitary and police 19 regulations. 20
21 The rights and privileges granted to the United States by the 22 terms of this convention shall not affect the sovereignty of the 23 Republic of Colombia over the territory within whose boundaries 24 such rights and privileges are to be exercised. 25 The United States freely acknowledges and recognizes this 26 sovereignty and disavows any intention to impair it in any way 27 whatever or to increase its territory at the expense of Colombia 28 or of any of the sister republics in Central or South America, but
on the contrary, it desires to strengthen the power of the repub30 lics on this continent, and to promote, develop and maintain their 31 prosperity and independence.
33 The Republic of Colombia authorizes the United States to con34 struct and maintain at each entrance and terminus of the proposed 35 canal a port for vessels using the same, with suitable light houses 36 and other aids to navigation, and the United States is authorized to 37 use and occupy within the limits of the zone fixed by this conven