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THE PANAMA CANAL TOLLS CONTROVERSY
LOUIS TAYLOR MERRILL
A Thesis Submitted for the Degree of
MASTER OF ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
BACKGROUND OF THE FREE TOLLS CONTROVERSY.
The Wilsonian brand of
There are those who have hailed the election of November, 1920, as the sunrise of a new national era. It brought the republican administration into power by the greatest popular majority in the history of the republic. beneficent internationalism, strikingly the plaything of imperialistic ambitions of the other powers at the peace table, has been, temporarily at least, marked with an unmistakable taboo of disfavor. The current of the time is bearing the new administration back into the narrow and more definitely prescribed channels of nationalism. The slogan "America first" will furnish the key to the manner in which many problems will be solved by the majority in power during the next four or eight years.
Among leading questions facing the administration are those connected with the Panama canal. The mollification of Colombia for the manner in which she lost the territory on which the canal was constructed is not the only Panama issue to demand solution. The question of tolls exemption for American vessels thrusts itself prominently forward. The republican party unequivocally has pledged itself to a restoration of the exemption privilege that was incorporated in the original Panama act of August 24, 1 12. The plank in the national platform of 1320 on this subject reads:
"We recommend that all ships engaged in coastwise trade and all vessels of the American merchant marine shall pass