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General. The other members shall be named by the King from among those persons residing in the territory of the colony, who by the nature of their functions appear specially qualified to carry out the protective character of their mission. The commission will appoint one of its members as secretary.

It will meet at least once each year; its president will convoke it.

The commission will address each year to the King a joint report relative to the measures taken in favor of the natives. This report shall be published.

The members of the commission shall report, if necessary individually, to the officers of the law, the abuses and illegalities of which the natives may have been made the victims.


Relative to the exercise of powers.

ART. 5. The King will regulate by means of decrees those matters which are not or which shall not be regulated by the law. The decrees shall be issued upon the initiative of the Minister of Colonies. No decree shall have force except after having been published according to the forms prescribed by the law. It should, moreover, have been published in the Moniteur Belge.

The courts and the tribunals shall not put the decrees into force whenever they shall be found contrary to the laws.

ART. 6. The executive power shall be lodged in the King. It shall be exercised by means of regulations and proclamations. The courts and the tribunals shall not put the regulations and proclamations into force, except when they are in conformity with the laws and the decrees.

No regulation or proclamation shall be considered in force except after having been published.

ART. 7. No royal act shall have effect except when countersigned by a minister, who thereby renders himself responsible.

The expenses charged to the special fund of 50,000,000 francs, which amount is granted to the King and to his successors by article 4, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the additional act of March 5, 1908, shall likewise be subjected to this formality.

The annuities specified by the aforesaid additional act are assigned by the King in the proportions which he shall indicate to the objects enumerated in paragraph 5 of article 4.

ART. 8. No customs tax nor domestic tax shall be levied except for the needs of the colony, nor shall any exemption from taxation be granted to persons not born on the soil, except by legislative act.

The Governor and the functionaries or agents thereto authorized can grant to the natives temporary exemption from taxation.

The decree will go into force at the same time with the budget law which sanctions its first application.

The numerical force of the army shall be fixed annually by decree.

ART. 9. The circulating medium of gold and silver which have a legal tender in Belgium shall also have legal tender in the colonies.

A royal proclamation shall fix the date on which the gold and silver money coined by the Independent State of the Congo shall cease to be legal tender and will not be exchanged further by the colonial treasury

The profits which may result from the coinage of Belgian money necessary to the colony shall accrue to the colonial budget.

It is lawful for the King to coin special money of small denomination for the colony; this money shall not circulate in Belgium.

ART. 10. The budget of receipts and expenses of the colony shall be fixed each year by the law.

Four months at least before the opening of the fiscal year the proposed budget shall be printed and distributed to the members of the legislative Chambers by the Minister of Colonies.

If the Chambers have not voted the budget five days before the opening of the fiscal year, the King shall proclaim the receipts and every three months thereafter until there shall be a decision of the Chambers there will be offered at the Ministry of Colonies the credit obligations necessary for temporary expenses.

The King, or within the colony the Governor-General, shall direct the appropriation and, in case of urgent need, the supplementary necessary expenses. Within the three months, the Minister of Colonies will transmit a copy of the royal proclamation or ordinance to the Chambers and submit a bill of approval.

ART. 11. The accounts general of the colony shall be proclaimed by law after verification by the court of accounts.

The court of accounts will require the Ministry of Colonies to deliver to it all statements, written accounts, and to give all the information and explanations necessary to the verification of the receipts and expenditures.

The account general of the colony shall be transmitted to the Chambers with the comments of the court of accounts.

ART. 12. The colony has no power to make loans, to guarantee the capital or the interest of a loan, or to execute public works except by appropriations duly authorized by law.

Nevertheless, if the necessities of the colonial treasury demand it, the King may, without previous authorization, issue or renew treasury bonds bearing interest and payable within five years. The treasury bonds in circulation shall not exceed the sum of ten million francs, and the money resulting from their sale shall be appropriated only to the discharge of public expenses regularly voted.

ART. 13. A special law will determine the rules regulating railway and mining concessions, or concessions of domanial property.

With every railway or mining concession, every sale or concession for any time whatsoever of domanial property of a superficial area exceeding ten hectares, there shall be issued a consent or authority by decree.

With all the documentary proofs, during thirty days of session, there shall be deposited with the bureaus of the two Chambers, all proposed decrees relating to:

(a) Railway, mines, mining or alluvial gold concessions;

(b) Sale of domanial improved property of a superficial area exceeding ten thousand hectares;

(c) Concession of the use of domanial improved property if their superficial area exceeds twenty-five thousand hectares, or when the concession is granted for more than thirty years.

