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Text of Act. Between Belgium, represented by
acting under reserve of approval by the Legislature, and the Independent State of the Congo, represented by
the following is agreed upon:
ARTICLE 1. The first article of the treaty of annexation of the 28th of November, 1907, does not apply to the Foundation of the Crown as defined in No. IV of Annex A of the treaty; the provisions embodied in the document joined to the Annex A under numbers 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, and 31 are abrogated.
ARTICLE 2. No. IV of Annex A to the treaty relative to the reservation of properties in favor of the Foundation of the Crown is abrogated.
The properties which have hitherto been held under the name of Foundation of the Crown will, in case of the adoption of the treaty, be ceded to the private domain of the State, conformably to a decree of March 5, 1908, hereto annexed, without putting into force the clause stipulated for their purchase in article 7 of the convention of December 22, 1906.
This cession is encumbered with the charges indicated in the annexes of the aforesaid decree of March 5, 1908.
The Belgian State assumes the payment of all sums due by the Foundation of the Crown, when such obligations have been undertaken in the interest of Belgium, as set forth in Annex III of the present convention.
The obligations enumerated in Annex II will fall upon the colony.
The sums at present due, either by Belgium or the colony, will be immediately liquidated.
ARTICLE 4. The Belgian State will take the place of the Foundation of the Crown as to the rights and all the obligations assumed by it for the conclusion of works now pending in Belgium and for those enterprises which may have been contracted for. These different works are enumerated in Annex V.
A special fund of 45,000,000 francs is created and shall be directed to the payment of these works under the supervision of the Court of Account.
There is established, moreover, a special fund of 50,000,000 francs to be met by the colony. This fund will be placed at the disposition of the King in token of gratitude for his great sacrifices in favor of the Congo created by him.
This will be paid to him in fifteen annual installments, the first of 3,800,000 francs and each of the fourteen others of 3,300,000 francs.
This fund will be employed by the King for Congo affairs and different works in favor of the Congo or the improvement of the welfare of the natives and for the advantage of the whites who have rendered good service in Africa, and whatsoever part shall not have been expended at his decease, will be at the disposition of his successors.
ARTICLE 5. The revenues and the expenses pertaining to the Foundation of the Crown will, in case of annexation, pass to the account of the State on March 15, 1908.
In witness of which the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present Act and affixed their seals.
Made in duplicate in Brussels, the 5th day of March, 1908.
MEMORANDUM PRESENTED BY AMERICAN MINISTER AT BRUSSELS TO THE
BELGIAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, APRIL 7, 1908.
The nota pro memoria, re the attitude of Belgium in the event of the annexation of the Congo, handed this legation on January 29, by His Excellency M. Davignon, was duly transmitted to Washington and the assurances therein contained of the earnest purpose of the Belgian Government, in the event that the government and administration of the Congo should be transferred to it, to fully carry out the stipulations and beneficent prescriptions of the acts of Berlin and Brussels, were noted with lively satisfaction.
In the entirely amicable and unofficial representation preceding, and which gave occasion to the nota pro memoria, it was not the intention of the Government of the United States to, in any way, call into question the high and disinterested purposes which, it is satisfied, govern Belgium in the consideration of the question of the annexation of the Congo territories. On the contrary, the Government of the United States, finding that much is left to be desired in the present administration of the Congo from the standpoint of the acts of Brussels and Berlin, gladly welcomes annexation, and is firmly convinced that the assumption of the government of these regions by Belgium will be followed by improvement in the condition of the native races, by the development and civilization of the country, and by the liberation of trade and commerce from harmful restrictions.
The Government of the United States, however, feels that as a signatory to the Brussels Act, it has assumed certain well-defined obligations which may not be lightly evaded and which at this moment of transition, when the government of the Congo territories is about to be transferred from one power to another, make imperative a clear though brief expression of its views.
The dissatisfaction with the present administration of the Congo has grown very largely out of its policy toward the native races; a policy which was doubtless not intentionally cruel nor purposely at variance with the acts of Brussels and Berlin, but which, in the opinion of competent investigators, is enslaving, degrading, and decimating the native population. It may be admitted that there has been much exaggeration of the true condition of affairs and that many charges have been refuted, but the fact nevertheless remains that conditions prevail which were neither contemplated nor anticipated when the Independent Congo State was called into existence by the powers.
The Government of the United States believes that whatsoever power assumes dominion over the Congo should address itself with reasonable dispatch to carrying into practical execution, in letter and in spirit, the prescriptions of the Brussels and Berlin acts.
In the opinion of the Government of the United States, the reforms to be accomplished in the Congo should have for their object :
First, the exemption of the native population from excessive taxation; Second, the inhibition of forced labor;
Third, the possibility of the natives becoming holders, in permanent tenancy, of tracts of land sufficiently large to afford sustenance;
Fourth, to make it possible for traders and settiers of all nationalities to secure unoccupied tracts of land, needed for the prosecution and development of peaceful commerce, at reasonable prices, in any part of the Congo;
Fifth, the procurement and guaranty of equal and exact justice to all inhabitants of the Congo through the establishment and maintenance of an independent judiciary.
In calling attention to what, in its opinion, should be the objects of reform in the Congo, the Government of the United States may be permitted to add, on its own account, that, relying on the stipulations of articles 2 and 4 of the treaty of 1891, it would be especially pleased to see the right accorded to American Christian missionaries to secure reasonable-sized tracts of land, when not occupied by the State, in permanent holding, to be used for missionary sites and schools.
The Government of the United States confined itself in this memorandum to pointing out the direction in which, in its judgment, radical reforms and changes are needed. It does not believe that it is incumbent upon it to indicate or suggest to the Belgian Government the modus operandi for carrying these reforms into execution, well knowing the difficulties that must be surmounted and being fully cognizant of the unselfish purposes of the annexing Power. Its representations are conceived and made in an entirely friendly spirit, and it is hoped that they will receive that measure of consideration from the Belgian Government to which they are entitled by their disinterestedness and by the long and traditional friendship which has existed between the two countries.
TREATY BETWEEN COLOMBIA AND BRAZIL.
Signed at Bogotá, April 24, 1907.
The Republics of Colombia and the United States of Brazil, desirous of consolidating on a firm and lasting basis their old relations of peace and friendship, of suppressing all reasons for misunderstandings and of facilitating the development of their interests of good neighborliness and their commercial interests, have resolved to celebrate the following treaty, taking into account for the purposes of an amicable arrangement the state of their respective possessions and rights, and to this effect have named their plenipotentiaries, as follows:
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Colombia, has named General Alfredo Vásquez Cobo, Minister of Foreign Relations; and His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Brazil, has named Dr. Enéas Martins, Minister Resident on special mission near the Colombian Government,
Who, after having communicated their full powers which were found to be in due form, have stipulated the following:
The frontier of Colombia and Brazil between Piedra del Cocuy on the Rio Negro and the confluence of the river Apaporis on the left bank of the river Yapura or Caquetá, shall be as follows:
Sec. 1. From the island of San José in front of Piedra del Cocuy in a westerly direction to the right bank of the Rio Negro which it will cut at 1° 13' 51.76" north latitude and 7° 16' 25.9" longitude east of Bogotá, or 23° 39' 11.51" west of Rio de Janeiro; thence from this point by a straight line to the source of the little river Macacuny or Macapury, a right bank tributary of the Rio Negro or Guainía, which said tributary shall remain entirely in Colombian territory.
Sec. 2. From the source of the Macacuny or Macapury the frontier shall continue by the watershed until it shall pass between the source of the Igarapé Japery, tributary of the river Xié, and that of the river