<%BANNER%>

DLOC PCANAL



Panama Canal review
ALL VOLUMES CITATION SEARCH THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00097366/00170
 Material Information
Title: Panama Canal review
Physical Description: v. : col. ill. ; 28-34 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Panama Canal Commission
Panama Canal Company
Publisher: Panama Canal Commission
Place of Publication: Balboa Heights Republic of Panama
Balboa Heights Republic of Panama
Creation Date: May 1954
Frequency: semiannual
regular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: PANAMA CANAL ZONE   ( unbist )
Periodicals -- Panama Canal (Panama)   ( lcsh )
Periodicals -- Canal Zone   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage: Panama
 Notes
Additional Physical Form: Also issued online.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with v. 1 (May 1950).
Issuing Body: Vols. for 19 -19 issued by Panama Canal Co.; <Oct. 1, 1980-> by Panama Canal Commission.
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: "Official Panama Canal publication"--19 -19 .
General Note: Description based on: Oct. 1, 1980.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01774059
lccn - 67057396
issn - 0031-0646
System ID: UF00097366:00170
 Related Items
Related Items: Panama Canal review en espagñol

Full Text


Gift of the Panama Canal Museum

CAN AL


Vol. 4, No. 10 BALBOA HEIGHTS, CANAL ZONE, MAY 4, 1954



MAY 4, 1904


years


United States


ago today
government.


construction


of the


Panama


Canal


was formally


y inaugurated


The years have


a way


to call our attention to some
our consciousness by day-to-


passing


so swiftly


of the basic facts


that it often


about


some


such a great project,


important


for th


stone
become


in history
dulled in


day events of great passing moment.


Is poss


ible to


quote formidable statistics on the amount of traffic


which has


passed th


rough the


Cana
sible


since


it was


opened on August


1914 to show its importance to world trade.


add up dollar Figures on the debit and credit sides of the ledger


to tell


financial


construction and operation.


But the Panama Canal is something far more


ments can show.


The impact of


its existence


impressive than any traffic


felt throughout


the world


figures
where


or financial


nations


state-


or people


depend on maritime commerce.


There


was no enterprise


its nature


in the history of man


which was so long sought nor


so sorel


needed.


The history of the water link bet


ween


Atlantic and Pacific


oceans


is inextri


cably bound with


that of the


Isthmus of Panama and it is here that the Canal'


s beneficent influence


is most Firml


y impressed.


Since


enterprise


was inaugurated on Ma


4, 1904,


provi


ded a


velihood for a force


of workers, numb


ering from ten to over forty thousand a year.


for many thousands of other men and women in this


immediate area.


:tly, it has provided employment
These thousands are few, how-


ever, when compared with the


numbers whose emp


oyment


in distant ports, in manufaciurin


plants,


in mines, and on farms depend to a greater or lesser extent
ama Canal.


on the Flow of comm


erce


through


The statistical charts show the number of ships


and the amount of tolls


which are paid for their train


which transit the waterway month after month
nsit. But these alone are not true yardsticks of


the Canal'


s value


world commerce.


Each ship which transits can subtract many days of travel


in its journey, and tolls


ected annually are measured in tens of millions as


contrasted with


savings


amounting to hundreds of millions


dollars


every


year


for shipping


interests by


shortened trade routes.


Not only


in the


field of commerce has the influence of the Panama Canal been


Sanitation


of the area,


incident to its construction, has had a tremendous effect on publ


health and sanitation


in many parts of the world.


impact on the Canal has been decisi


in the


world of culture


and politics.


And, important to our nation


s existence


as well


as that of many other democratic coun-


tries, the Panama Canal has


struggle for the survival


of man


proved a


s individ


ine through two world-wide
freedom.


conflicts and in the present


The history of the Panama Canal


Conseauentlv,


ong one.


supDlement of "The Panama Canal Re


Its story dates back more than four centuries.


in commemoration of


time


"--"t


\Ie\Aw


n1 I U


ehsilbuo d


. . . . , , , -


Y , �� � U I -,




THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW


May 4, 1954


TIME


HAS


AN efficient,


if sometimes


uneasy,


method of effacing the sharp edges of history.
Today, for example, many of the basic facts


about the Panama Canal


whom


was


built


the how,


facts


have


why, and
been ob-


scored by the passage of years and an accum-


ulation


far lesser events.


intervening


century


has seen


completion of the job which a large segment of
the American public believed impossible, and


many
tioned.


its respected
Impressively,


leaders seriously


these few


ques-


decades have


seen a parade of more than 225,000 ships of all


sizes


categories


pass


safely


expedi-


Turn back the clock a half century and the
Panama Canal would be but an imaginary line


tiously between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans


on missions of


peace and


war.


Almost 900


Isthmus of Pan-


ama, a reality only in the minds of a relatively
few bold and imaginative men.
Turn back the clock only 50 years and ships
would sail 5,000 or more weary and hazardous


000,000 tons of cargo of every description have
been shipped through the Canal from the mari-
time centers of the whole world.
Debates On Basic Problems Forgotten


miles


harbors
hopeful


would


between


would
but


ports;


many


be quiet and
impoverished


today's


busy


unknown; and


young


Republic


be centering its hopes for security


stature as a


nation


upon


the single objective


of the successful completion of a ship channel
between the two great oceans.


Only
pages (
become


by a mental


loes


reversal


value


apparent-to


)f these
Panama


nation


which


history
Canal
built


it, to the country it bisects, and to the mari-
time nations of the world which freely use its


facilities on a basis of


Fifty


years


complete equality.


today-May


1904--the


Panama Canal as an American enterprise was
born.


Forty


-Million Dollar Receipt Is Signed


quietly


efficiently


flood


world trade been handled that public conscious-
ness of its value has been lulled into forgetful-


ness.
public
- large


The Canal itself is no longer a burning
issue. Its problems of today, however


critical,


are mere


sidelights


actuality.
The average citizen of the United States or


Panama,


nations


most


vitally


con-


cerned with its successful operation and main-
tenance, has long since forgotten the heated
debates over whether the United States could


or should
should bN


build an
located,


I Isthmian


what


type


:anal,
it s


where
should 1


deadly yellow fever, crippling malaria, costly
landslides, and innumerable other issues which
invoked serious study and flared tempers inter-
mittently for nearly four centuries.


