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which resulted in what are known as the tripartite treaties, comprising a treaty between the United States and Colombia, another between the United States and Panama, and one between Panama and Colombia, under which it was agreed that Panama would assign to Colom. bia 10 of the annual installments of $250,000 which the United States had agreed to pay to Panama for the privilege of constructing the canal. Colombia was also accorded certain privileges, such as free canal passage and the same treatment of her products entering the Canal Zone as was accorded American products. Colombia, on the other hand, agreed to recognize the independence of Panama, release Panama from obligations to pay any part of the external or internal debt of Colombia. The United States ratified the treaties, but they met with such opposition in Colombia that they were not even sent to the Colombian Senate for ratification.
Colombia then made other proposals, which were not accepted. In 1912 President Taft authorized the American Minister to Colombia to sound the Colombian Government with a view to the negotiation of another treaty, but nothing was accomplished.
After Mr. Wilson became President negotiations were renewed, with the result that on April 6, 1914, a treaty was signed agreeing to pay Colombia $25,000,000 and grant certain other concessions in return for her recognition of Panama and her boundaries, the title of the United States to the Panama Canal and the Panama Railway, and to adjust the question of pecuniary liability between Colombia and Panama. The United States also agreed to use its good offices in bringing about a treaty of friendship between Colombia and Panama and the establishment of diplomatic relations.
The treaty was submitted to the Senate and finally ratified in 1921. The ratifications were sent to Colombia in January, 1922, and are likely to be exchanged within a few weeks.
Under the terms of the treaty, Article II, $5,000,000 of the $27.000,000 must be paid within six months after the exchange of ratifications and the remainder in four annual installments of $5,000,00) each.
There is not the least question of the liability of this Government to pay these amounts. The payment is pledged by the United States in the treaty signed by its accredited representative and ratified by the Senate in the manner prescribed by the Constitution, and is therefore the law of the land. Treaties so entered into have always been considered valid by this Government and Congress has never failed to vote the necessary appropriation. By this treaty the United States gains the recognition of Colombia to its absolute title to the Panama Canal and the Panama Railway without any encumbrances or indemnities whatsoever. The failure to appropriate the amount which the United States in a strictly constitutional manner has solemnly pledged itself to pay would constitute a breach of faith from the effects of which it would take years to recover, destroy the confidence of the Latin Americans in this Government which it has taken years to build up, and seriously impair the standing of the Government in other parts of the world.
The payment and execution of the treaty is not only a legal obliga. tion upon this Government but it is a moral duty to Panama. It will be remembered that in the treaty of November 18, 1903, with Panama it is stated that the United States guarantees and will main
tain the independence of the Republic of Panama. In discussing this in the Senate in connection with the ratification of the Colombian treaty Senator Lodge called attention to the fact that President Roosevelt and Mr. Root were in agreement that under our guaranty of the independence of Panama there were two things which ought to be brought about, one being the settlement of Panama's share of the public debt of Colombia and the other a recognition of the independence of Panama by Colombia which would free the title of Panama from cloud. Senator Lodge stated that the principle, the policy, and the importance of reaching some settlement with Colombia were conceded, and that the only way to secure the desired result was by a money payment.
But besides these considerations, there are our relations with Latin America which deserve attention. All Latin America sympathizes with Colombia in her loss of a share in the benefits of the canal, and the settlement of the difference with Colombia has been of great benefit in restoring confidence in the good faith of the United States throughout the Latin American Republics.
Then there is the importance of our trade between the United States and South America which for the calendar year 1921 amounted to $568,944,479 while that with Colombia alone amounted to $61,710,867. Economic conditions following the war have greatly interfered with American trade with Europe. There is strong competition for trade in China and the Far East. The natural field in which the United States should expect to expand its trade is in Latin America. Many opportunities exist there for the investment of capital and the development of commercial and industrial enterprises, but these opportunities will be available largely in proportion to the ability which the United States.shows to win and retain the good will and confidence of the governments and peoples of Latin America. The adoption of the treaty with Colombia and the prompt fulfillment of its obligations with the consequent restoration of good feeling between the two countries will be of great advantage to American commerce and enterprise in Colombia, and indirectly will have a favorable effect upon American activities throughout Latin America.
