Debate of November 8, 1894
Brief for the Affirmative.
J. ROBBINS and V. S. THOMAS.Best general references: House Reports, 50 Cong. 2 Sess. III, NO. 4167; Senate Reports, 51 Cong. 2 Sess. I, No. 1944; Journal of Franklin Institute, Vol. 134, pp. 1 and 109 (July and Aug. 1892); Rodrigues, Panama Canal, 173 - 232; North Am. Review, Vol. 156, p. 195(Feb. 1893); Forum, XI, 1, (March 1891), XII, 714 - 728 (Feb. 1892); Manson, Geog. and Econ. Relations of Nicaragua Canal; Nicaragua Canal, chs. I, IV, VI (pub. by Maritime Canal Co., 1891).
I. The Nicaragua Canal is desirable: Gen. ref. and Taylor, Control of Pacific: - (a) Financially.- (1) Practicable. - (2) Profitable. - (b) Commercially. - (c) Economically. - (1) Develops Pacific Slope. - (2) Unifies the U. S.
II. Control of the Canal by the United States is possible. - (a)Clayton - Bulwer treaty is ineffective: Rodrigues. Esp. 226, 227; Hall, Int. Law, 294 - 297; Wharton, Digest, II, S 238. - (1) England has violated it. - (2) Conditions have changed. - (3) England raised no objections to proposed treaty of U. S. with Nicaragua in 1884.
III. Control of the Canal by the United States is desirable: Gen. ref. - (a) Neutrality of canal better guaranteed by a single strong nation than by a joint protectorate. - (b) U. S. is its natural protector. - (1) By its situation. - (2) By the Monroe Doctrine: Rodrigues, ch. 14, Esp. 174 - 7.
IV. The best method of U. S. control is by government ownership: Manson; Public Opinion, XIV, 298 (Dec. 31, 1892). - (a) For public interests. - (1) Complete monopoly should not be run for private profit. - (b) For commercial interests. - (1) Early completion. (2) Economic construction.- (3) Low tolls.-(c) For national interests. - (1) Foreign governments cannot meddle under pretext of protecting capital invested. - (2) U.S. will have undisputed right to canal as a strategic point.
Brief for the Negative.
W. M. TROTTER and J. C. ROWE.Best general references: Treaties and Conventions, p. 440; "The Nicaragua Canal," (published by the company); Cleveland's message, Dec. 8, 1885; Rodrigue's Panama Canal, 213 - 220; Nation, XXXIX, 516 (Dec. 18, 1884), 538; Sat. Rev., LVIII, 784 (Dec. 20, 1884); Hall's International Law, 282, 290 - 8; For. Rel., 1881, pp. 549, 563, and 1882, pp. 302 - 14; Chautauquan, XIII, 409 (July, 1891).
I. If canal is a great necessity, a private company will construct it. - (a) Such undertakings in past carried out by private companies: Pup. Opinion, 214, (June 4, 1894). - (b) Conditions here especially favorable. - (1) No government obstacles. - (x) Concessions of Nicaragua to Maratime Canal Co., 1887: Sen. Rep. 50 Cong., 1 Sess., No. 221. - (y) Company incorporated by Congress, 1889: Statutes at Large, XXV, 673. - (2) Scheme demonstrated to be plain and feasible: The "Nicaragua Canal," 18, 59.-(c) The present not a sincere private company attempt. - (1) Company too anxious for government aid and control: Sen. Rep. 50 Cong. 1 Sess. No. 221, p.p. 4, 5.
II. Under private management, the interests of the United States are protected. - (a) Equal right to armed protection of canal. - (1) U. S. capital will be well represented: North Am. Rev. Vol. 156, pp. 190 - 199. - (x) Government encouragement. - (b) U. S. can land troops more quickly than European powers. - (c) U. S. has prior right to protect company from Gov. usurpation. (1) Monroe Doctrine.
III. Government ownership of canal would be unwise. - (a) As an industrial policy. - (1) Gov. undertakings not economically conducted: Lalor's Cyclopedia, II, 572 - (x) Our political system. - (2) Open the door to fraud and corruption. - (b) As a foreign policy. - (1) No single country should control the canal: Sat. Rev. LVIII, 784, and Cleveland's Message (Dec. 8, 1885). - (x) An international affair. - (2) Seriously complicate our foreign relations: Nation, XXXIX, 496. - (x) England and Clayton - Bulwer Treaty. - (y) Other commercial powers interested. - (3) Would lead to acquisition of foreign territory - which is undesirable: Nation, XXXIX, 538. - (x) U. S. has enough to do with present territory. - (y) Absorption of Central America and possibly Mexico. - (1) Instability of governments and turbulence of people.
IV. The Clayton - Bulwer Treaty forbids such action. - (a) Treaty still in force. - (1) Asserted by Great Britain in 1881: For Rel., 1881, p.549. - (2) By U. S. in 1873: Rodrigue's, 212. - (3) Nothing subsequent to render treaty void: Nation, XXXIX, 496; Hall, 290 - 5. - (b) Great Britain will not give up treaty. - (1) Interests vitally at stake: Sat. Rev., LVIII, 784.