Early in the morning of that date Lt. Mark


Brooke,
Corps c


a young o
Engineers,


officer


signed


U. S. Army
his country a


receipt for $40,000,000, the largest single finan-
S 1 5 A l S * -


transaction


nation


until


then.


For it he accepted the rights and properties of


These basic
years ago.


issues


were alive,


real,


just 50


The signing of the forty-million-dollar receipt
and the transfer of the New French Canal Cornm-


pany


's rights and properties took place without


New


French


Canal


Company


been born only 10 years before
effort to keep the project alive.


which


in a desperate


View of Culebra Cut


dumpcars.
the "Cut"


in December 1904 loading of French


Much excavation had been accomplished but
was still a formidable task 50 years ago.


drawn across the map of the





May 4, 1954


FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY SUPPLEMENT


fanfare in the presence of only a few witnesses
in the Grand Hotel in the City of Panama
which then housed the French headquarters,
and today houses the Panama Post Office. The
momentous event, now relegated to a footnote
of the stirring twentieth century history, was
but a climax to a series of international episodes


which had been piled on
startling rapidity during
Events directly relati
immediately preceded
declaration of independe
Panama on November
the Provisional Governr
Canal treaty on Decem
cation of the treaty by th
on February 23, 1904.


top of each other with
the preceding 10 years.
ng to the Canal which
this act included the
rnce by the Republic of
3, 1903; approval by


nent
ber2


of Panama of the
,1903; and ratifi-


ie United States Senate


Canal Was Hailed As Modern


many


Panama Canal
ifest Destiny"
tional policies
the nineteenth
was hailed as o
world, not only
but for the coi
had the unenv


respects


Wonder


construction


was a culmination of the "Man-
theory which pervaded the na-
of the United States throughout
century. Its completion in 1914
mne of the modern wonders of the
for the engineering achievement
quest of disease in an area that
able reputation of being one of


the most pestilential sections of the world.
On this, the 50th anniversary of the Canal
enterprise as an American project, it is timely
and appropriate to review its history, its opera-


its relationships


today's


swiftly-


changing world of science, politics, and eco-
nomics.
Has the Panama Canal fulfilled the mission
originally visualized by its proponents? Is it


Gaillard (Culebra) Cut today. The United Fruit steamer
"Esparta" is shown passing Gold Hill. This view of the
Canal shows it as it was once called: "The Big Ditch.


a profitable investment? What is its true value
to the nation which built it? To the nation
which gave it location and name? Has its cus-
todianship been faithfully performed? What is
its worth to international commerce? What is
its future?
Most of these questions would be auicklv


answered
would re
closed.
cussions
pinching
and disr
products
ation of
and polite
There


consider
require t
way, for
its build
national
more vit4
when it
would m
Panama
valuable
only $46,
dollar en
of immea


A-


I by the disastrous consequences
sult if the waterway were sud
Such a catastrophe would have
throughout the maritime wor
in two many well-tracked trade
upting the flow of raw and fi
. It would require a complete re


the Cai
ical vie
is little


tons wo1
he immed


A-
nal from commer
points.
doubt that any
1 1 1


dI nave sumci


cial, mi


A V


which
Idenly
reper-
ld by
routes
nished
evalu-
litary,


one of these
ent weight to


iate restoration of the water-


the same basic r
ng 50 years ago
policies of toda
al now to intern
was first opened
iake immediate
Canal is vastly
than a piece of
0,000,000. It is,
terprise vital to
isurable benefit


motives which impelled
are fundamental in the
y, and the Canal is far
national commerce than
d in 1914. Its closure
ly apparent that the
T more important and
property evaluated at
in fact, a multi-billion-
national interests and
to world shipping.


Many Ways To Harm Canal Effectiveness
It is also well to consider that there are other


metho
which
pered
Failur
future
of the
,-d i-I ,\w


ds than actually
its effectiveness
and its value r
e to provide for
; lack of proper
ever constant vi
,i, 4- -I,," 4-th-tr, i t-n r .


eI1eUIcoU t pils LIUICl^
operating force; and p


closing the waterway by
could be seriously ham-
vealed. Among these:
increased traffic of the
maintenance; lessening
gilance against diseases
sabotage; an inefficient


political or administrative


* IIa


i^^'.T. .h ''
<> t:' > * . '* ^


li'l:: '


I





THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW


May 4,1954


ineptitwue which might invoke any of these
conditions.
These and many other important considera-
tions must be constantly borne in mind by


those r
tion, a
Any
value;
C('anal
future


responsiblee for its administration, opera-
I -


nd m
app:


its c
Zone
must


maintenance.
raisal of the Canal's
operation and admini
Government; and th
, to a large extent, be


present-day
tration; the
waterway's
considered in


light of its past history. There are many fac-
tors relating to the enterprise and its operation
today which are based on sound historical reas-


ons which are often ignored.
For the romantically inclined,
Canal is a rich and colorful skein


the Panama
in man's his-


tory of the past four and a half centuries. Its
story embraces wars and peace, discoveries and


conquest,
intrigue,
successes.
factors as
diplomat
chicanery
countless


economics and politics,
scoundrels and saints,
Interspersed are such
labor problems, diseases,


c maneuvers,
,. honest and


other


factors


impractical
heroic en


honesty and
failures and
influencing
revolutions,
ble schemes,
deavor. and


emotions


which


shape men's destiny.
Charles V Of Spain Requested Survey


Factually, the
waterway began


history of the
to unfold a few


int
ye


Columbus discovered the New World.


step leading to its actual construction v
in 1534 when Emperor Charles V
issued instructions to his governor of
to undertake the first actual survey of
ama route. The discouraging report
the gold in the world would not suffi


eroceanic
ars after
The first
vas taken
of Spain
Panama
the Pan-
that "all
ce for its


execution" with the labor then available led to
the practical abandonment of serious thought
of a man-made channel for many years.
The idea which had germinated, however, did


not die. It
life over th
watered by
and navigat
the Atlanti


alternately withered and sprang to
e next three and a half centuries,
the hopes and aspirations of traders
ors for an easy passageway between
c and Pacific oceans. During this


period every major maritime nation t
the idea of building a canal and the
route was but one of many which v
serious consideration. Chief among tI
were the several Atrato River routes
Panama-Colombian border; the San B
not far from the existing Canal; the
in northwestern Panama; Nicaragua;
hauntepec in Mexico. Each of thes
some natural advantages such as deep
tions in the coast lines, narrowness of


