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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Nicaragua Canal. (search)
ould be well to understand what that term means. When the canal has been pronounced feasible it simply means that with time and money it can be built. Whether it should be built, when, and how, and by whom, are the questions which depend upon other considerations as well as upon cost, though that is an important element. The Clayton-Bulwer treaty, it is claimed. gives to England at least the right to demand the same privileges we have. If so, we cannot use the canal, as suggested by Mr. Hepburn, to subsidize indirectly our merchant marine by giving them lower tolls or making the canal free to them alone. In time of war, a blown — up dam or embankment might shut up a war vessel. In time of peace, however, there would be but small chance of damage. As to the possible tonnage which would pass through, the subject has not been studied by any persons who were at once competent and unprejudiced. The estimates, or, rather, prognostications, run from 300,000 tons to 5,300,000 tons