Besides the reasons for the payment of the whole amount stipulated there are practical reasons why the first payment of $5,000,000 should be made as soon as ratifications have been exchanged. The controversy with Colombia has continued for 18 years and now it has been agreed to settle it. There will be a material effect upon the Latin American mind whether the payment be made promptly upon the exchange of ratifications of the treaty or whether it be delayed until the end of the six months' period and thus convey the impression that it is made reluctantly. One of the principal reasons which induced the United States to make the treaty and agree to make the payment was the desire to maintain its prestige and promote confidence in it on the part of the Latin American countries and Colombia in particular. Delay in the payment of the amount when it falls due will almost certainly deprive us of some of the good effects of the payment. Therefore, since the payment is to be made, it would seem to be a mistake to fail to gain all the beneficial effects of making it.
Furthermore, the United States is the greatest nation on this hemisphere, the model of the other American Republics. It is the nation in the world to-day suffering least from the effects of the war and from economic and financial distress. Is it not beneath its dignity to delay the payment of an amount solemnly agreed to? The difference between payment as soon as ratifications are exchanged and delay until the six months' period shall have elapsed will mean little to this Government so far as convenience is concerned, but it will have a very material effect upon its interests abroad.
PURCHASE OF EMBASSY BUILDING AND GROUNDS AT SANTIAGO, CHILE.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is for the purchase of an embassy building and grounds at Santiago, Chile, and for making necessary minor repairs and alterations in the building to put it in proper condition, and you are asking a deficiency appropriation of $20,000. Is that a real deficiency?
Mr. CARR. That is not a deficiency; that, in reality, is an additional appropriation, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. How much money was appropriated for this purpose? Mr. Carr. $130,000 was appropriated.
The CHAIRMAN. Is this work in progress now? Mr. CARR. If you will allow me to tell you the story it is this: Congress passed an act on February 17, 1911, authorizing the Secretary of State to acquire such sites and buildings as might be appropriated for by Congress at a cost of not more than $150,000 at any one place for use as embassy, legation, or consular buildings. On August 5, 1919, the department had a house in view, which was then occupied by the American ambassador in Chile, and asked Congress to appropriate $130,000, the amount for which it could get the building, according to the option which it had. Congress did not make the appropriation, however, until June 4, 1920, almost a year later, and before the appropriation became available the option expired, and the house was sold to some one else at a considerably increased figure.
That property was then improved by that person and a very much higher price set upon it. Meanwhile the department took up the question of getting a building for the $130,000. It canvassed the whole city of Santiago. All of the buildings that were available and that by any means would be suitable for our purposes cost a great deal more money than $130,000. The prices ran all the way from $150.000 up to $250,000, or thereabouts. Finally a house, known as the Bruna house, was found for sale. The amount they wanted for it was about $225,000. The owner of the house became financially embarrassed and began to reduce his price; he kept on reducing it until he got it down to $165,000 and ultimately $150,000, the price varying with the fall. ing of exchange in favor of the United States. The ambassador, acting under the general authority of the department, finally got the owner of this house to sell it to the Government, that is, to sell the house and a part of the lot on which it was situated to the Government for $130,000, on the promise that the department would lay before Congress a proposition for the purchase of the remainder of the lot and the removal of a nuisance, an old, unsightly shanty which affects
, until June vailable the optily increas
the value of the property, at $10,000, and take the house in its incomplete condition. It will cost about $4,000 to complete and $6,000 to buy fixtures for the house, that is, certain plumbing, gas fixtures, lighting fixtures, and so on. They do not go with the house in Chile; they are furnitured there; here they would go with the house but there they do not. So we have a purchase in process, about to be completed, to take that house for $130,000, and what were are asking Congress for is to give us enough to buy the rest of the lot, remove the nuisance thereon, buy the fixtures, and complete the house. The total amount needed is $20,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Is this house in an uncompleted condition? Mr. CARR. It is just about completed; it had never been occupied : it is a new house, and the house has a value, Mr. Chairman, according to the bankers down there and a cording to the present exchange, ranging all the way from $300,000 to $400,000. The Chilean ambassador told me the other evening—I was talking to him about it, and he was congratulating this Government on getting the propertythat the property is easily worth three times what we pay for it. He said it is as good a house as there is in all Santiago.