I


II


tween the oceans, broad natural lakes
navigable rivers flowing most of the
between the Atlantic and Pacific.


yed with
Panama
ras given
he others


near the
las route
Chiriqui
and Te-
e offered
indenta-
land be-
, or deep
distance


French Misjudged Immensity Of Task
The great fermentation of ideas crystallized
in the ill-fated effort of the French to build the
Panama Canal. This attempt needs no apology
in history. Disease, extravagance, labor prob-
lems, and inadequate machinery were all con-
tributory causes of failure. A basic cause was
undoubtedly a misconception of the size of the
project. Experience later gained in actual con-
struction of the Canal and later advancement
in engineering and medical science lead to the
inevitable conclusion that the ambitious plans
were impossible of achievement under condi-
tions then prevailing.
Interest in the construction of an isthmian
canal was aroused in the United States while
the nation was still in its infancy. Benjamin

Pedro Miguel Locks under construction. Some idea of
the immensity of the task of building the Panama Canal
may be gained from this picture taken in May 1911.


}

l


1
(


t




May 4,1954


FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY SUPPLEMENT


, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay


John C. Calhoun were among the early states-
men to ponder the question.
Early U. S. Interest Shown In Canal


Two


events


served to heighten
project. These wer


Califo
Railro
by pr
rapid
discov
tional
hither
of the
nia bc
tween
than


the mid-nineteenth


American
e the disco


interest
very of


century


in
gold


rnia and the completion of the Panama
ad across the narrow Isthmus of Panama
ivate American capital in 1855. The
settlement of the Pacific coast after the
ery of gold gave the United States a na-
interest and influence in the Pacific which
to had been negligible. The completion
Panama Railroad, aided by the Califor-


)Om,
the
any


provided a railway connection be-
Atlantic and Pacific 14 years earlier
transcontinental rail link in the


United States and emphasized the dire
for a water route.
The history of the Panama Railroad
pany and the Panama Canal are so c


intertwined that it
one from the other.
struction, granted


need


Com-
losely


*is impossible to separate
The concession for its con-
in 1848 by New Granada


(Colombia), tied it inextricably to the canal pro-
ject by giving the concessionaires veto rights
over the canal's construction. This later neces-
sitated the first French Canal Company buy-
ing controlling interest in the company at an
exorbitant price. This stock was transferred to
the United States in 1904 in the purchase of
the second French Canal Company's rights and
properties. The remaining stock in the hands
of private investors was purchased soon after-
ward and the Panama Railroad Company be-


U. S. S. "New Jersey" in Pedro Miguel Locks. Th
transit of one of the big battleships or carriers is
ticklish job and clearance in locks is measured in inches.


came an adjunct of the Canal although it was


opera
until
terpri
and t
prise'


d under the original New York charter
was incorporated as a Government en-
in 1948. So closely allied are the Canal
Railroad that the term "Canal enter-
>ecame generally used to denote the two


rather than the wate
There is little to


xrway itself.
indicate that th


or defense value of a canal to the Uni
was given serious consideration unti
ing decade of the last century. U
American interest was chiefly conce
a possible violation of the Monroe D
assurance that the canal project, w
pleted, would be a free artery of
open to all nations alike.
Public Attention Focused On
There were several events during
part of the nineteenth century which
focus public attention on the need
and swift means of the transfer of na
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Ami
were the Boxer Rebellion; the battle
Bay and the accompanying near-clasi
eign naval units in the Pacific; anm


the Hawaiian Islands; and proi
the "Open Door" policy in Chii
a few. Paralleling these were
American War and recurring po


als in Latin American
Caribbean which invite
pean powers. The 90-


moun,
na, t'
the


e military
ted States
I the clos-
Jntil then
rned with
'octrine or
then cornm-
commerce


Canal
the latter
served to
for a sure
val power
iong these
of Manila
h with for-
exation of
cement of
o mention
Spanish-


litical upheav-


countries bordering the
d intervention by Euro-
day trip of the United


States cruiser Oregon around the Horn to join
American naval units in Cuban waters served
to arouse popular demand for a canal.
All of these, however, were but contributory
factors. The expansion of United States com-
merce was an impelling force. The tide of mi-
gration to the Pacific coast vastly increased the
importance of business on the western seaboard.


Franklin




THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW


May 4, 1954


commercial interests of the coun-
'gone a complete transformation
decades. The pioneer days had
d. The land was settled and the
agricultural products and manu-
s began to exceed the nation's


requirements. Meanwhile, manufacturing in-
terests began to require raw materials from
abroad.
This increasing flow of import-export trade,
especially to the west coast of South America
and the Far East, was seriously impeded by
long trade routes. The lack of a shorter sea
route was particularly restrictive in the inter-
change of bulk cargo between the eastern and
western ports of the United States and this
trade grew steadily in importance after 1850.
Teddy Roosevelt Summarized Reasons
One of the best summaries of these underly-
ing factors and their relationship to United
States' policies was given by the dynamic
"Teddy" Roosevelt in a special message to
Congress in January 1904 when he said:
"The control, in the interest and traffic of
the whole civilized world, of the means of an
undisturbed transit across the Isthmus of Pan-
ama has become of transcendent importance to
the United States.
"The course of events has shown that a canal
to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans must
be built by the United States or not at all.
Experience has demonstrated that private en-
terprise was utterly inadequate for the purpose;
and a fixed policy, declared by the United
States on many memorable occasions, and sup-
ported by the practically unanimous voice of
American opinion, has rendered it morally im-
possible that the work should be undertaken by
European powers, either singly or in combina-
tions.


had
hin a
ne to
>ducti
tured


conglomerations of
since the Tower of Ba
every craft, doctors,
steamshovel operators
ers, powdermen, file
worked side by side
the skilled crafts a:
rnn 1


workers ever assembled
bel. Skilled engineers of
lawyers, railroad men,
, school teachers, preach-
clerks, and bookkeepers
with a myriad others of
nd the pick-and-shovel
1 , 11 " I 1


groups. The story nas been tornld in poetry and
in prose.
The work of building the Canal involved
three main problems-engineering, sanitation,

