Title: General Act of the Brussels Conference Relative to the African Slave Trade, Signed at Brussels, July 2, 1890

Publisher: Harrison and Sons

Place of Publication: London

Date: 1892

Places: Arabian Peninsula; Austria-Hungary; Belgium; Congo Free State; Denmark; France; Germany; Italy; Netherlands; Norway; Ottoman Empire; Persian Empire; Portugal; Russia; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom; United States; Zanzibar

Analysis

There is no analysis for this document yet.

Read More

General Act of the Brussels Conference.

In the Name of God Almighty.

Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India;

His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, in the name of the German Empire;

His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, &c., and Apostolic King of Hungary;

His Majesty the King of the Belgians;

His Majesty the King of Denmark;

His Majesty the King of Spain, and in his name Her Majesty the Queen-Regent of the Kingdom;

His Majesty the King-Sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo;

The President of the United States of America;

The President of the French Republic;

His Majesty the King of Italy;

His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxemburg, &c.;

His Majesty the Shah of Persia;

His Majesty the King of Portugal and the Algarves, &c.;

His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias;

His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway. &c.;

His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans; and

His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar;

Equally animated by the firm intention of putting an end to the crimes and devastations engendered by the traffic in African slaves, of effectively protecting the aboriginal populations of Africa, and of assuring to that vast continent the benefits of peace and civilization; Wishing to give a fresh sanction to the decisions already taken in the same sense and at different periods by the Powers; to complete the results obtained by them; and to draw up a collection of measures guaranteeing the accomplishment of the work which is the object of their common solicitude;

Have resolved, on the invitation addressed to them by the Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, in agreement with the Government of Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, to assemble with this subject a Conference at Brussels, and have named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say : Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, Lord Vivian, Peer of the United Kingdom, her Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians; and Sir John Kirk;

His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, in the name of the German Empire, M. Frederic-Jean, Comte d'Alvensleben, his Chamberlain and Privy Councillor, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians; and M. Guillaume Gohring, his Privy Councillor of Legation, Consul-General of the Empire of Germany at Amsterdam; His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, and Apostolic King of Hungary, Rodolphe, Count Khevenhtiller-Metsch, his Chamberlain, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians; His Majesty the King of the Belgians, Auguste, Baron Lamberment, his Minister of State, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary; and M. Emile Banning, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium;

His Majesty the King of Denmark, M. Frederic-George Schack de Brockdorff, Consul-General of Denmark at Antwerp; His Majesty the King of Spain, and, in his name, Her Majesty the Queen-Regent of the Kingdom, Don Jose Gutierrez de Aguora, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians;

His Majesty the Sovereign-King of the Congo Free State, M. Edmond van Eetvelde, Administrator-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Congo Free State; and M. Auguste van Maldeghem, Councillor of the Comt of Cassation of Belgium; The President of the United States of America, Mr. Edwin H. Terrell, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. to His Majesty the King of the Belgians; and Mr. Henry Shelton Sanford;

The President of the French Republic, M. Albert Bomee, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to His Majesty the King of the Belgians; and M. George Cogortian, Minister Plenipotentiary, Chief of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France;

His Majesty the King of Italy, M. Francois de Renzis, Baron de Montanaro, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians; and M. Thomas Catalani, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary; His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxemburg, Louis, Baron Gericke de Herwynen, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians;

His Imperial Majesty the Shah of Persia, General Nazare Aga, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians;

His Majesty the King of Portugal and the Algarves, M. Henrique de Macedo Pereira Coutinho, Member of his Council, Peer of the Realm, Minister and Honorary Secretary of State, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians;

His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, Leon, Prince Ouroussoff, Master of his Court, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians; and M. Frederic de Martells, his Councillor of State, Permanent Member of the Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia:

His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway, M. Charles de Burenstam, his Chamberlain, his Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians, and to His Majesty the King of the Netherlands;

His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans, Etienne Caratheodory Effendi, High Dignitary of his Empire, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians;

His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar, Sir John Kirk and M. Guillaume Gohring:

Who, furnished with full powers, which have been found in good and due form, have adopted the following provisions: —

 

Chapter I.

Slave Trade Countries. — Measures to be Taken in Places of Origin.

Article I.

The Powers declare that the most effective means for counteracting the Slave Trade in the interior of Africa are the following: —

1. Progressive organization of the administrative, judicial, religions, and military services in the African territories planed under the sovereignty or Protectorate of civilized nations.

2. The gradual establishment in the interior by the responsible Power in each territory of strongly occupied stations in such a way as to make their protactive or repressive action effectively felt in the territories devastated by man-hunts.

3. The construction of roads, and in particular of railways, connecting the advanced stations with the coast, and permitting easy access to the inland waters and to the upper reaches of streams and rivers which are broken by rapids and cataracts, so as to substitute economical and speedy means of transport for the present means of portage by men.

