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of such signatory powers as shall have signified their intention of being represented in this office. They shall decide in this respect within the shortest possible time.
The expenses of this institution shall be divided in equal parts among the signatory powers mentioned in the preceding article.
The object of the office at Zanzibar shall be to centralize all documents and information of a nature to facilitate the repression of the slave-trade in the maritime zone. For this purpose the signatory powers engage to forward within the shortest time possible:
1. The documents specified in Article XLI;
2. Summaries of the reports and copies of the minutes referred to in Article XLVIII;
3. The list of the territorial or consular authorities and special delegates competent to take action as regards vessels seized according to the terms of Article XLIX;
4. Copies of judgments and condemnations in accordance with Article LVIII;
5. All information that may lead to the discovery of persons engaged in the slave-trade in the above-mentioned zone.
The archives of the office shall always be open to the naval officers of the signatory powers authorized to act within the limits of the zone defined by Article XXI, as well as to the territorial or judicial authorities, and to consuls specially designated by their Governments.
The office shall supply to foreign officers and agents authorized to consult its archives, translations into a European language of documents written in an Oriental language.
It shall make the communications provided for in Article XLVIII.
Auxiliary offices in communication with the office at Zanzibar may be established in certain parts of the zone, in pursuance of a previous agreement between the interested powers.
They shall be composed of delegates of these powers, and established in accordance with Articles LXXV, LXXVI, and LXXVIII.
The documents and information specified in Article LXXVII, so far as they may relate to a part of the zone specially concerned, shall be sent to them directly by the territorial and consular authorities of the region in question, but this shall not exempt the latter from the duty of communicating the same to the office at Zanzibar, as provided by the same article.
The office at Zanzibar shall prepare in the first two months of every year, a report of its own operations and of those of the auxiliary offices, during the past twelve months.
SECTION II. Of the exchange between the Governments of documents and information relating to the slave-trade.
The powers shall communicate to one another, to the fullest extent and with the least delay that they shall consider possible:
1. The text of the laws and administrative regulations, existing or enacted by application of the clauses of the present general act;
2. Statistical information concerning the slave-trade, slaves arrested and liberated, and the traffic in fire-arms, ammunition, and alcoholic liquors.
The exchange of these documents and information shall be centralized in a special office attached to the foreign office at Brussels.
The office at Zanzibar shall forward to it every year the report mentioned in Article LXXX, concerning its operations during the past year, and concerning those of the auxiliary offices that may have been established in accordance with Article LXXIX.
The documents and information shall be collected and published periodically, and addressed to all the signatory powers. This publication shall be accompanied every year by an analytical table of the legislative, administrative, and statistical documents mentioned in Articles LXXXI and LXXXIII.
The office expenses as well as those incurred in correspondence, translation, and printing, shall be shared by all the signatory powers, and shall be collected through the agency of the department of the foreign office at Brussels.
SECTION III. Of the protection of liberated slaves.
The signatory powers having recognized the duty of protecting liberated slaves in their respective possessions, engage to establish, if they do not already exist, in the ports of the zone determined by Article XXI, and in such parts of their said possessions as may be places for the capture, passage and arrival of African slaves, such offices and institutions as may be deemed sufficient by them, whose business shall specially consist in liberating and protecting them in accordance with the provisions of Articles VI, XVIII, LII, LXIII, and LXVI.
The liberation offices or the authorities charged with this service shall deliver letters of release and shall keep a register thereof.
In case of the denunciation of an act connected with the slave-trade, or one of illegal detention, or on application of the slaves themselves, the said offices or authorities shall exercise all necessary diligence to insure the release of the slaves and the punishment of the offenders.
The delivery of letters of release shall in no case be delayed, if the slave be accused of a crime or offence against the common law. But after the delivery of the said letters an investigation shall be proceeded with in the form established by the ordinary procedure.
The signatory powers shall favor, in their possessions, the foundation of establishments of refuge for women and of education for liberated children.
Freed slaves may always apply to the offices for protection in the enjoyment of their freedom.
Whoever shall have used fraudulent or violent means to deprive a freed slave of his letters of release or of his liberty, shall be considered as a slave-dealer.
CHAPTER VI. Measures to restrict the traffic in spirituous liquors.
Being justly anxious concerning the moral and material consequences to which the abuse of spirituous liquors subjects the native population, the signatory powers have agreed to enforce the provisions of Articles. XCI, XCII and XCIII within a zone extending from the 20th degree of North latitude to the 22d degree of South latitude, and bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the Indian Ocean and its dependencies, including the islands adjacent to the mainland within 100 nautical miles from the coast.
In the districts of his zone where it shall be ascertained that, either on account of religious belief or from some other causes, the use of distilled liquors does not exist or has not been developed, the powers shall prohibit their importation. The manufacture of distilled liquors shall be likewise prohibited there.
Each power shall determine the limits of the zone of prohibition of alcoholic liquors in its possessions or protectorates, and shall be bound to make known the limits thereof to the other powers within the space of six months.
The above prohibition can only be suspended in the case of limited quantities intended for the consumption of the non-native population and imported under the regime and conditions determined by each Government.
The powers having possessions or exercising protectorates in those regions of the zone which are not subjected to the regime of the prohibition, and into which alcoholic liquors are at present either freely imported or pay an import duty of less than 15 francs per hectolitre at 50 degrees centigrade, engage to levy on such alcoholic liquors an import duty of 15 francs per hectolitre at 50 degrees centigrade, for three years after the present general act comes into force. At the expiration of this period the duty may be increased to 25 francs during a fresh period of three years. At the end of the sixth year it shall be submitted to revision, the average results produced by these tariffs being taken as a basis, for the purpose of then fixing, if possible, a minimum duty throughout the whole extent of the zone where the prohibition referred to in Article XCI is not in force.
The powers retain the right of maintaining and increasing the duties. beyond the minimum fixed by the present article in those regions where they already possess that right.
Distilled liquors manufactured in the regions referred to in Article XCII, and intended for inland consumption, shall be subject to an excise duty.
This excise duty, the collection of which the powers engage to secure, as far as possible, shall not be less than the minimum import duty fixed by Article XCII.
The signatory powers having possessions in Africa contiguous to the zone specified in Article XC engage to adopt the necessary measures for preventing the introduction of spirituous liquors within the territories of the said zone via their inland frontiers.
The powers shall communicate to one another, through the office at Brussels, and according to the terms of Chapter V, information relating to the traffic in alcoholic liquors within their respective territories.