Colon Hospital in the early 1900's. Only the oldest oF
the Canal old-timers recall when the buildings of the
hospital extended out over the waters of Manzanillo Bay.


it 4
t j


"In all our range of international relations I
do not hesitate to affirm that there is nothing
of greater or more pressing importance than
the construction of an interoceanic canal. Long
acknowledged to be essential to our commercial
development, it has become, as the result of the
recent extension of our territorial dominion,
more than ever essential to our national
defense."
A more succinct and comprehensive summary
could hardly be written then or now.
The story of the construction of the Panama
Canal is one of the richest sagas of United
States history. It is one which every American
schoolboy should learn, for the Canal is truly
an American enterprise woven of American ini-
tiative, ingenuity, ideals, and dollars. Without
thege, as Theodore Roosevelt so clearly said, it
would not have been built, a fact often ignored
by idealistic dreamers and political opportun-
ists.
The drama of the Canal's construction has a
majestic sweep in the story of mankind. To
no one man nor to any single group can go full
credit for building the Panama Canal. The
organization represented one of the greatest


;./ i.*




May 4, 1954


FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY SUPPLEMENT


and organization. Of the three, organization
proved to be the most troublesome.
Its successful completion was due primarily
to the engineering genius and administrative
skill of such men as John F. Wallace, John F.
Stevens, Theodore P. Shonts, and Col. George
W. Goethals; to the solution of sanitation and
public health problems of first magnitude by
Col. William Crawford Gorgas and his asso-
ciates; to the statesmanship and political acu-
men of such leaders as Theodore Roosevelt and
William Howard Taft; and to the loyal and un-
remitting toil of thousands of workers whose
high morale during the years of its construction


tary food handling facilities; adequate quaran-
tine measures; hospitals to treat the sick, and
doctors and nurses to staff them; and an unend-


ing fight against
thrive in the trop
Most of these
the Canal itself,


mai
ics.
pub
wei


malign


diseases which


lic health requisites, like
:e virtually unknown on


the Isthmus 50 years ago. There is no debate
today as to the great value of the sanitation
work to the actual construction of the Canal.
The lessons learned here on the Isthmus have
had a marked effect in wide areas of the world,
especially in tropical areas, for many measures


adopted


in the clean-up campaign to make the


is one of the proudest stories o
The engineering problems


ones
imag
going
large
dam
lake
sive


of mai
native
a ditch
st ship
ever b
then in
canal 1


rnitude which


men
wid
s; c(
uilt;
exis
ocks


coul


f its his
were p
d be s


i. Chiefly they invol
e and deep enough to
)nstructing the large
creating the largest
tence; building the m


ever


conceived


;tory.
primarilyy
)lved by
ved dig-
float the
st earth
artificial
ost mas-


constructing


the biggest gates ever swung; inventing and
fabricating intricate electrical and mechanical
equipment for operating the waterway; relo-
cating a 50-mile railroad; and conquering land-
slides of monumental proportions.
Sanitation Was One Of Biggest Jobs
Sanitation involved tasks of similar propor-
tions. It required a general clean-up of a large
area where yellow fever, malaria, dysentery,
and other tropical diseases had thrived for four
centuries. It required the provision of a pure
water supply; proper sewerage and drainage;
mosquito, fly, and other insect control; sani-


Isthmus a healthful place to live were
their first large-scale tests even before
plans for the Canal were approved.


given
final


Spooner Act Hampered Men In Charge
The organizational and administrative diffi-


culties in
far more
controversy
ture. Th
during thE
tion period
the basic


building the Panama Cana
numerous, more complex,
sial than those of an engine
ey arose from various so
e critical early days of the
i they stemmed from the Sp
legislation authorizing the


l were by
and more
eering na-
urces but
construc-
ooner Act,
construc-


tion of the Canal, and living conditions on the
Isthmus.
The Spooner Act hamstrung the men hired
to head the job by denying them the necessary
authority. It required the President to appoint
a commission of seven members to conduct the
work. This restrictive clause proved to be one
of the most disruptive factors in the early con-
struction period, and one which had a decisive
effect on the permanent organization for opera-


maintenance


Gorgas Hospital today. It was built on the eastern slope
of Ancon Hill by the French and wards were once crowded
with victims of the dreaded "yellow jack" and malaria.


government


when


was established in 1914.
As long as the Canal plans were in a forma-
tive stage the plan worked admirably. Diffi-


ny





THE PANAMA


CANAL REVIEW


May 4, 1954


arose, however,
nd decisive and
iportance.


wh
pro


President Roosevelt and Se
William Howard Taft, under wi
the (Canal work was placed, soot
the job with its many problems
sanitation, labor, supply, an
could not be accomplished und
of seven men 2,000 miles away
Remedial legislation, request
passed the House but failed to j
The President, using the red-ta
cedures for which he was fame
the broad powers accorded him
Act. He appointed a new Isthm
mission and directed by Execu
the Chairman, the Chief EnR


Govern
ecutive
This
tion an
ference


Lor
CO
on
dc
CO


P. Shonts
sion, and
nearer to
John F. S
neer, and


of
mn
1--.


culties soon
was begun a
of utmost im


the Canal Zone constitute an ex-
nittee.
-~~ ~ ~ _ ii__.___ 1 j-


iy partly soivea me vexatious ques-
onflicts of opinion and political inter-
mtinued. In March 1907, Theodore
resigned as Chairman of the Commis-
President Roosevelt moved a step
centralized authority by appointing
tevens as Chairman and Chief Engi-
vesting in him the authority of Gov-


ernor of the Canal Zone.


Roosevelt Calls For Army Engineers
The resignation of Mr. Stevens a month later
resolved President Roosevelt on another course
which has had an indelible imprint on the or-
ganization since. He decided then to appoint
an officer of the Army Corps of Engineers to
head the job, using then the famous expression
that they would stay until he got ready to
move them. This was followed by the appoint-
ment of Col. Goethals under whose capable
leadership the construction of the waterway


en actual work
'mpt action was

cretary of War
lose supervision
i perceived that
of engineering,
d government,
er the direction
from the scene.
d by Roosevelt,
rass the Senate.
ape-cutting pro-
)us, resorted to
in the Spooner
ian Canal Cornm-
tive Order that
mineer, and the


workmen on the Isthmus.


houses to shelter
them. Many bitter
the early construct
force was available


The
was a


recruitment
complex bu


Neither were there


them nor food to sustain
lessons were learned during
on period before a cohesive
for the job.
of a common labor force
.t not a difficult problem.