4. Establishment of steam-boats on the inland navigable waters and on the lakes, supported by fortified posts established on the banks.

5. Establishment of telegraphic lines assuring the communication of the posts and stations with the coast and with the administrative centres.

6. Organization of expeditions and flying columns to keep up the communication of the stations with each other and with the coast, to support repressive action, and to ensure the security of roadways.

7. Restriction of the importation of fire-arms, at least of modern pattern, and of ammunition, throughout the entire extent of the territories infected by the Slave Trade.

Article II.

The stations, the cruisers organized by each Power in its inland waters, and the posts which serve as ports for them, shall, independently of their principal task, which is to prevent the capture of slaves and intercept the routes of the Slave Trade, have the following subsidiary duties: —

1. To serve as a base, and, if necessary, as a place of refuge, for the native populations placed under the sovereignty or the Protectorate of the State to which the station belongs, for the independent populations, and temporarily for all others in case of imminent danger; to place the populations of the first of these categories in a position to cooperate for their own defence; to diminish intestine wars between tribes by means of arbitration; to initiate them in agricultural works and in the industrial arts so as to increase their welfare; to raise them to civilization and bring about the extinction of barbarous customs, such as cannabalism and human sacrifices.

2. To give aid and protection to commercial undertakings, to watch over their legality, especially by controlling contracts of service with natives, and to lead up to the foundation of permanent centres of cultivation and of commercial establishments.

3. To protect, without distinction of creed, the Missions which are already or may hereafter be established.

4. To provide for the sanitary service, and to grant hospitality and help to explorers, and to all who take part in Africa in the work of repressing the Slave Trade.

Article III.

The Powers exercising sovereignty or Protectorate in Africa, in order to confirm and give greater precision to their former declarations, undertake to proceed gradually, as circumstances permit, either by the means above indicated or by any other means which they may consider suitable, with the repression of the Slave Trade; each State in its respective possessions and under its own direction. Whenever they consider it possible they will lend their good offices to the Powers which, with a perfectly humanitarian object, may be engaged in Africa upon a similar mission.

Article IV.

The Powers exercising sovereigrnty or Protectorate in Africa may, however, delegate to Chartered Companies all or a portion of the engagements which they assume in virtue of Article III. They remain, nevertheless, directly responsible for the engagements which they contract by the present General Act, and guarantee the execution thereof.

The Powers promise to receive, aid, and protect national Associations and enterprises due to private initiative which may wish to co-operate in their possessions in the repression of the Slave Trade, subject to their receiving previous authorization, which is revocable at any time; subject also to their being directed and controlled, and to the exclusion of any exercise of rights of sovereignty.

Article V.

The Contracting Powers undertake, unless this has already been provided for by laws in accordance with the spirit of the present Article, to enact or propose to their respective Legislatures, in the course of one year at latest from the date of the signature of the present General Act, a Law applying, on the one hand, the provisions of their penal laws concerning grave offences against the person, to the organizers and abettors of man-hunts, to perpetrators of the mutilation of adults and male infants, and to all persons who may take part in the capture of slaves by violence; and, on the other hand, the provisions relating to offences against individual liberty, to carriers, transporters, and dealers in slaves.

Accomplices and accessories of the different categories of slave captors and dealers above specified shall be punished with penalties proportionate to those incurred by the principals.

Guilty persons who may have escaped from the jurisdiction of the authorities of the country where the crimes or offences have been committed shall be arrested either on communication of the incriminatory evidence by the authorities who have ascertained the violation of the law, or on production of any other proof of guilt by the Power on whose territory they may have been discovered, and shall, without other formality, be held at the disposal of the Tribunals competent to try them.

The Powers will communicate to each other, with the least possible delay, the Laws or Decrees already in existence or promulgated in execution of the present Article.

Article VI.

Slaves liberated in consequence of the stoppage or dispersal of a convoy in the interior of the continent, shall be sent back, if circumstances permit, to their country of origin; if not, the local authorities shall help them as much as possible to obtain means of subsistence, and, if they desire it, to settle on the spot.

Article VII.

Any fugitive slave claiming on the continent the protection of the Signatory Powers shall obtain it, and shall be received in the camps and stations officially established by them, or on board Government vessels plying on the lakes and rivers. Private stations and vessels are only permitted to exercise the right of asylum subject to the previous sanction of the State.

Article VIII.

The experience of all nations who have intercourse with Africa, having shown the pernicious and preponderating part played by fire-arms in Slave Trade operations, as well as in intestine wars between native tribes; and this same experience having clearly proved that the preservation of the African populations, whose existence it is the express wish of the Powers to safeguard, is a radical impossibility if restrictive measures against the trade in fire-arms and ammunition are not established; the Powers decide, in so far as the present state of their frontiers permits, that the importation of fire-arms, and especially of rifles and improved weapons, as well as of powder, balls, and cartridges, is, except in the cases and under the conditions provided for in the following Article, prohibited in the territories comprised between the 20th parallel of north latitude and the 22nd parallel of south latitude, and extending westward to the Atlantic Ocean, and eastward to the Indian Ocean and its dependencies, comprising the islands adjacent to the coast as far as 100 nautical miles from the shore.

