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•^ <r. ■. i. ... i As there appears to be again some reason to hope that funds will be forth ' coming to enable the farther prosecution . of the works on the Isthmus of Panama j connected with the great enterprise of j M. de Lesseps, under the auspices of a i reorganised Canal Company, it will be interesting to enquire as to whether if that be the case there is a hope of the early completion of the undertaking. Upon this point a well-informed writer m an English papejr, who assisted at the turning of the first sod, and who . only returned from Panama a few months ago asserts his firm belief m the ultimate success of the project. As . regards the amount of work actually : accomplished to date our Wellington contemporary, tfee <*New Zealand Times," gives the following information; — " The section from Colon to Bohio (twelve miles) is cut. From Bohio to Matachin will be completed next year. The section from Matachin to Paraiso, including the Cut of Culebra, has been entrusted to M. Eiffel (the Tower engineer) to hand it over with locks for February, 1890. From Paraiso to Rio Grande was expected to be terminated m June next. M. de Lesseps has not abandoned his scheme of a tide level canal, but only has recourse to locks at the present to inaugurate the transit as quickly as possible. His idea is that the work of excavation shall continue, after the work has been opened to navigation, by tunneling or otherwise. The Chagres River is brought^under control by deviations which were to be complete]} to. Fox River m the course of this year. With regard to the tonnage that will pass through, the canal the Washington Office of Statistics esti« mated an average of over. 1,000,000 tons ; since then the traffic has greatly increased. Mr Wyse m his statement mentioned 7,000,000. Others from carefully inscribed notes of arrivals and departures of shipping at Panama and Colon from 1880 to 1887 hare calpolated an average tonnage of 8,000,000. This is the actual yearly tonnage m transit on the isthmus. But assuredly Australia and New Zealand and other countries which will use the canal will increase the tonnage, and such countries as Central and South America, the West Indies, and the United States, m close proximity to the Canal, will certainly take advantage of this waterway tc increase their commerce." Whether or not with all this the returns from dues will be sufficiently large to pay fair interest on the enormous outlay remains to be seen— very possibly they will not. That, however, is a matter which solely concerns the shareholders m the Canal Company, but even for them it would be better to receive a small annual dividend from the Canal m operation than to \ have no return at all from money sunk ip an abortive enterprise.

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Bibliographic details

THE PANAMA CANAL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2053, 2 February 1889

Word Count

THE PANAMA CANAL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2053, 2 February 1889