Workmen by the thousands in the nearby West
Indies, inured to tropical living, were ready for

Gorgona School in 1904. There was no "little red school-
house" in the Zone in those days and temporary shacks
were converted for use until better buildings were provided.


* 4*^
** f ^ /
'* ' ^' ^ -
- * 4^"


4
* . .




V V4
* z 4N. NV

� � >< *OV
N~
/: K K K ^ K :< ^ K K K ^ ^ r^


was completed.
The final step in eliminating administratively
the hampering provision of the Spooner Act
came in January 1908 when the President
issued a directive making the Isthmian Canal
Commission an advisory body to the Chairman
and Chief Engineer. It also required all mem-
bers of the Commission to reside on the Isthmus.
The effect of this action was eloquently ex-
pressed to the President by Colonel Goethals
when he said: "Now, I have both feet on the
ground and I'll build the Canal."
Thereafter, the broad organizational prob-
lems were effectively settled by "the Colonel"
whose genius as an administrator is equally
recognized with his ability as an engineer.
No Labor Pool Was Available For Job
It had been recognized before the beginning
of the work that, given the time, capital, ma-
chinery, and man-power, the construction of
the Canal could be accomplished. The neces-
sary capital and equipment were virtually as-
sured when the United States Government
undertook the work, but the recruitment and
retention of a satisfactory force proved complex
and trying.
There was no pool of skilled or unskilled


* *


1-


I*





May 4, 1954


FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY SUPPLEMENT


any k
Some
They
equal
wages
level
10,000(
who p
men.


:ind


30,000
were s
force
even
in the
) contr
>roved


hiring


however,
type of en
technician
Charles V
still held
thousands
years and
away the
rock from
Widesp,


work


even


subsistence


of these were hired under coni
upplemented by an approxim
of migrant laborers attract
then much higher than the ge
area. To these were added
'act workers from southern Ei
to be diligent and effective x


keeping


a skilled


I


was another matter. And it w
iployee most needed. Without
is of all classes, the advice
nearly 400 years before would
good, for unskilled workmen 1
could have labored for a hi
never created Gatun Locks n


r


millions of cubic
Culebra Cut.
ead unfavorable


yards of


publicity


out the United States concerning
living conditions, coupled with criti
Canal project itself, hampered recru
ing the first few years of the work
delaying factor in both planning an
While it is difficult to compreh
modern Isthmian community of
standard living conditions was one


force,
as this
skilled
given
d have
by the
indred
or dug


volcanic

through-


health and
cism of the
itment dur-
and was a
d action.
end in the
today, low
of the bir


basic obstacles to real progress in construction
work.
Living Conditions In 1904 Described


Miles P
historians
tains Will
conditions
"As th(


. Duval, one of the most a
of the Isthmus, in "And The
Move," graphically describe
as follows:
e number of employees inc


A V *


accurate
Moun-
d these


,reased,


Balboa High School and Canal Zone Junior College.
The Canal Zone school system today ranks with the finest
in the United States in staff, plant, and equipment.


rents and food prices


rose until it became in-


creasingly difficult to live within income. Eat-
ing places were few, and no effort was made
to provide more.
* * * * *


level.
bract.
ately
d by
neral
over
rope
work-


butter. Local b
tables decayed
to depend on ca
"Water was t
the early days.
peddled along th


rea
so
mnn
he


old storage for m
it was bought f
rs on the streets.
ilk, and nothing
d was dirty, and
rapidly that emp
Led foods.
greatest problems
In the dry seas


ie streets


a privilege only of the we


eat onr
resh
There
but tii
fresh
loyees


i the
from
was
nned
veg-
had


1 of life in
on it was


and a daily bath was
althy."
* *


"Employees had to find quarters of their
own. Rooms that in the United States would
rent for $5 a month, in Panama cost $20- a
rate too high for $100-a-month clerks."
Private Sources Unable To Meet Needs


The law of supply and demand
better illustrated. Private business
Isthmus was unprepared and unwill
the challenge. The question of pr
visioning the employees, which was


success of
equipment,
During t
December
had arisen


was never
then on the
ing to meet
operly pro-
as vital to


the project as the machinery and
came to a head late in 1905.
he visit of Secretary of War Taft in
1904 to iron out difficulties which
with regard to customs and other


governmental matters,
tain for American empl
Railroad commissaries,
isted for Panama Railro


it was agreed to main-
oyees only the Panama
which had always ex-
ad employees and which


were operated by the French during their Canal
construction work.
Prices rose so exorbitantly that the common
labor force could not eat. An offer made min


m


r


"There was no c
Isthmus. All mea
horse-riding peddle
no ice, no fresh mi


.v --




THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW


May 4, 1954


for :.


era te


syndicate of Panama merchants to


commiss


aries at a nominal profit


was refused. John F. Stevens, Chief Engineer,
in a formal report in August 1905 reported that
staple food prices had risen from 100 to 1,000
percent within 18 months, and subsequently a
new agreement was reached to extend the com-
missary privilege to all employees.
The cooperative spirit displayed between the
United States and the Republic of Panama in
adjusting the Commissary problem at that time
has characterized the relations between the two
countries also in many less fundamental ques-


the construction
Ancon made its
waterway on Aug
had given deep c
tion required for i
and government
The spectre of
so precariously o
early part of its
threatened the su
ject made a deep
When the time
organization, his


period. Long before the S. S.
historic trip through the new
ust 15, 1914, Colonel Goethals
consideration to the organiza-
ts operation and maintenance,
in the Canal Zone.
divided authority which hung
ver the enterprise during the
history and which seriously
ccessful completion of the pro-
impression on him.
came to form the permanent
views largely prevailed. He


tions


during


years of


their


close


was insistent on several fundamentals.