The CHAIRMAN. We do not need the other lot, do we?
Mr. CARR. Yes; we need the other lot in this way: If it be left in other hands, the sightliness and value of our own property will be greatly impaired, and it offers a chance for somebody else to build there and injure our own property.
The CHAIRMAN. How much ground have you?
The CHAIRMAN. According to your statement, if we give you $4,000 you can complete the house.
Mr. Carr. We could complete the house, but not purchase the remainder of the lot or the fixtures, such as lights, bathtubs, washstands. It would be unfortunate if we should not take the remainder of the lot.
Mr. Byrxs. What is the size of that lot? Mr. CARR. The lot contains 40,000 square feet; it is about an acre. Mr. BYRNS. That is the entire lot? The CHAIRMAN. No; that is the additional lot. Mr. CARR. No; this is the entire lot. Mr. Byrns. I was speaking with reference to the amount you want to purchase.
Mr. Carr. This is a plan of the lot. That is the house, this is the little garden back here, these are the servants' quarters, the garage, and over here in this corner is this old shanty, etc. [indicating on map]. Not to buy that, according to our ambassador's statement, would be very detrimental to that property in several ways; that is to say, it would spoil the looks of the property we have bought and give somebody a chance to build on the remainder of the lot. You do not need to be told how important it is to protect the property of that kind by preventing the erection or creation of nuisances near it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the front of the property there [indicating]?
none of the principal is inng tin
Mr. Carr. No; this is the front of the property; the entrance is here [indicating). These are photographs of the building.
The CHAIRMAN. It is a palatial place. Mr. CARR. It is the best house for the money that we own anywhere. It is new, it is very substantially built, and it ought to require no repairs for a long time to come in view of the character of the construction. It is in the center of the town; it is near the square, where the principal tram lines come; it is located on the principal park of the city, and it is the best building I have ever seen for the money for an embassy building. So the department feels very strongly that we ought to protect it while that is possible by buying the remainder of the lot. Another thing in connection with it, Mr. Chairman, is that, with the beginning of the occupancy of this place, we save $9,000 a year on rent, that is to say, we can accommodate not only our own staff and the ambassador's residence, but also the commercial attaché, the military attaché, and the naval attaché, all of whom are paying rent in other quarters, so that the amount of rent we now pay is 6 per cent on that investment. That will be saved. Moreover, if the remainder of the lot is not purchased it will destroy the garden, which you see in the rear of the house.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have to pay taxes?
Mr. CARR. I imagine not, because it is not customary to pay taxes on legation property..
The CHAIRMAN. It is United States territory? Mr. CARR. Exactly. So we very much hope you can see your way clear to give us this additional amount of money-$20,000—to complete the building, and purchase the remainder of the lot so as to have the proper surroundings. The Guggenheim representative, in Chile, advised the ambassador to buy the property by all means, and stated that, when the exchange rises as it ultimately will sometime. the property can easily be sold for at least twice the amount we pay for it. The peso has a normal value of 25 cents, and at the time we made this purchase the value was less than 10.
The CHAIRMAN. It looks to me as though that is a very cheap piece of property. Mr. Carr. It is very cheap and it is a very good bargain.
RELIEF AND PROTECTION OF SEAMEN.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is for the relief and protection of American seamen in foreign countries and in the Panama Canal Zone, and shipwrecked American seamen in the Territory of Alaska, in the Hawaiian Islands, Porto Rico, and the Philippine Islands, fiscal year 1920, $13,198.73. How does it happen you have a 19) item coming in at this time?
Mr. CARR. There are many accounts in regard to the relief of seamen that are often late in coming in. For instance, the collectors of customs out in the Philippines relieve a great many seamen and the bills come in late. Then all these cases are settlements by the ('omptroller General; they are not new accounts, but they are old accounts which he has just settled and has certified this amount as due.
The CHAIRMAN. They are in the nature of claims, are they?