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of ten years, to be computed from the day on which the exchange of ratifications shall take place; in case that neither of the two contracting parties shall have notified the other, within twelve months previous to the expiration of said period of ten years, of its intention to terminate the same, it shall continue in force and effect for another year until the expiration of a year, to be computed from the date in which one of the parties shall make this notification of denouncement to the other.
The President of the Republic of Peru, with the approval of the Congress, and the President of the Republic of Cuba, with the previous approval of the Senate, shall ratify this convention, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged at Lima or at Havana within the shortest possible time.
In faith whereof, both plenipotentiaries have signed the present treaty, in duplicate, and hereunto affixed their individual seals, at the city of Lima, this twenty-fourth day of April, one thousand nine hundred and twelve.
GERMAN LEGUÍA Y MARTINEZ MANUEL MÁRQUEZ STERLING Y LORET DE MOLA
1 PANAMA CANAL TOLLS
The Secretary of State to Chargé d'Affaires Laughlin
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 17, 1913. IRWIN B. LAUGHLIN, ESQUIRE,
American Chargé d'Affaires, London, England. Sır: I enclose a copy of an instruction from Sir Edward Grey to His Britannic Majesty's Ambassador at Washington, dated November 14, 1912, a copy of which was handed to me by the Ambassador on the 9th ultimo, in which certain provisions in the Panama Canal
1 Printed from pamphlet issued by the Department of State.
Act of August 24th last are discussed in their relation to the HayPauncefote Treaty of November 18, 1901; and I also enclose a copy of the note addressed to me on July 8, 1912, by Mr. A. Mitchell Innes, His Britannic Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires, stating the objections which his government entertained to the legislation relating to the Panama Canal, which was then under discussion in Congress. A copy of the President's proclamation of November 13, 1912, fixing the canal tolls, is also enclosed.
Sir Edward Grey's communication, after setting forth the several grounds upon which the British Government believe the provisions of the Act are inconsistent with the stipulations of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, states the readiness of his government “to submit the question to arbitration if the Government of the United States would prefer to take this course” rather than "to take such steps as would remove the objections to the Act which His Majesty's Government have stated.” It, therefore, becomes necessary for this government to examine these objections in order to ascertain exactly in what respects this Act is regarded by the British Government as inconsistent with the provisions of that treaty, and also to explain the views of this government upon the questions thus presented, and to consider the advisability at this time of submitting any of these questions to arbitration.
It may be stated at the outset that this government does not agree with the interpretation placed by Sir Edward Grey upon the HayPauncefote Treaty, or upon the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, but for reasons which will appear hereinbelow it is not deemed necessary at present to amplify or reiterate the views of this government upon the meaning of those treaties.
In Sir Edward Grey's communication, after explaining in detail the views taken by his government as to the proper interpretation of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, "so as to indicate the limitations which” His Majesty's Government "consider it imposes upon the freedom of action of the United States," he proceeds to indicate the points in which the Canal Act infringes what he holds to be Great Britain's treaty rights.
It is obvious from the whole tenor of Sir Edward Grey's communication that in writing it he could not have taken cognizance of the President's proclamation fixing the canal tolls. Indeed, a comparison of the dates of the proclamation and the note, which are dated respectively November 13th and November 14th last, shows that the proclamation could hardly have been received in London in time for consideration
in the note. Throughout his discussion of the subject, Sir Edward Grey deals chiefly with the possibilities of what the President might do under the Act, which in itself does not prescribe the tolls, but merely authorizes the President to do so; and nowhere does the note indicate that Sir Edward Grey was aware of what the President actually had done in issuing this proclamation. The proclamation, therefore, has entirely changed the situation which is discussed by Sir Edward Grey, and the diplomatic discussion, which his note now makes inevitable, must rest upon the bases as they exist at present, and not upon the hypothesis formed by the British Government at the time this note was written.
Sir Edward Grey presents the question of conflict between the Act and the treaty in the following language:
It remains to consider whether the Panama Canal Act, in its present form, conflicts with the treaty rights to which His Majesty's Government maintain they are entitled.
Under section 5 of the Act the President is given, within certain defined limits, the right to fix the tolls, but no tolls are to be levied upon ships engaged in the coastwise trade of the United States, and the tolls, when based upon net registered tonnage for ships of commerce, are not to exceed 1 dollar 25 c. per net registered ton, nor be less, other than for vessels of the United States and its ciiizens, than the estimated proportionate cost of the actual maintenance and operation of the Canal. There is also an exception for the exemptions granted by article 19 of the Convention with Panama of 1903.