Briefly


amicable relationship.
Early Elemental Problems Still Exist


Although


years


have


elapsed


since


construction of the Panama Canal was under-
taken by the United States, many of the ele-
mental problems of that period are inherent in
the operation and maintenance of the waterway
today.
The Canal Zone is still an isolated commun-


ity 2,00
of supply
editions
and the
to the o
as they
All ol
heavily


0 miles away from a ready storehouse
ies. Sanitation and healthful living con-
are still prime requisites for employees
ir families. Technical skills are as vital
operationn and maintenance of the Canal
were in its building.
f these are responsibilities which weigh
on the men who are entrusted todav


4I


with the administration of the Canal.
The Canal enterprise today is a many-faceted
operation, all geared to the primary mission of
expediting the movement of ships between the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans and subordinate or
auxiliary to this purpose.
Like the personnel, supply, and health prob-
lems, many of the basic features of the Canal
organization today stem from experiences of


these were that: The organization be continued
as a separate governmental entity under the
supervision of the Secretary of War (Army);
a single head be appointed with full authority
to execute the mission assigned; the head of the
organization and the second in command be
officers of the Corps of Engineers to provide
continuity in management without political
considerations; the organization be purely civil-
ian in nature and subordinate to the military
only in times of national crisis; and everyone
not connected with the Canal project be kept
out of the Canal Zone.
Organization Based On Solid Principles
In the main, these fundamental principles
have been followed throughout the 40 years of
the Canal's operation and the wisdom of leaders
in establishment of the permanent organization
has been amply demonstrated by the success of
the enterprise since. The solidity of that foun-
dation has been highlighted by the fact that
the Canal has performed satisfactorily its prime

Gatun Locks in December 1909. An elaborate system
of automatic railways and aerial cableways was set up to
handle concrete and steel used in building Gatun Locks.




May 4, 1954


FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY SUPPLEMENT


mission; the Canal organization has been kept
remarkably free from political influence; the
men who have headed the organization have
invariably performed their complex and trying
duties with integrity and distinction; and, in
comparison with other government operations,
it has had a remarkably successful financial
history.
To obtain a clear picture of the success or
failure of the Canal's principal mission, it is
necessary to examine the operating results apart
from the various subsidiary activities.
The Canal's main business of providing for
the transit of vessels is influenced by the ebb
and flow of world commerce as governed by
innumerable economic and political trends
over which its administrators have no control.
Canal Is Geared To Commercial Shipping
Although the Canal has been and is a vital
element in national defense, the long-range pol-
icies in its operation are, in the main, geared to
the trends and requirements of world com-
merce.
The traffic pattern of the Canal has largely
followed the course of world history during the
comparatively brief span of its operation.
While the waterway has had a vast influence
on world commerce and the development of
new trade areas, its traffic is vitally affected by
wars, depressions, strikes, and other recurrent
political and economic upheavals which affect
wide trade areas or large segments of the
world's population.
It was natural that the opening of the Canal
would have a vitalizing effect on world trade.
Since its opening, new trade routes have been


Gatun Locks in operation. A ship entering the lower
lock chamber at Gatun is starting a three-step lift of 85
feet to Gatun Lake level for its journey to the Pacific.


developed and many countries in isolated trade


areas have been brought
world markets. The sa'
miles in ship movements
economy in the transport
highly stimulated the dev
turning, mining, agriculti
wide areas. The vast ml
ties has also had an indi
fluence in the promotion
ment of health and living
strengthening of political
tions of the free world,
the Western Hemisphere
The Canal was opened
days after the outbreak o
Largely as a result of th
economic conditions by t
mercial traffic did not re
levels until some years k
1920 that commercial tr
in one year and not u
shipments totaled more


With
Canal
reached
and pr
number
each of
exceeded
average


Within
ving of
with th
nation of


elor
ure,
over
'ect
L of
con


the radius of
thousands of
.e consequent
commodities


)ment of manufac-
and industry in
nent of commodi-
but important in-
culture, improve-
ditions, and in the


1l ties among
particularly

i to traffic on


f the first Wo
Le disruption
hat catastrop
ach normal p
water. It was
ansits exceed
until 1921 whe


th


the revival of world


an 10,000,0
trade after


the na-
those of

ly a few
rld War.
of world
he, cornm-
eacetime
not until
ed 2,000
m cargo
'00 tons.
the war,


traffic rose sharply after 1922
a peak at the height of the world t
osperity era in the late 1920's.
of ocean-going commercial transi
the fiscal years 1928, 1929, and
d 6,000, while cargo tonnage ann
d over 30,000,000 tons during


and
boom
The
ts in
1930
ually
that


three-year period.


Depression Reflected In Canal Traffic
The world-wide depression of the 1930's was
mirrored in Canal traffic statistics. By the
fiscal year 1939, however, the number of ships
and amount of cargo moved through the Canal
had nearly reached the level of the late 1920's.
Commercial traffic became a negligible factor
in the Canal's operation during World War II,


*


(




THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW


May 4, 1954


and reached an all-time low in the fiscal year
1944 with only 1,562 transits and only 7,000-
000 tons of cargo.


I)espith
to exist
close of
creased Sj
past fiscal
lished in
transits,
amount o
Traffic


trade rou
generally
which ar
coast of
South An
and Cana
States ar


west coast
Europe and


world tensions which have continued


major


ie war, cor
ectacularly
rear new all.
otal traffic,
et tonnage
cargo shipp


statistics


nmercial


powers since
traffic has


since 1945.
-time records
number of
of vessels,
ed through t


1


are maintained c


ites through the Canal, bu
grouped under eight maj
e: United States intercc
the United States and wE


nerica; east
ida and Asi


Central
of the I


coast of the
a; east coast
America; Eu
united States


Australasia


; Europ


America; and the east coast of tl
States and Canada and Australasia.


