Debate of April 9, 1896.Question: "Resolved, That the United States should own and control the Nicaragua Canal."
Brief for the Affirmative.W. P. DUTTON and W. F. WILBOUR.
General references: Annals of the Amer. Acad. of Pol. and Social Science, Articles by Keasby, Miller and Johnson, February, 1896, pp. 1-48. Journal of Franklin Institute, vol. 134, pp. 1 and 109 (July and August, 1992); Rodrigues Panama Canal, 173-232; North Amer. Rev., vol. 156, p. 195 (Feb. 1893) vol. 132, p. 107 (Feb. 1881); Forum, vol. IX, 1 (March, 1891); XII, 714-728 (Feb. 1892); House Reports, 50 Cong., 2 Sess. III, No. No. 4167; Senate Reports, 51 Cong. 2 Sess., I, No. 1944, and 53 Cong., 2 Sess., No. 33.
I. The Nicaragua Canal is desirable.- (A) Advantages to the world at large are great.- (1) It tends to lessen distances between the commercial centres of the whole world.- (B) It is especially advantageous to the United States.- (1) Hastens development of Pacific slope.- (a) By lessening cost of transportation of western products.- (2) It would enlarge our commerce.- (a) By increasing number of available markets for our products.- (3) Invaluable in case of war.- (a) Brings Atlantic and Pacifics coasts together.- (b) Useful as a strategic point.- (1) In mobilizing troops.- (2) As vantage point for vessels.- (c) It is virtually dangerous in other hands.- (1) Gives foreign powers foothold and leverage.
II. Control by U. S. is desirable.- (A) The neutrality of the canal is necessary.- (B) This is better maintained by single than joint control.- (C) The U. S. best fitted for such contro.- (a) By virtue of her position.- (b) In accordance with the Monroe Doctrine, such control is incumbent upon the U. S.
III. Control by U. S. is possible.- (A) Clayton Bulwer treaty is ineffective: (Rodrigues, esp. 226-227; Hall, Int. Law, 294-297; Wharton, Digest II, p. 238).- (1) Conditions are now different.- (2) England has violated this treaty.- (B) Nicaragua is willing.
IV. Best method of government control is government ownership.- (A) Public interests demand it.- (a) Monopoly of individuals is undesirable.- (B) Commercial interests demand it.- (a) Early completion thus insured.- (b) Tolls would be lessened.- (1) Enterprise would not be a money making scheme.- (C) National interests demand it.- (a) There are thus no pretexts for foreign interference.- (b) Undisputed right of use in case of war is of greatest importance.
Brief for the Negative.J. G. PALFREY and S. P. DELANY.
Best general references: L. M. Keasby in Annals of the American Academy of Political Science, (Jan., 1896); S. Webster in Harper's Mag., vol. 87, p. 602, (Sept., 1893); Springfield Weekly Repub.,
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