The New International Encyclopædia/Hay-Pauncefote Treaty
HAY-PAUNCEFOTE TREATY. The name applied to the convention negotiated in 1901 by John Hay on the part of the United States, and Lord Pauncefote on the part of Great Britain, which abrogated the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (q.v. ), and declared the policy which would control the United States in the construction and maintenance of an Isthmian canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The statement in President McKinley's annual message to Congress in 1898, that the construction of the canal had become a national necessity, led to diplomatic correspondence that resulted finally in the opening of negotiations, with the end in view of so modifying the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty that, without affecting the general policy of neutrality enunciated therein, the United States would be enabled to proceed with the canal's construction. The treaty then negotiated, and transmitted to the United States Senate by President McKinley on February 5, 1900, provided: (1) For the construction of the canal by or under the auspices of the United States Government; (2) for its neutralization on the same basis as the Suez Canal; and (3) for an invitation to other powers to join in guaranteeing such neutrality. The convention was finally ratified by the Senate on December 20, 1900; but with three amendments, the first of which provided that the restrictions contained in the second article, based on the Suez convention, should not apply to such measures as the United States might find it necessary to take for their own defense and the maintenance of public order; the second explicitly stated that the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was thereby suspended; and the third struck out the provision in regard to the guarantee to be asked of other non-constructing powers. In its amended shape Great Britain refused to ratify the convention, and it expired by limitation on March 5, 1901. Negotiations for a new treaty were immediately started, however, by Secretary of State Hay and Lord Pauncefote; the new convention was signed by them on November 18, 1901, transmitted to the Senate by President Roosevelt on December 5th following, and ratified by that body, with but slight opposition, eleven days later. The principal differences between the first and final treaties were three in number: (1) No guarantees of the canal's neutrality were to be asked either of Great Britain or any other power; (2) the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was specifically abrogated, although the general principle of neutrality contained therein as retained; (3) certain undefined rights of control were to be allowed to the United States in time of war, the exact nature and extent of which was not specified, but there was no requirement that the canal should be kept open and free in time of war as in time of peace, nor was there a prohibition of the erection of fortifications commanding the canal or its adjacent waters.