Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/262

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the time of completion to October 31, 1910. The validity of this last extension of time has been questioned.

A new company, commonly known as the new Panama Canal Company, was organized on October 20, 1894, with a capital stock of 650,000 shares of 100 francs each. Under the provisions of the agreement of December 26, 1890, authorizing an extension of time for the construction of the canal, 50,000 shares passed as full paid stock to the Colombian Government, leaving the actual working capital of the new Panama Company at 60,000,000 francs, that amount having been subscribed in cash. The most of this capital stock was subscribed for by certain loan associations, administrators, contractors and others against whom suits had been brought in consequence of the financial difficulties of the old company, it having been charged, in the scandals attending bankruptcy proceedings, that they had profited illegally. Those suits were discontinued under agreements to subscribe by the parties interested to the capital stock of the new company. The sums thus obtained constituted more than two thirds of the 60,000,000 francs remaining of the share capital of the new company after the Colombian Government received its 50,000 shares. The old company had raised by the sale of stock and bonds not far from $246,000,000, and the number of persons holding the securities thus sold has been estimated at over 200,000.

The Panama Railroad Company holds a concession from the Colombian Government, giving it rights prior to those of the Wyse Concession, so that the latter could not become effective without the concurrence of the Panama Railroad Company. This is shown by the language of Article III. of the Wyse Concession, which reads as follows:

If the line of the canal to be constructed from sea to sea should pass to the west and to the north of the imaginary straight line which joins Cape Tiburon with Garachine Point the grantees must enter into some amicable arrangement with the Panama Railroad Company or pay an indemnity, which shall be established in accordance with the provisions of law 46 of August 16, 1867, 'approving the contract celebration on July 5, 1867, reformatory of the contract of April 15, 1850, for the construction of an iron railroad from one ocean to the other through the Isthmus of Panama.'

It became necessary therefore in order to control this feature of the situation for the old Panama Company to secure at least a majority of the stock of the Panama Railroad Company. As a matter of fact the old Panama Canal Company purchased nearly 69,000 out of the 70,000 shares of the Panama Railroad Company, each such share having a par value of $100. These shares of Panama railroad stock are now held in trust for the benefit of the new Panama Canal Company. A part of the expenditures of the old company therefore covered the cost of the Panama Railroad Company's shares, now held in trust for the benefit of the new company.