« PreviousContinue »
1. All the vacant lands in the basin of Lake Leopold II and of the river Lukenie;
2. All the vacant lands in the basin of the river Busira-Momboyo;
3. All the vacant lands comprised in the following limits: from the west, the line of convergence of the Lubefu with the Sankuru, then from this point to the upper line of the basin of the Lukenie; to the southwest and to the south, the right bank of the Lubefu and the fifth parallel south; to the east, the upper western line of the waters of the Lomani, between the latter parallel and the third parallel south.
4. The mining district of the Aruwimi basin, of that drained by the tributaries on the left of the Uele-Kibali, excepting lands previously conceded.
The blocks of land of 20,000 hectares each in the lower Congo (Mayumbe), of which mention is made in the decree of May 5, 1906, are not included in the present cession.
ARTICLE 3. The immovable properties enumerated in Annex I, paragraph 1, are on the same date ceded by us to the State. The usufruct being reserved to us.
The improvements and immovable properties enumerated in the same annex, paragraph 2, are ceded without conditions.
The improvements and immovable properties enumerated in paragraph 3 are not included in the present cession.
The assets of the Foundation, including the following stock, is also ceded :
One thousand shares of capital stock fully paid up, 1,000 shares of dividends and 580 shares of capital stock paid up to 40 per cent of the International Forestry and Mining Society of Congo;
One hundred and eighty shares, each of a 1,000 francs, paid up to 10 per cent, of the Society for the development of the territories in the basin of Lake Leopold II.
ARTICLE 5. All the buildings and installations existing in the territories above mentioned, as well as the material, the products and the furniture, are also ceded to the State.
The cession of property above mentioned is encumbered with the charges indicated in Annex II.
The expenses already made or to be made by the Foundation for the profit of the State, and the contracts indicated in Annex III, will be met by the State.
The State will guarantee the respect of the concessions made by the Foundation, as set forth in Annex IV, to third parties.
The property referred to in articles 2, 3, 4, and 5, ceded to the State in conformity with article 1, will be definitely acquired, notwithstanding any legal provisions to the contrary, and, by virtue of this cession, the Foundation is discharged from all obligations to the State.
Our Secretary of State is charged with the execution of the present decree. Given at Brussels, March 5, 1908.
BILL APPROVING THE ADDITIONAL ACT TO THE TREATY OF ANNEXATION
OF THE INDEPENDENT STATE OF THE CONGO TO BELGIUM.
March 5, 1908.
Statement of Ministry. GENTLEMEN: On the 14th day of January, 1908, when we presented ourselves for the first time to you, we had the honor, in the declaration which we then made, of noting that the tenor of the treaty of annexation of the Congo by Belgium had given rise to some apprehensions, and we announced our desire to meet objections which we judged well founded by the introduction of certain modifications.
Negotiations were thereupon opened with the Independent State of the Congo. These had for their object the elimination of the civil personality of the Foundation of the Crown, the granting of the property of said Foundation by its Founder to the private domain of the State, and finally the conclusion of an additional convention between Belgium and the Congo State determining the obligations which, in the future, should rest upon the mother country and the colony.
We had the assurance of meeting your views in asking that the obligations created by the Foundation of the Crown in which Belgium is equally interested should be placed to her charge. We desired also to know the works, the execution of which was in contemplation, with an approximate estimate of their cost.
On the 4th of February, the negotiations had taken so favorable a turn that we were able to request the Commission of XVII to adjourn its work until such time as we would be able to transmit to the ditional convention, the conclusion of which was assured.
The pourparlers were continued and on the 24th of February we addressed to the Sovereign King the following letter:
Sir: At the moment when the Chambers are about to vote upon the treaty of annexation of the Congo to Belgium, we have the honor to make known very respectfully to Your Majesty, after having rendered homage to the high and patriotic views which have governed you in establishing the Foundation of the Crown, that these views are not generally understood.
We advise Your Majesty to consent to eliminate from said Foundation the civil personality and, by a new act of munificence, to order that the property which has hitherto belonged to the Foundation should be transferred to the private domain of our future colony, which will thereby hold the Foundation absolved and free of all obligations.
If it is agreeable to the King to accede to our request, it follows naturally that the obligations and the engagements of the Foundation will be respected.
The country would hol it an honor, we are sure, to assume the payment of all sums owed by the Foundation and to meet the engagements contracted by it in which Belgium is especially interested.
