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This zone extends, on the one hand, between the coasts of the Indian Ocean (those of the Persian Gulf and of the Red Sea included), from Beloochistan to Cape Tangalane (Quilimane); and, on the other hand, a conventional line which first follows the meridian from Tangalane till it intersects the 26th degree of South latitude; it is then merged in this parallel, then passes round the Island of Madagascar by the east, keeping 20 miles off the east and north shore, till it intersects the meridian at Cape Ambre. From this point the limit of the zone is determined by an oblique line, which extends to the coast of Beloochistan, passing 20 miles off Cape Ras-el-Had.
The signatory powers of the present general act,-among whom exist special conventions for the suppression of the slave-trade, have agreed to restrict the clauses of those conventions concerning the reciprocal right of visit, of search and of seizure of vessels at sea, to the above mentioned zone.
The same powers also agree to limit the above mentioned right to vessels whose tonnage is less than 500 tons. This stipulation shall be revised as soon as experience shall have shown the necessity thereof.
All other provisions of the conventions concluded for the suppression of the slave-trade between the aforesaid powers shall remain in force provided they are not modified by the present general act..
The signatory powers engage to adopt efficient measures to prevent the unlawful use of their flag, and to prevent the transportation of slaves on vessels authorized to fly their colors.
The signatory powers engage to adopt all measures necessary to facilitate the speedy exchange of information calculated to lead to the discovery of persons taking part in operations connected with the slave-trade.
At least one international bureau shall be created; it shall be established at Zanzibar. The high contracting parties engage to forward to it all the documents specified in Article XLI, as well as all information of any kind likely to assist in the suppression of the slave-trade.
Any slave who has taken refuge on board a ship of war bearing the flag of one of the signatory powers, shall be immediately and definitively set free. Such freedom, however, shall not withdraw him from the competent jurisdiction if he has been guilty of any crime or offense at common law.
Any slave detained against his will on board of a native vessel shall have the right, to demand his liberty. His release may be ordered by any agent of any of the signatory powers on whom the present general act confers the right of ascertaining the status of persons on board of such vessels, although such release shall not withdraw him from the competent jurisdiction if he has committed any crime or offense at common law.
SECTION II.-Regulation concerning the use of the flag and supervision by cruisers.
1. Rules for granting the flag to native vessels, and as to crew lists and manifests of black passengers on board.
The signatory powers engage to exercise a strict surveillance over native vessels authorized to carry their flag in the zone mentioned in Article XX1, and over the commercial operations carried on by such vessels.
The term "native vessel" applies to vessels fulfilling one of the following conditions:
1. It shall present the outward appearance of native build or rigging.
2. It shall be manned by a crew of whom the captain and a majority of the seamen belong by origin to one of the countries on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, or the Persian Gulf.
The authorization to carry the flag of one of the said powers shall in future be granted only to such native vessels as shall satisfy at the same time the three following conditions:
1. Fitters-out or owners of ships must be either subjects of or persons protected by the power whose flag they ask to carry.
2. They shall be obliged to prove that they possess real estate situated in the district of the authority to whom their application is addressed, or to furnish bona fide security as a guaranty of the payment of such fines as may be incurred.
3. The above-named fitters-out or owners of ships, as well as the captain of the vessel, shall prove that they enjoy a good reputation, and that in particular they have never been sentenced to punishment for acts connected with the slave-trade.
This authorization granted shall be renewed every year. It may at any time be suspended or withdrawn by the authorities of the power whose colors the vessel carries.
The act of authorization shall contain the statements necessary to establish the identity of the vessel. The captain shall have the keeping
thereof. The name of the native vessel and the amount of its tonnage shall be cut and painted in Latin characters on the stern, and the initial or initials of the name of the port of registry, as well as the registration number in the series of the numbers of that port, shall be printed in black on the sails.
A list of the crew shall be issued to the captain of the vessel at the port of departure by the authorities of the power whose colors it carries. It shall be renewed at every fresh venture of the vessel, or, at the latest, at the end of a year, and in accordance with the following provisions:
1. The list shall be visaed at the departure of the vessel by the authority that has issued it.
2. No negro can be engaged as a seaman on a vessel without having previously been questioned by the authority of the power whose colors it carries, or, in default thereof, by the territorial authority, with a view to ascertaining the fact of his having contracted a free engagement.
3. This authority shall see that the proportion of seamen and boys is not out of proportion to the tonnage or rigging.
4. The authorities who shall have questioned the men before their departure shall enter them on the list of the crew in which they shall be mentioned with a summary description of each of them alongside his name.
5. In order the more effectively to prevent any substitution, the seamen may, moreover, be provided with a distinctive mark.
