Text of the Treaty.
AT THE time this important Treaty was consummated, November 18, 1901, its signers, John Hay and Lord Julian Pauncefote, were respectively American Secretary of State and British Ambassador to the United States. Incidentally, Pauncefote was the first British Ambassador to Washington, preceding British envoys having been designated Ministers. He was well-qualified to negotiate such a Treaty, having served as British Commissioner to Paris in the Suez Canal negotiations of 1885.
The signing of this Treaty, of course, opened the may to the building of the Panama Canal. One of several notable diplomatic achievements of Secretary Hay, it was transmitted to the Senate by President Roosevelt on December 5, 1901, and was ratified, with but slight opposition, eleven days later. A former Treaty had been drafted, but was not acceptable to the British government, who did not care to guarantee the canal's neutrality.
THE United States of America and His Majesty Edward the Seventh, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King and Emperor of India, being desirous to facilitate the construction of a ship canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, by whatever route may be considered expedient, and to that end to remove any objection which may arise out of the Convention of the 19th April, 1850, commonly called the Clayton - Bulwer Treaty, to the construction of such canal under the auspices of the Government of the United States.
The High Contracting Parties agree that the present Treaty shall supersede the afore-mentioned Convention of the 19th April, 1850.
It is agreed that the canal may be constructed under the auspices of the Government of the United States, either directly at its own cost, or by gift or loan of money to individuals or corporations, or through subscription to or purchase of stock or shares, and that, subject to the provision of the present Treaty, the said Government shall have and enjoy all the rights incident to such construction, as well as the exclusive right incident to such construction, as well as the exclusive right of providing for the regulation and management of the canal.
The United States adopts, as the basis of the neutralization of such ship canal, the following Rules, substantially as embodied in the Convention of Constantinople, signed the 28th October, 1888, for the free navigation of the Suez Canal, that is to say :
1. The canal shall be free and open to the vessels of commerce and of war of all nations observing these Rules, on terms of entire equality, so that there shall be no discrimination against any such nation, or its citizens or subjects, in respect of the conditions or charges of traffic or otherwise. Such conditions and charges of traffic shall be just and equitable.
2. The canal shall never be blockaded, nor shall any right of war be exercised nor any act of hostility be committed within it. The United States, however, shall be at liberty to maintain such military police along the canal as may be necessary to protect it against lawlessness and disorder.
3. Vessels of war of a belligerent shall not revictual nor take any stores in the canal except so far as may be strictly necessary; and the transit of such vessels through the canal shall be effected with the least possible delay in accordance with the regulations in force, and with only such intermission as may result from the necessities of the service.
Prizes shall be in all respects subject to the same rules as vessels of war of the belligerents.
4. No belligerent shall embark or disembark troops, munitions of war, or warlike materials in the canal, except in case of accidental hindrance of the transit, and in such case the transit shall be resumed with all possible dispatch.
5. The provisions of the Article shall apply to waters adjacent to the canal, within 3 marine miles of either end. Vessels of war of a belligerent shall not remain in such waters longer than twenty-four hours at any one time, except in case of distress, and in such case, shall depart as soon as possible; but a vessel of war of one belligerent shall not depart within twenty-four hours from a vessel of war of the other belligerent.
6. The plant, establishments, buildings, and all work necessary to the construction, maintenance, and operation of the canal shall be deemed to be part thereof, for the purposes of this Treaty, and in time of war, as in time of peace, shall enjoy complete immunity from attack or injury by belligerents, and from acts calculated to impair their usefulness as part of the canal.
It is agreed that no change of territorial sovereignty or of the international relations of the country or countries traversed by the before-mentioned canal shall affect the general principle of neutralization or the obligation of the High Contracting Parties under the present Treaty.
The present Treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by His Britannic Majesty; and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington or at London at the earliest possible time within six months from the date thereof.
In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty and thereunto affixed their seals.
Done in duplicate at Washington, the 18th day of November, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and one.
JOHN HAY PAUNCEFOTE.