An additional act to the treaty of November 28, 1907, should show in precise manner the obligations which from this transaction will fall upon the mother country. The same act should indicate clearly the obligations which will fall upon the Congo.
According to our views, the sums at present due, for which Belgium should be recognized as responsible, should be immediately liquidated. Likewise, in carrying out the works in process of construction and those under contract, Belgium should take the place of the Foundation. special fund should be created, of which the sum total should be irrevocably appropriated to the payment of these works; these payments should be placed under the control of the Court of Accounts.
On the other hand, the budgets of the colony should be looked to to
support the past and future expenses made on its account and also the cost of that part of the liquidation of the Foundation of the Crown in which it is interested.
Finally, a capital of 50,000,000 francs payable in fifteen installments, of which the first should be 3,800,000 francs, and each of the other fourteen 3,300,000 francs, should be established, in token of gratitude, to Your Majesty, by the Congo.
The disposition of this capital shall be directed by the King during his lifetime, or by his successors afterwards, to Congo subjects and to different works in favor of the Congo, whether for the profit and well being of the natives or to the advantage of the whites who have rendered good service in Africa.
The Sovereign King acceeded to our request and issued, under date of March 5th, a decree abolishing the civil personality of the Foundation of the Crown, and transferring to the private domain of the State all of the possession in Africa, reserving only the two blocks of land of 20,000 hectares in the Mayumbé where experiments in the culture of rubber are being made and the possessions in Europe enumerated in Annex 1 of the additional convention; but for a part of these mentioned in the annex the revenue is retained.
These possessions are already destined to the State to meet the debt of 12,000,000 francs which the Foundation of the Crown yet owes it.
The charges incumbent on the Foundation and which ought to be assumed by the State are in this manner considerably reduced; the annexes set forth all those which still exist.
Finally, a fund of 50,000,000 francs is created. Said fund is assigned to the Sovereign in testimony of gratitude for all the great sacrifices which he has made in favor of the Congo.
It will be paid to him in fifteen annual installments, the first of 3,800,000 francs and the others of 3,300,000 francs each. This fund will be entirely consecrated by the Sovereign in carrying out his plans relative to the Congo and in works in favor of the colony, such as the construction of hospitals, schools for the instruction and the education of negroes, the expenses of scientific missions, the establishing of institutions for the prevention and cure of sleeping sickness, the aid of missions and of works in favor of the whites who have rendered good service in Africa.
Following this decree we concluded with the Congo State an additional convention, the purpose of which was to determine in a precise manner the rights and the obligations of the mother country and of the colony whenever the treaty of annexation shall have been adopted.
The possessions of the Foundation situated in Europe and set forth in
the annexes are transferred to Belgium, but she must assume responsibility for the sums due in Europe from the Foundation. These sums amount to 1,118,000 francs. Belgium assumes the rights and obligations of the Foundation in contracts for works in process or projected; the same are enumerated in the annexes.
The initiation of no new works is required. The only works to be continued are those of Laeken, the roads of Meysse, of the Heysel and Ostend, and the rearrangement of the Hotel Belle-Vue.
These will be carried out as usual under the direction of the State and the payments will be made under control of the Court of Accounts.
The total cost of these works is estimated at 45,000,000 francs.
Belgium will have, on the other hand, to face in the future the annuities yet due for the Rue Coudenberg purchases, which amount yet to 595,154 francs.
The Chamber will appreciate the importance of the concessions obtained. A just homage of respectful gratitude is due to the Founder of the Congo State. He has renounced his personal views to assist Belgium in reaping the benefit of the work to which he has devoted so many years.
The bill of annexation, which is at present submitted to you, takes account of the objections which have been raised.
We are carrying on here a national work. From the beginning we have appealed to the good will of all to momentarily forget the differences and the divisions of parties.
We have the firm confidence that you will understand the appeal and that a patriotic accord will be established among us to solve the important question which is submitted to you.
Project of Law.
LEOPOLD, King of the Belgians, To whom it may concern, greeting.
Upon the advice of our Council of Ministers, We have decreed and decree:
Our Ministers of fenumeration of Ministers).
ARTICLE UNIQUE. The additional act hereto annexed to the treaty of annexation of November 28, 1907, between Belgium and the Independent State of the Congo is approved and signed the 5th of March, 1908. Given at Brussels, March 5, 1908.
LEOPOLD. [Enumeration of ministerial attestations.]