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The present Convention shall come into force in all the possessions of the Contracting Powers situated in the zone defined by Article XC of the General Act of Brussels on the thirtieth day after the date of the preparation of the Protocol of Deposit mentioned in the preceding Article.
In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention, and have affixed their seals thereto.
Done at Brussels, the eighth day of the month of June, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine. (Signed)
A. VAN MALDEGHEM.
W. R. DE VILLA-URRUTIA.
P. DE SMET DE NAEYER.
F. R. PLUNKETT.
R. DE PESTEL.
Comte DE TOVAR.
N. DE GIERS.
AUG. F. GLYDENSTOLPE.
TREATY OF CESSION AND ANNEXATION.
Signed November 28, 1907.
LEOPOLD II, King of the Belgians,
To whom it may concern.
Upon the advice of our Council of Ministers, We have decreed and decree:
Our Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Interior, of Justice, of Finance, of Sciences and Art, of Industry and Labor, of Public Works, of Rail
ways, Post and Telegraphs, temporarily charged with the portfolio of Agriculture, of War, will present in our name to the legislative Chambers the bill, the tenor of which is as follows:
ARTICLE UNIQUE. The treaty of cession herewith annexed, concluded on November 28, 1907, between Belgium and the Independent State of the Congo, is approved.
Given at Brussels, November 28, 1907.
[Enumeration of ministerial attestations.]
Text of Treaty.
The Sovereign King of the Kongo having made known, by his letter of August 5, 1889, to the Minister of Finance of Belgium, that, if it were satisfactory to Belgium to conclude before the time fixed, more close ties with his possessions in the Congo, His Majesty would not hesitate to place them at its disposal; and the two high contracting parties being found in agreement,
The following treaty has been concluded between the State of Belgium, represented by Mr. Julien Davignon, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Jules de Trooz, Minister of Interior; Mr. Jules Renkin, Minister of Justice; Mr. Julien Liebaert, Minister of Finance; Baron Descamps, Minister of Sciences and Art; Mr. Armand Hubert, Minister of Industry and Labor; Mr. Auguste Delbeke, Minister of Public Works; Mr. George Helleputte, Minister of Railways, Posts and Telegraphs, temporarily charged with the portfolio of Agriculture; and Lieutenant-General Hellebaut, Minister of War, acting under reserve of legislative approval,
And the Independent State of the Kongo, represented by Chevalier de Cuvelier, Secretary-General of the Department for Foreign Affairs; Mr. Hubert Droogmans, Secretary-General of the Department of Finance; and Mr. Charles Liebrechts, Secretary-General of the Department of Interior.
His Majesty King Leopold II, Sovereign of the Independent State, hereby cedes to Belgium the sovereignty of the territories composing the Independent Congo State, together with all the rights and obligations appertaining thereto. The Belgian State hereby accepts this cession, takes over and accepts the obligations of the Independent State as set
forth in Schedule A, and undertakes to respect the existing interests in the Congo, together with the legally acquired rights of third parties, native and non-native.
The cession comprises all real and personal estate of the Independent Congo State, and particularly:
(1) The properties and all the lands belonging to its public and private domain, with reservation of the dispositions and obligations indicated in Schedule A of the present convention.
(2) All the shares and bonds and founder or interest shares mentioned in Schedule B.
(3) All the buildings, constructions, installations, plantations, and appropriations whatsoever, established or acquired in Africa and in Belgium, by the Government of the Independent Congo State, personal goods of all kinds, and the cattle it possesses there, together with its pontoons and boats with their fittings and its military material, as described in Schedule B, Sections II and IV.
(4) The forests, rubber, and other African products which are the property of the Independent Congo State, as well as the provisions and other merchandise belonging to it, as described in Schedule B (I and III).
On the other hand, the cession includes all the liabilities and all the financial engagements of the Independent State, as set out in Schedule C.
The date upon which Belgium will begin to exercise her right of sovereignty over the territories mentioned in the first article will be determined by royal decree. The revenue obtained and the expenses incurred by the Independent State from January 1, 1908, will be taken over by Belgium.
In witness whereof the plenipotentiaries have signed the present agreement and have affixed thereto their seals.
Done in duplicate at Brussels this 28th day of November, 1907.
[Signed by all the Ministers of Belgium and the Secretaries-General of the Independent State of the Congo.]
November 28, 1907.
A. From January 1, 1908, no expenses will be incurred by the Independent State of the Congo without notification being given to the Belgian Minister of Finance. The latter will be kept informed of all financial operations.
B. From the same date the expenditures incurred by the Independent Congo State and the revenue collected by it will be on account of Belgium, provided that the Bill for the annexation of the Congo is passed by the Chamber.
BRUSSELS, November 28, 1907.
[Signed for Belgium by J. Davignon, J. de Trooz, and J. Renkin.] [Signed for the Independent Congo State by the three General Secretaries.]
BILL PROVIDING FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BELGIAN CONGO.
Concerning the juridical status of the Belgian Congo.
ARTICLE 1. The Belgian Congo has a legal status distinct from that of the mother country. It is governed by separate and distinct laws. The resources and liabilities of Belgium and the colony remain distinct. In consequence the Congolese interest charges will rest exclusively to the charge of the colony, unless it shall be decided otherwise by law.
Concerning the rights of Belgians, foreigners, and natives.
ART. 2. All the inhabitants of the colony will enjoy the rights recognized by article 7, paragraphs 1 and 2, articles 8 to 15 inclusive, article 16, paragraph 1, article 17, paragraph 1, and articles 21, 22, and 24 of the Belgian Constitution. The words "the law" mentioned in article 7, paragraphs 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, article 17, paragraph 1, and article 22 of the Belgian Constitution are replaced, in whatever relates to the colony, by the words "the special laws or decrees."
The language which shall be employed is optional. It will be regu
lated by special laws or decrees in such a way as to guarantee the rights of Belgians and Congolese and so regulated only for official acts and juridical business.
The Belgians will enjoy in the Congo in these matters guaranties similar to those which are assured them in Belgium. Special laws or decrees will be promulgated to this effect at a date not less than five years following the promuigation of the present law.
All the decrees and regulations having a general character shall be drawn and published in the French and Flemish languages. The two texts are official.
Belgians and the Congolese registered in the colony and foreigners shall enjoy all the civil rights conceded by the legislation of the Belgian Congo. Their personal status is regulated by their national laws, provided that these are not contrary to public order.
Natives of the Belgian Congo not registered enjoy the civil rights which are conceded them by the colonial legislation, and by their customs, provided these are not contrary either to law or public order. Natives of neighboring countries, not registered, shall enjoy similar rights.
No person can be constrained to work for the account or profit of commercial societies or private persons.
The laws will determine as soon as possible the status of the natives, their real rights and individual liberty.
ART. 3. The Governor-General will guard the preservation of the native population, the improvement of their moral and material conditions. He shall favor the expansion of individual liberty, the gradual abandonment of polygamy, and the development of individual holdings. He shall protect and favor without distinction of nationality or religion all the religious, scientific, or charitable institutions and enterprises created and organized for the purpose or aim of instructing the natives and bringing them to a comprehension and appreciation of the advantages of civilization.
Christian missionaries, scholars, explorers, their escorts, their belongings and collections shall be the object of a special protection.
ART. 4. There shall be established a permanent commission of seven members charged with the responsibility of watching over all the territory of the colony, with the protection of the natives and with the betterment of their moral and material condition.
The commission shall be under the presidency of the Procureur