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and cordia: coöperation of the Mexican government. Under the conviction that the future of the people of Central America was absolutely dependent upon the establishment of a federal government which would give strength abroad and maintain peace at home, our chief motive in the recent commotion in Mexico was to prevent the diminution, either political or territorial of any of these states, in order that, trusting to the joint aid and friendship of Mexico and the United States, they might be encouraged to persist in their effort to establish a government which would, both for their advantage and ours, represent their combined wealth, intelligence and character (Foreign Relations, 1881, p. 816).

In his general instructions to the American diplomatic representatives in Central America, dated May 7, 1881, Mr. Blaine also said:

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You cannot impress too strongly upon the government to which you are accredited or upon the public men with whom you associate the importance which the government of the United States attaches to such a confederation of the states of Central America as will respond to the wants and wishes of their people. Our popular maxim, that "in union there is strength," finds its counterpart in the equally manifest truth that, "in division there is weakness." So long as the Central American States remain divided they will fail to acquire the strength and prestige to which they are entitled. The statesmen of Central America may feel certain that, with a common representative government, wielding the power and consulting the interests of the several States, their connection with the railway system of the continent will be eagerly sought and they will both give and receive advantages which always follow the establishment of commercial relations and political sympathy. All internal improvements, including the great project of the interoceanic canal would receive great stimulus and aid from a firm union of the Central American states and the strong government that should grow from that union (Foreign Relations, 1881, p. 102).

It is fruitless to speculate as to what Blaine might have done to forward the union, had he remained longer in power at that time. His statesmanlike vision in grasping a great idea and his boldness in carrying it into effect were demonstrated in the realization of the Pan American Union. Since his day the United States has waited patiently in the hope that the republics of Central America would be able to work out their own salvation. It would now seem certain that they cannot do so unaided. The futility of peace conferences and sentimental agreements has been proved beyond

question. The obligation of the United States towards these countries is generally recognized. Acting the ignominious part of a policeman, we are intermeddling in their domestic affairs and cannot foresee whither such a policy may lead. A courageous, radical remedy is urgently demanded. The administration at Washington, which by a measure of the highest, constructive statesmanship, is prepared to aid the people of Central America achieve their noblest ideal, will build for itself a lasting monument in the hearts of all Spanish-Americans. The United States will be freed from all aspersions of pursuing unworthy aims as well as from the perils of irksome interventions. It will be able to demonstrate irrefutably that the Monroe Doctrine does not serve to perpetuate bad government, but that its benificent effect is to enable the people of this western hemisphere to emerge from chaotic political conditions, and unhindered to achieve their highest aspirations and destinies.


By Earl Harding

As a people we have been so engrossed with interest in the building of the Panama Canal that we have given but little thought either to the means employed in securing the right to build it, or the uses to which it shall be put. The Canal has been our one great national enthusiasm aside from baseball. We have been fascinated by its bigness and its military glamor. We have accepted indifferently the official diplomatic version of the accomplished fact of the secession of the Department of Panama from the mother country, Colombia, and since the apparent collapse of the senatorial investigation of 1906, most of us have forgotten the preliminaries and have turned our attention to watching "the dirt fly."

One result of our national enthusiasm was to create an atmosphere jealous of investigation and impatient of criticism. Editors learned, or thought they learned, that the very word "Panama" was loaded with danger because the public seemed not to be able to differentiate between exposure and condemnation of the lawless acquisition of the Canal Zone and an attack upon the Canal enterprise itself. Wherefore there was a long period during which intelligent discussion and honest criticism of the Panama affair were so unpopular as to be almost entirely suppressed.

Many a time I have been advised to "forget Panama." Many a time I have been told by men who should know better, that the people of the United States would never look back of their glorified Canal far enough to see its inglorious history. They were unwise prophets. The Canal itself has made the people of the United States think. They are beginning to realize that to "take" the Isthmus and "make the dirt fly" were phases of a national problem quite apart

from the operation of the Canal under conditions of international friendliness. Such conferences as this have been made possible by a new popular interest in the countries to the south of us, and this interest has been created by the Canal. Through such activities as this the vital importance of the Panama question is being brought home to the thoughtful people of the United States.

"In Justice to Colombia," the title given by the editor to an article in October World's Work in which I suggested a readjustment of boundaries at Panama as a step toward a settlement with Colombia, failed to reflect the spirit in which I wrote. I am not pleading for justice to Colombia; I hold no brief to present her claims; my major concern and sympathy are for my own country, and I bespeak a settlement of the "Panama question" in justice to the United States.

Most, if not all, of us believe in international justice in the abstract; but when it comes to the accomplishment of this ideal, whenever it is proposed in such a case as the affair of Panama to undo, so far as may be possible, an international wrong, we are confronted by the protest of that brand of jingoism that is too narrow ever to acknowledge a national fault. We are told that a consistent and unbroken front must be presented to the exterior world; that a nation's foreign policy, no matter how unrighteous or illadvised, must be given undivided support, and that to gainsay it is sedition. We are solemnly told that if we really did steal Panama we must not confess it by making reparation; that it is nobler for us and our children and our children's children brazenly to endure the stigma thrust upon us by one overt act than to permit the nation to acknowledge and make amends for the commission of a flagrant international wrong.

He who sets out to tell the truth about the affairs of Panama must, therefore, answer first for himself this ethical question:

Does citizenship impose the moral obligation to uphold your government in an immoral foreign policy, when the life of the nation is not at stake?

For myself, I refuse to subscribe to this dual standard of political morality-one code of ethics for our domestic affairs and another for our foreign relations. I have no patience with the patrotism that holds our public servants to account, by criticism, investigation or impeachment, for what they may or may not do at home, yet absolves them from moral and legal restraint and holds their acts above review or repudiation the moment they cross our international boundary and commit some lawlessness in the name of the people of the United States.

Nor do I believe that the thoughtful men and women of this country imagine that as a nation we would suffer loss of character or caste or self-respect by frank acknowledgment that in a moment of ill-advised haste, in the false light of distorted truth, we committed an act of international injustice for which we desire to make honorable amends.

As to the entire righteousness of Columbia's claims and the method for adjusting them, public opinion in the United States has crystallized only in part, but there is a consensus approaching unanimity in the view that we cannot afford longer to ignore a weaker nation's demand that its case be given a fair hearing. The average citizen has gathered the impression that there was something questionable, at least, in our seizure of the Isthmus, and he wants the mess cleaned up. I am inclined to credit this aroused public opinion more to our awakening commercial consciousness than to a stimulated sense of abstract justice, though both forces have been conspicuously active in the few years that have passed since it was virtually impossible to obtain a hearing on the merit of Colombia's claims. We have waked up to a realization that it isn't good business to have Latin America forever pointing to our treatment of Colombia as justifying its aversion to "the Great Pig of the North." We have been experiencing a changed attitude toward all of Latin America with the approaching opening of new avenues of trade expansion; our commercial interests recognize as they never have before, that they have misunderstood and neglected a great, undeveloped world of opportunity southward, and that self-interest if not national self-respect


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