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The contracting parties will use whatever influence they respectively exercise, with any state, states, or governments possessing or claiming to possess any jurisdiction or right over the territory which the said canal will traverse, or which shall be near the waters applicable thereto, in order to induce such states or governments to facilitate the construction of the said canal by every means in their power. And furthermore, the United States and Great Britain agree to use their good offices, wherever or however it may be most expedient, in order to procure the establishment of two free ports, one at each end of the said canal.
The contracting parties further engage that, when the said canal shall have been completed, they will protect it from interruption, seizure, or unjust confiscation, and that they will guarantee the neutrality thereof, so that the said canal for ever will be open and free, and the capital invested therein, secure. Nevertheless the governments of the United States and Great Britain, in according their protection to the construction of the said canal, and guaranteeing its neutrality and security when completed, always understand that this protection and guarantee are granted conditionally, and may be withdrawn by both governments, or either government, if both governments, or either government, should deem that the persons or company undertaking or managing the same adopt or establish such regulations concerning the traffic thereupon as are contrary to the spirit and intention of this convention, either by making unfair discriminations in favour of the commerce of one of the contracting parties over the commerce of the other, or by imposing oppressive exactions or unreasonable tolls upon passengers, vessels, goods, wares, merchandise, or other articles. Neither party, however, shall withdraw the aforesaid protection and guarantee without first giving six months' notice to the other.
The contracting parties in this convention engage to invite every state with which both or either have friendly
intercourse, to enter into stipulations with them similar to those which they have entered into with each other; to the end that all other states may share in the honour and advantage of having contributed to a work of such general interest and importance as the canal herein contemplated. And the contracting parties likewise agree, that each shall enter into treaty stipulations with such of the Central American States as they may deem advisable, for the purpose of more effectively carrying out the great design of this convention, namely, that of constructing and maintaining the said canal as a ship communication between the two oceans for the benefit of mankind, on equal terms to all, and of protecting the same; and they also agree that the good offices of either shall be employed, when requested by the other, in aiding and assisting the negotiation of such treaty stipulations; and should any difference arise as to the right or property through which the said canal shall pass between the states or governments of Central America, and such differences should in any way impede or obstruct the execution of the said canal, the governments of the United States and Great Britain will use their good offices to settle such differences in a manner best suited to promote the interests of the said canal, and to strengthen the bonds of friendship and alliance that exist between the contracting parties.
It being desirable that no time should be unnecessarily lost in commencing and constructing the said canal, the governments of the United States and Great Britain determine to give their support and encouragement to such persons or company as may first offer to commence the same, with the necessary capital, the consent of the local authorities, and on such principles as accord with the spirit and intention of this convention; and if any person or company should already have, with any state through which the proposed ship canal may pass, a contract for the construction of such a canal as that specified in this convention, to the stipulations of which contract neither of the contracting parties in this convention have any just cause to object; and the said persons or company shall, moreover, have made preparations, and expended time, money, or trouble on the faith of such contract, it is hereby agreed that such persons or company shall have a priority of claim over every other person,
persons, or company, to the protection of the governments of the United States and Great Britain, and be allowed a year, from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of this convention, for concluding their arrangements, and presenting evidence of sufficient capital subscribed to accomplish the contemplated undertaking; it being understood that if, at the expiration of the aforesaid period, such persons or company be not able to commence and carry out the proposed enterprise, then the governments of the United States and Great Britain shall be free to afford their protection to any other persons or company that shall be prepared to commence and proceed with the construction of the canal in question.
The governments of the United States and Great Britain. having not only desired, in entering into this convention, to accomplish a particular object, but also to establish a general principle, they hereby agree to extend their protection, by treaty stipulations, to any other practicable communications, whether by canal or railway, across the isthmus which connects North and South America; and especially to the interoceanic communications, should the same prove to be practicable, whether by canal or railway, which are now proposed to be established by way of Tehuantepec or Panama. In granting, however, their joint protection to any such canals or railways as are by this article specified, it is always understood by the United States and Great Britain that the parties constructing or owning the same shall impose no other charges or conditions of traffic thereupon than the aforesaid governments shall approve of as just and equitable; and that the said canals or railways, being open to the citizens or subjects of the United States and Great Britain on equal terms, shall also be open on like terms to the citizens and subjects of every other state which is willing to grant thereto such protection as the United States and Great Britain engage to afford.
The ratifications of this convention shall be exchanged at Washington within six months from this day, or sooner if possible.
In faith thereof, we, the respective plenipotentiaries, have signed this convention, and have hereunto affixed our seals. Done at Washington, the nineteenth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and fifty.
CONVENTION RESPECTING THE FREE NAVIGATION
OF THE SUEZ MARITIME CANAL.
Signed at Constantinople, October 29, 1888.
IN the Name of the Almighty God, Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India; His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia; His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, etc., and Apostolic King of Hungary; His Majesty the King of Spain, and in his name the Queen Regent of the Kingdom; the President of the French Republic; His Majesty the King of Italy; His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxemburg, etc.; His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias; and His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans; wishing to establish, by a Conventional Act, a definite system destined to guarantee at all times, and for all the Powers, the free use of the Suez Maritime Canal, and thus to complete the system under which the navigation of this canal has been placed by the Firman of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, dated the 22nd February, 1866 (2 Zilkádé, 1282), and sanctioning the concessions of His Highness the Khedive, have named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say:
(Here follow the names.)
Who, having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in due and good form, have agreed upon the following articles :
The Suez Maritime Canal shall always be free and open, in time of war as in time of peace, to every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag.
Consequently, the high contracting parties agree not in