To determine the maximum of superficial area referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3, notice shall be taken of sales or concessions of domanial property where the purchaser or concessioner may have enjoyed a prior profit.

All acts of concession will include a clause providing for repurchase and will mention the cause of the forfeiture.

Every concession shall be temporary.

ART. 14. The civil judiciary and the military judiciary shall be organized by decree.

The public prosecutors shall exercise their functions under the direction of the Ministry of Colonies, represented in the colony by the Procureur-General of the Court of Appeals.

ART. 15. The permanent magistrates shall be nominated by the King. After a period which shall not exceed three years, they shall be renominated for a term of ten years.

The right of dismissing the Procureur-General of the Court of Appeals

appertains to the King. He may not, however, either dismiss or suspend the other permanent magistrates, except upon the representation of the Procureur-General for reasons set forth in the decree and in conformity with the advice of the Court of Appeal.

At the expiration of their terms of office the magistrates will be entitled to a pension. They may, however, be granted a pension prior to the expiration of the ten year term, either upon their request, when they shall have rendered eight years of service in the colony, including the period of preparation, or where they are prevented by reasons of physical incapacity to efficiently discharge their duties. In the latter case the pension shall not be established except upon the advice and agreement of the Supreme Court of the colony.

The permanent magistrates definitely in discharge of their functions can not be removed without their consent, except in cases of urgent need and for a temporary period. In all cases of removal they shall receive a salary at least equivalent to that which pertained to the office vacated.

The salaries, leaves of absence and pensions shall be fixed by decree. ART. 16. The administrative authority shall not hinder, delay, or suspend the procedure of the courts and tribunals.

Nevertheless, the King may, for reasons relating to the public welfare, suspend, in any one district and for a fixed time, repressive action of the courts and civil tribunals, and substitute for them military control.

ART. 17. Justice shall be rendered and executed in the name of the King.

The sessions of the courts shall be held in public, unless it shall be evident that such publicity may be dangerous to public order and morals, and in such case the court will render its decision by a judgment.

All judgments shall be for reasons, and they shall be delivered in public sessions.

The King shall have the right of remitting, of reducing and commuting the penalties.

ART. 18. The King shall be represented in the colony by a GovernorGeneral, assisted by one or more Vice-Governors-General.

No one shall be admissible to the functions of Governor-General unless he shall be a Belgian by birth or by naturalization or when he has exercised one of these offices in the territories of the Independent State of the Congo.

ART. 19. The executive power can not delegate the exercise of its rights except to persons and to constituted bodies below it in authority.

Nevertheless, the power and rights delegated by the Independent State of the Congo to the special committee of Katanga will continue in force until January 1, 1912, unless a decree shall terminate it at a prior date. The Governor-General of the colony shall exercise by means of ordinances the executive power which the King has delegated to him.

The delegation of the legislative power is prohibited. Nevertheless, the King may authorize the Governor-General in cases of urgent necessity to temporarily suspend the execution of decrees and to issue ordinances having the force of law. The ordinances of this character shall cease to be binding after the expiration of six months if they shall not in the meantime have been approved by decree.

The ordinances having the force of law and the general ordinances of administration shall not be binding unless they have been published.

No action shall be taken against the press, except in conformity with the laws and decrees governing such cases.


Relating to the Minister of Colonies and the Colonial Council.

ART. 20. A Ministry of Colonies is created. The Minister of Colonies is nominated and dismissed by the King. He shall take part in the Council of Ministers.

The articles 86 and 91 of the Belgian Constitution are applicable to him.

ART. 21. A Colonial Council is established, consisting of a President and fourteen councilors.

The Minister of Colonies shall preside over the council. He shall have a voice in the discussion and in case of an equal division a casting vote.

Eight councilors shall be named by the King; six shall be chosen by the legislative chambers: three by the Senate and three by the Chamber of Representatives. They shall be elected by a secret ballot and by clear majority of the votes cast.

One of the councilors named by the King and one of the councilors named by the Chambers shall retire each year. The councilors shall retire according to precedence resulting from time of service.

The rank of those who may have been nominated on the same day shall be determined by drawing lots. The retiring councilors can be renominated.

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