During the
were estab-
commercial
tolls, and
he Canal.
n about 64
it these are
or headings
)astal; east
st coast of


United States
of the United
rope and the
and Canada;
e and South


United


Wide Fluctuations On Main Trade Routes


There has been a wide fluctu
movement of shipping over these
routes during the course of the
years of operation. The traffic
been particularly fluid since the
past war, being markedly affected


tors
pute
Suez
and


as the Korean conflict, the Ir
, troubled political conditions
Canal and other parts of the
serious political tensions in o


C

1


action
main


in the
trade


Canal's 40
pattern has
close of the
by such fac-
mian oil dis-
affecting the
Middle East,
Lher parts of


the world.
Comparisons of the movements of ships and
commodities over the principal trade routes
during the two peak periods of the Canal's op-
eration reveal the constant flux in world trade
as reflected in Canal statistics. Illustrative of


these are:
Cargo shipments in the United States inter-
coastal trade aggregating over 10 million tons


making up more


than


total tonnage of commodities
the Canal in 1929 were less


percent of the
moved through
than half that


amount during the past fiscal year and repre-
sented less than 15 percent of the total.
Commodity Shipments To Far East Triple
Commodities shipped between the Far East
and the eastern coast of United States and
Canada last year amounted to 7,848,000 tons,
practically triple the amount moved just 25
years ago.
Cargo tonnage over the trade routes between


Australasia and the United States
and Europe last year was practice
the 1929 figures.
Aside from the constant rise and
amount of commodity shipments bet


,ly
illy


Canada,
r double


fall in the
ween given


areas as a result of economic pressures, Canal
statistics also reveal a constant shifting of de-


mands f
ment of
ample, h
past 10
constitute
the Paci


or specific commodities. The move-
mineral oil through the Canal, for ex-
as practically been reversed within the
years. For many years mineral oils
ted the leading commodity moved from
fic to the Atlantic with five to seven


million tons shipped annually.
two years the shipments have
half million tons annually.
movement of oil from the Atl
fic has greatly increased. I
1920's oil shipments in this d


than a million


4,936,000


tons a year.


were


tons


J


During the past


totaled less
Meanwhile
antic to the
During the
direction wer
Last year a


shipped


through


than
, the
Paci-
peak
e less
total
h the


"D" Street in Colon before paving. Replacement of
open drainage ditches, such as this one, by underground
sewers was important in the big sanitation job required.


1





May 4, 1954


FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY SUPPLEMENT


Canal from Atlantic to Pacific ports.
Year in and year out in the Canal


tion since it was opened in
commodities shipped from
from west to east have refl
ment or lack of development


ufactured r
modity list
of Europe
while raw


'ducts ha
From the


ve gen
heavy


1914,
east
ected
of ind
erally
r indu


, th
to
the
usti
led


until near the close of World War II the nation


s opera-


e leading
west and
develop-
y. Man-
the cornm-


strial centers


and North America to the Pacific,
products, such as ores, lumber, ni-


trates, metals, and copra, together with such
bulk foods as wheat, sugar, coffee, fresh and
dried fruits, and bananas, have been the lead-
ing commodities shipped from the Pacific to


had a one-
all-importa
the Atlanti
The simi
country in
the building'
the nation


ocean Navy and the Canal was an
nt link for its movement between
ic and Pacific.
ultaneous threat to the safety of the
both oceans during the war required
g of naval forces sufficient to protect
's maritime interests wherever re-


quired. This consequently relegated the Canal
into the background as to its need for the
movement of fighting ships.
But the possession of a two-ocean Navy does
not eliminate the need for speedy movement
of men and materials for winning a war. Con-


the Atlantic.
It would require
a comprehensive a
through the Canal
ments serve only ti
the waterway has
Importance To


a book-length report to give
analysis of commercial traffic
and these fragmentary state-
o illustrate the vast influence
had on world commerce.
National Defense Shown


elusive evid
was given d
a fragment
omic strength
year 1953,
1.064 U. S.


ence of this,
during the Ko
of the nation
h was involve
the last full
Government


ships carrying supplies and
Far East. transited the Canal


if any were needed,
rean War when only
's military and econ-
ed. During the fiscal
year of the conflict,
vessels, mostly cargo


materials to the
. This is approx-


The
national
World
5,300 c
craft se
tion of
fail to


importance
1 defense


the Panama Canal to
demonstrated during


War II by the transit o
ombat vessels and about
rving military needs in thi
troops and cargo. Even 1
portray the full value oc


more than
8,500 other
transporta-
Liese figures,
the Canal


during that critical period.
While the value of the Canal as an instru-
ment of national defense is no less today than
its opening 40 years ago, events of the past 15
years have shifted the emphasis of this value.
Commercially and defensively the United States
began to face east and west only after the
settlement of the Pacific coast line. From then


Cristobal mole and piers. More than 1,000,000 tons of
cargo were handled last year at the Canal terminal ports,
providing steady employment for more than 2,000 men.


imately twice the number using the Canal under
peacetime conditions.


The facto
in warfare;
survival of:
The stead
station and


of
; is
Lti
pr
Ldu


logistics is not only important
a vital element today in the
)ns in peacetime.
ogress in the fields of transpor-


L


tical problems
nation no longer
natural resource


stry
for 1
can
s for


ence on foreign mark
other nations which


has vitally altered logis-
the United States. The
depend wholly on its own
existence. This depend-
ets is even more acute for
are allied in the gigantic


struggle for Democracy's survival.


Old Concept Of Plenty


Is Now Changed


The old concept of plenty of raw materials
is no longer true in the United States. It was
never true in the highly industrialized nations
of Europe. Consequently, more and more de-


)rc
s f




THE PANAMA


CANAL REVIEW


May 4,1954


pendenue s being placed on the vast undevel-
pe(d areas of the world for vitally needed
materials. This need is particularly true of
mineral oils and various metallic ores upon
which both industry and modern transporta-
tion depend.
Aside from the requirement of raw products
and the interchange of finished products for the
survival and progress of industrialized nations,
the need for shipment of food and manufac-
tured goods into undeveloped territories has
consistently increased during the first half of
this century.S
Thus viewed from a logistical standpoint, the
Panama Canal today is far more important to
national welfare and defense and to world com-
merce generally than ever before in its history.
All Parts of Operation Are Essential
The day-to-day operation of the Panama
('anal is far more prosaic and less likely to
attract world attention than its construction-


so long
Altho
merged
and less
the who
Most
enterpri


as it is efficiently done.
'ugh all parts of the o0
into the primary mission,
s publicized activities are
le.