When the captain of a vessel shall desire to take negro passengers on board, he shall make his declaration to that effect to the authority of the power whose colors he carries, or in default thereof, to the territorial authority. The passengers shall be questioned, and after it has been ascertained that they embarked of their own free will, they shall be entered in a special manifest, bearing the description of each of them alongside of his name, and specially sex and height. Negro children shall not be taken as passengers unless they are accompanied by their relations, or by persons whose respectability is well known. At the departure, the passenger roll shall be visaed by the aforesaid authority after it has been called. If there are no passengers on board, this shall be specially mentioned in the crew-list.
At the arrival at any port of call or of destination, the captain of the vessel shall show to the authority of the power whose flag he carries, or, in default thereof, to the territorial authority, the crewlist, and, if need be, the passenger-roll previously delivered. The authority shall check the passengers who have reached their destination or who are stopping in a port of call, and shall mention their landing in the roll. At the departure of the vessel, the same authority shall affix a fresh visé to the list and roll, and call the roll of the passengers.
On the African coast and on the adjacent islands, no negro passengers shall be taken on board of a native vessel, except in localities where there is a resident authority belonging to one of the signatory powers.
Throughout the extent of the zone mentioned in Article XXI, no negro passenger shall be landed from a native vessel except at a place in which there is a resident officer belonging to one of the high contracting powers, and unless such officer is present at the landing.
Cases of vis major that may have caused an infraction of these provisions shall be examined by the authority of the power whose colors the vessel carries, or, in default thereof, by the territorial authority of the port at which the vessel in question calls.
The provisions of Articles XXXV, XXXVI, XXXVII, and XXXVIII are not applicable to vessels only partially decked, having a crew not exceeding ten men, and fulfilling one of the two following conditions: 1. That it be exclusively used for fishing within the territorial waters.
2. That it be occupied in the petty coasting trade between the different ports of the same territorial power, without going further than 5 miles from the coast.
These different boats shall receive, as the case may be, a special license from the territorial or consular authority, which shall be renewed every year, and subject to revocation as provided in Article XL, the uniform model' of which license is annexed to the present general act and shall be communicated to the international information office.
Any act or attempted act connected with the slave-trade that can be legally shown to have been committed by the captain, fitter-out, or owner of a ship authorized to carry the flag of one of the signatory powers, or having procured the license provided for in Article XXXIX, shall entail the immediate withdrawal of the said authorization or license. All violations of the provisions of Section 2 of Chapter III shall render the person guilty thereof liable to the penalties provided by the special laws and ordinances of each of the contracting powers.
The signatory powers engage to deposit at the international information office the specimen forms of the following documents:
1. License to carry the flag;
2. The crew-list;
3. The negro passenger list.
These documents, the tenor of which may vary according to the different regulations of each country, shall necessarily contain the following particulars, drawn up in one of the European languages: 1. As regards the authorization to carry the flag:
(a) The name, tonnage, rig, and the principal dimensions of the Vessel:
See Annex, p. 731.
(b) The register number and the signal letter of the port of registry; (c) The date of obtaining the license, and the office held by the person who issued it.
2. As regards the list of the crew:
(a) The name of the vessel, of the captain and the fitter-out or
(b) The tonnage of the vessel;
(c) The register number and the port of registry, its destination, as well as the particulars specified in Article XXV.
3. As regards the list of negro passengers:
The name of the vessel which conveys them, and the particulars indicated in Article XXXVI, for the proper identification of the pas
The signatory powers shall take the necessary measures so that the territorial authorities or their consuls may send to the same office certified copies of all authorizations to carry their flag as soon as such authorizations shall have been granted, as well as notices of the withdrawal of any such authorization.
The provisions of the present article have reference only to papers intended for native vessels.
2. The stopping of suspected vessels.
When the officers in command of war-vessels of any of the signatory powers have reason to believe that a vessel whose tonnage is less than 500 tons, and which is found navigating in the above-named zone, is engaged in the slave-trade or is guilty of the fraudulent use of a flag, they may examine the ship's papers.
The present article does not imply any change in the present state of things as regards jurisdiction in territorial waters.
To this end, a boat commanded by a naval officer in uniform may be sent to board the suspected vessel after it has been hailed and informed of this intention.
The officers sent on board of the vessel which has been stopped shall act with all possible consideration and moderation.
The examination of the ship's papers shall consist of the examination of the following documents:
1. As regards native vessels, the papers mentioned in Article XLI. 2. As regards other vessels, the documents required by the different treaties or conventions that are in force.
The examination of the ship's papers only authorizes the calling of the roll of the crew and passengers in the cases and in accordance with the conditions provided for in the following article.
The examination of the cargo or the search can only take place in the case of vessels sailing under the flag of one of the powers that have concluded, or may hereafter conclude the special conventions provided for in Article XXII, and in accordance with the provisions of such conventions.