The effect of these provisions is that vessels engaged in the coastwise trade will contribute nothing to the upkeep of the Canal. Similarly vessels belonging to the Government of the Republic of Panama will, in pursuance of the treaty of 1903, contribute nothing to the upkeep of the Canal. Again, in the cases where tolls are levied, the tolls in the case of ships belonging to the United States and its citizens may be fixed at a lower rate than in the case of foreign ships, and may be less than the estimated proportionate cost of the actual maintenance and operation of the Canal.
These provisions (1) clearly conflict with the rule embodied in the principle established in article 8 of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of equal treatment for British and United States ships, and (2) would enable tolls to be fixed which would not be just and equitable, and would therefore not comply with rule 1 of article 3 of the HayPauncefote Treaty.
From this it appears that three objections are made to the provisions of the Act; first, that no tolls are to be levied upon ships engaged in the coastwise trade of the United States; second, that a discretion appears to be given to the President to discriminate in fixing tolls in favor of
ships belonging to the United States and its citizens as against foreign ships; and third, that an exemption has been given to the vessels of the Republic of Panama under Article 19 of the Convention with Panama of 1903.
Considered in the reverse order of their statement, the third objection, coming at this time, is a great and complete surprise to this government. The exemption under that article applies only to the government vessels of Panama, and was part of the agreement with Panama under which the canal was built. The convention containing the exemption was ratified in 1904, and since then to the present time no claim has been made by Great Britain that it conflicted with British rights. The United States has always asserted the principle that the status of the countries immediately concerned by reason of their political relation to the territory in which the canal was to be constructed was different from that of all other countries. The Hay-Herran Treaty with Colombia of 1903 also provided that the war vessels of that country were to be given free passage. It has always been supposed by this government that Great Britain recognized the propriety of the exemptions made in both of those treaties. It is not believed, therefore, that the British Government intend to be understood as proposing arbitration upon the question of whether or not this provision of the Act, which in accordance with our treaty with Panama exempts from tolls the government vessels of Panama, is in conflict with the provisions of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty.
Considering the second objection based upon the discretion thought to be conferred upon the President to discriminate in favor of ships belonging to the United States and its citizens, it is sufficient, in view of the fact that the President's proclamation fixing the tolls was silent on the subject, to quote the language used by the President in the memorandum attached to the Act at the time of signature, in which
It is not, therefore, necessary to discuss the policy of such discrimination until the question may arise in the exercise of the President's discretion.
On this point no question has as yet arisen which, in the words of the existing arbitration treaty between the United States and Great Britain, "it may not have been possible to settle by diplomacy,” and until then any suggestion of arbitration may well be regarded as premature.
It is not believed, however, that in the objection now under consideration Great Britain intends to question the right of the United States to exempt from the payment of tolls its vessels of war and other vessels engaged in the service of this government. Great Britain does not challenge the right of the United States to protect the canal. United States vessels of war and those employed in government service are a part of our protective system. By the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty we assume the sole responsibility for its neutralization. It is inconceivable that this government should be required to pay canal tolls for the vessels used for protecting the canal, which we alone must protect. The movements of United States vessels in executing governmental policies of protection are not susceptible of explanation or differentiation. The United States could not be called upon to explain what relation the movement of a particular vessel through the canal has to its protection. The British objection, therefore, is understood as having no relation to the use of the canal by vessels in the service of the United States Government.
Regarding the first objection, the question presented by Sir Edward Grey arises solely upon the exemption in the Canal Act of vessels engaged in our coastwise trade.
On this point Sir Edward Grey says that “His Majesty's Government do not question the right of the United States to grant subsidies to United States shipping generally, or to any particular branches of that shipping," and it is admitted in his note that the exemption of certain classes of ships would be "a form of subsidy” to those vessels; but it appears from the note that His Majesty's Government would regard that form of subsidy as objectionable under the treaty if the effect of such subsidy would be "to impose upon British or other foreign shipping an unfair share of the burden of the upkeep of the Canal, or to create a discrimination in respect of the conditions or charges of traffic, or otherwise to prejudice rights secured to British shipping by this Treaty."
It is not contended by Great Britain that equality of treatment has any reference to British participation in the coastwise trade of the United States, which, in accordance with general usage, is reserved to American ships. The objection is only to such exemption of that trade from toll payments as may adversely affect British rights to equal treatment in the payment of tolls, or to just and equitable tolls. It will be helpful here to recall that we are now only engaged in considering (quot