s


operation are
the smaller
essential to


of the principal functions of the Canal


to


maintenance
the same as
Commission t
These include
importance,


day, except for operation and
of the waterway, are essentially
when the first Isthmian Canal
xook charge of the work in 1904.
, not necessarily in order of their
civil government; public health;


labor; supplies and personal services for the
employees and their families; the servicing of
vessels using Canal waters; correlation of its
diverse activities with those of the Armed For-
ces and other U. S. Government agencies on
the Isthmus; and the fulfillment of many inter-


national commitments of the Federal


Govern-


ment.
The


supporting


facilities


or activities


these functions, of necessity, have a wide range.
In civil government they include police and fire
protection; schools; hospitals and public health
services; a postal system; and customs, quaran-
tine and immigration services.
Municipal facilities normal to any modern
community are provided, such as streets and
public highways; sewer and water systems; elec-
tric power; and communication facilities.
Other subsidiary services include the opera-
tion of commissary stores for food and other
supplies for employees and dependents; hous-
ing; port facilities; storehouses for ship chand-
lery and other supplies; marine bunkering and
ship repair facilities; a railroad line across the
Isthmus; a steamship line between the United
States and the Canal Zone; service centers for
recreation and the sale of sundries; restaurants;
and others.


Company-Government Are


addition,


Panama


Service


Canal


Units


Company


and Canal Zone Government are service agen-
cies for other U. S. Government establishments
and their employees on the Isthmus. The
strictly governmental and municipal services
are provided on a Zone-wide basis. Except for
housing, which is generally provided only for
Canal employees, other services and facilities
are available to personnel of the Army, Navy,
Air Force, and other U. S. Government agen-
cies. Because of this, the plant and equipment
are far more extensive than would be required
if only the Canal force were supplied.
The Panama Canal Company makes exten-

Panama City in 1919. This view, taken from Ancon Hill,
shows the outer rim of houses which were then clustered
along the Panama Railroad and on Via Espana.


e




May 4,


1954


FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY SUPPLEMENT


sive purchases of local products when available.


Last


year


$2,500,000,


Armed


such


purchases


exclusive


Forces or


the Canal Zone.


amounted


those


made


over
the


by individuals employed in
This was approximately five


times the value of local purchases 15 years ago.
This increase is due to some extent to the dif-
ference in the dollar purchasing power, but it
may be attributed largely to the development
of Panama's cattle industry and the increased


production


sugar,


coffee,


fresh


fruits


areas in the United States.


Except


Panama


Government,


Canal is by far the largest employer of skilled
and unskilled labor in the area and since 1904
its wage standards have been well above those


o0 any major
Canal Zone.


employing


agency


outside


The Canal organization has undergone a tre-
mendous change since the close of World War
II, as a result of the force reduction to peace-


time requirements,


the reorganization


in July


and vegetables.
Further development of the agricultural re-
sources of the Isthmus should greatly augment
these figures because of the advantages of buy-
ing locally.


Daily Provisioning Is


Because of


the Zone's


*Major Problem
isolation from ready


sources of supply, the provisioning of the work-
ing force is a day-by-day problem essential to
the efficient operation of the Canal.
The working force of the Canal enterprise is
a hetrogenous group. At present there are ap-
proximately 15,000 employees of whom about
3,850 are engaged in administrative, supervis-
ory or clerical work and in the various skilled


trades.


The others are employed in


unskilled


and semi-skilled work of a varied nature.


1950, and the incorporation of Canal operations


in July 1951.


The fact that these changes have


been made without interference to the primary


function


the organization-the expeditious


handling of shipping-is indicative of the solid
foundation laid many years ago for the opera-


tion of the


international


waterway which has


been followed by every administration since the
organization was established 40 years ago last
month.


Few


organizations


have


complexities


of the Canal, and few can boast its outstand-
ing record of a half century.
Waterway Is Still Dominating Factor
However complex or acute the problems of


administration


Canal


enterprise,


time


Canal


construction


was


undertaken, both skilled and unskilled workers
had to be imported. Except during the past
war when the force was tripled in size the local
labor supply for unskilled work has been ample
to meet all requirements. This condition is not
true of the skilled force which still must be


recruited


largely


Panama City today.


from


highly


industrialized


All available ground space for sev-


eral miles into suburban Panama is occupied


with Ane


residences or modern apartments and office buildings.


waterway itself is the dominating factor.


convenient passageway for ships


Atlantic


Pacific


oceans,


four centuries and accomplished


between


dreamed


just 40 years


ago, has had and will continue to have a com-


manding


influence


world


affairs,


efficient operation will continue to be of imme-
diate and deep concern not only to the United


States and


nations so closely
undertaking, but t


Republic of Panama,


joined


in the


the two


international


;o the entire maritime world.





THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW


May 4, 1954


'[he


Panama


Canal


is a high-level


lake and


lock-type waterway with


a summit


elevation


ts construction


1904


was


it was opened


feet.


begun by the United
to commercial traffic


States Government May


August


1914.


I


Its construction required
earth and rock, of which 103


the excavation


of 208,000,000 cubic yards


,000,000 were removed from


the Gaillard Cut


section.


The original construction cost (net) was $380,000,000.


The total capital


investment-exclusive of


defense-at the end of


fiscal


year


1953


was shown


the accounts as $459,758,633.


The Canal


is 50 miles


long from


deep


water in


Atlantic


to deep


water in


the Pacific.


It requires


an average of seven


to eight hours for a


ship to transit the Canal.


A
miles


ship
by u


sailing from


Losing


New


the Canal


York


, or nearly:


to San
y three


Francisco saves


weeks in


sailing


7,873 nautical
Time for the


average merchant vessel.
The average amount


tolls paid


ocean-going commercial


vessels


during


the past fiscal


year was $4,318.


Mineral oils


three


coal and


leading


coke, and


the manufactures


commodities shipped


through


of iron


the Canal


and steel,


from


Atlantic to the Pacific.


Ores,


lumber, and wheat, are


the three leading commodities,


ton-


nage,


shipped from


Pacific to


the Atlantic.


Many


astronomical


figures


are used


to show


totals in Canal operations since it was opened.


some


Among


these are


statistical
the fol-


lowing on


transits, cargo, and


tolls up to


April 1


1954:


Total transits by ships of all categories .....
Total transits by ocean-going commercial vessels


Total amount of cargo, tons.


Tolls collected on commercial vessels.


226,351
170,759
881.293.238


$727,984,445


a


a -


^=
-
OB -
-
01 m


01l
01
m^