Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/421

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY

 

MAY, 1909




THE TYPE OF THE PANAMA CANAL
By C. E. GRUNSKY

MEMBER OF THE ISTHMIAN CANAL COMMISSION OF 1904

UNDER the law of June 28, 1903, generally referred to as the Spooner act, which authorizes the construction of an interoceanic canal President Roosevelt appointed, in March, 1904, the following commissioners: Rear Admiral John G. Walker, U. S. Navy (retired), chairman; Major Genl. Geo. W. Davis, U. S. Army (retired); Col. Frank J. Hecker, of Detroit; Major Benjamin M. Harrod, civil engineer of New Orleans; Professor Willam H. Burr, of Columbia University, New York; Wm. Barclay Parsons, of New York; and the writer, of San Francisco.

The Spooner act empowers the president to purchase the canal properties upon the Panama route at a cost not exceeding $40,000,000, or, in the event of failure to do this, to enter into negotiations with the republics of Costa Rica and Nicaragua for a right of way on what is commonly known as the Nicaragua route.

Provision was made for the prosecution of the work of canal construction by the president, acting through and with the aid of a canal commission. An appropriation of $10,000,000 was carried by the act for use upon either of the two routes, and Congress was pledged to make additional appropriations as required up to $135,000,000 in case the Panama route was adopted and not to exceed $180,000,000 for work on the Nicaragua route. The secretary of the treasury is authorized to borrow from time to time, as funds may be required, the sum of $130,000,000, issuing therefor coupon or registered thirty-year bonds in such form as he may prescribe, redeemable after ten years, bearing interest at two per centum per annum.

The passage of the Spooner act by Congress, followed the submission of a report by the canal commission of 1899-1901, which recom-