PANAMA CANAL TO BE LOCKED.
By a vote of eight to five the board of consulting engineers has decided in favor of the lock plan as against the sea-level plan for the Panama canal. There are ten American engineers who regard a lock canal as the most feasible and practical. They are as follows: Stearns, who constructed the great water system of Boston; Randolph, chief engineer of the Illinois drainage canal; Ripley, who was chief engineer of the “Soo” canal; Noble, who designed the great improvements now being carried out by the Pennsylvania railroad, and Abbott, regarded by many as the most capable engineer in the United States army. These are members of the advisory board of consulting engineers. Then there are Generals Hains and Ernst, army engineers, with lifelong experience in the canalisation of rivers and great harbor improvement works; Harrod, who so successfully made levees to confine the Mississippi, and Admiral Endicott, who has built practically all the great drydocks for the navy, naval docks being in every essential particular ship canal locks. All these experts are members of the Canal Commission. In addition to them, is Chief Engineer Stevens, who probably has the most thorough and practical knowledge of actual conditions on the isthmus of any of the men consulted. Of the men who voted for the sea-level project, one, a French engineer admits that he did so with reluctance, as his judgment was for a lock canal on a lower level than had hitherto been prominently discussed ; but he was prevented from an accurate expression of his views at the time by the fact that the question was so put that he was compolled to vote either for a canal on a ninety-foot level or for a sea-level canal, and as between these two he favored the latter. Parsons and Burr, American engineers, lavor the sea-level canal, as does General Davis, who is not, however, an engineer. There remain four foreign engineers who favor a sea-level canal without qualification; but they explain that they considered only the ideal canal, irrespective of considerations of time and money; and one of the. American engineers who voted for the sea-level admits that, had it been a private instead of a government enterprise, he, too, would have favored the lock project. In addition to General Davis, who is not an engineer, are other two amateurs in engineering, President Roosevelt and Secretary Taft, These last favor the lock canal. It is fully expected that Congress will do the same and that work on the canal will be fairly begun by about the middle of January, by which time the great construction plant will have been all assembled; facilities for removing the excavated earth will y have been provided; and proper housing of the laborers under comfortable and sanitary condition will have been completed.
By direction of Justice Lcaventritt, of the Supreme court, the suit of Edward F. Croker, chief of the fire department of New York city, against C. D. Purroy. former chief of the department, to recover the salary received by Purroy during the time that Purroy was chief, has been settled by the entry of a judgment of $2,249 in favor of Chief Croker. The suit arose out of the dimissal of Chief Croker by Fire Commissioner Sturgis and the appointment of Purroy to his place.