Article IX.

The introduction of fire-arms and ammunition, when there shall be occasion to authorize it in the possessions of the Signatory Powers which exercise rights of sovereignty or of Protectorate in Africa, shall be regulated in the following manner in the zone laid clown in Article VIII, unless identical or more rigorous Regulations have been already applied: —

All imported fire-arms shall be deposited, at the cost, risk, and peril of the importers, in a public warehouse placed under the control of the Administration of the State. No withdrawal of fire-arms or imported ammunition shall take place from such warehouses without the previous authorization of the Administration. This authorization shall, except in cases hereinafter specified, be refused for the withdrawal of all arms of precision, such as rifles, magazine guns, or breech-loaders, whether whole or in detached pieces, their cartridges, caps, or other ammunition intended for them.

At the sea-ports the respective Governments may permit the establishment of private warehouses, under conditions affording the needful guarantees; but only for ordinary powder and flintlock guns, and to the exclusion of improved arms and their ammunition.

Besides the measures directly taken by Governments for the arming of the public force and the organization of their defence, individual exceptions shall be admitted for persons affording sufficient guarantees that the arm and ammunition delivered to them will not be given, assigned, or sold to third persons, and for travellers provided with a declaration of their Government stating that the weapon and ammunition are destined exclusively for their personal defence.

In the cases provided for in the preceding paragraph, all arms shall be registered and marked by the authorities appointed for the control, who shall deliver to the persons in question licences to bear arms, indicating the name of the bearer and showing the stamp with which the arm is marked. These licences are revocable in case of proved abuse, and will be issued for five years only, but may be renewed.

The rule above set forth as to warehousing shall also apply to gunpowder.

Only flint-lock unrifled guns and common gunpowder, called trade powder ("poudres de traite"), can be withdrawn from the warehouses for purpose of sale. At each withdrawal of arms and ammunition of this kind for sale, the local authorities shall determine the regions in which these arms and ammunition may be sold. The regions infected by the Slave Trade shall always be excluded. Persons authorized to take arms or powder out of the warehouses shall present to the Administration every six months detailed lists indicating the destinations of the said fire-arms and powder sold, as well as the quantities still remaining in store.

Article X.

The Governments shall take all measures they may deem necessary to insure as complete a fulfilment as possible of the provisions respecting the importation, sale, and transport of firearms and ammunition, as well as to prevent either the entry or exit thereof by their inland frontiers, or the conveyance thereof to regions where the Slave Trade exists.

The authorization of transit within the limits of the zone specified by Article VIII cannot be withheld when the arms and ammunition are to pass across the territory of a Signatory or adherent Power in the occupation of the coast, towards inland territories placed under the sovereignty or Protectorate of another Signatory or adherent Power, unless this latter Power have direct access to the sea through its own territory. Nor, if this access be completely interrupted, can the authorization of transit be withheld. Any demand for transit must be accompanied by a declaration emanating from the Government of the Power having the inland possessions, and certifying that the said arms and ammunition are not destined for sale, but are for the use of the authorities of such Power, or of the military forces necessary for the protection of the missionary or commercial stations, or of persons mentioned by name in the Declaration. Nevertheless, the territorial Power of the coast retains the right to stop, exceptionally and provisionally, the transit of arms of precision and ammunition across its territory, if, in consequence of inland disturbances or other serious danger, there is ground for fearing that the dispatch of arms and ammunition might compromise its own safety.

Article XI.

The Powers shall communicate to each other Information relating to the traffic in fire-arms and ammunition, the licences granted, and the measures of repression in force in their respective territories.

Article XII.

The Powers undertake to adopt or to propose to their respective legislatures the measures necessary to insure that those who infringe the prohibitions laid down in Articles VIII and IX, and their accomplices, shall, besides the seizure and confiscation of the prohibited arms ann ammunition, be punished either by fine or by imprisonment, or by both penalties together, in proportion to the importance of the offence, and in accordance with the gravity of each case.

Article XIII.

The Signatory Powers who have possessions in Africa in contact with the zone specified in Article VIII, bind themselves to take the necessary measures for preventing the introduction of firearms and ammunition across their inland frontiers into the regions of the said zone, at least that of improved arms and cartridges.

Article XIV.

The system established under Articles VIII to XIII inclusive, shall remain in force for twelve years. In case none of the Contracting Parties shall have notified, twelve months before the expiration of this period, their intention of putting an end to it, nor shall have demanded its revision, it shall continue to remain obligatory for two more years, and shall thus continue in force from two years to two years.

 

Chapter II.

Caravan Routes and Land Transport of Slaves.

Article XV.

Independently of the repressive or protective action which they exercise in the centres of the Slave Trade, the stations, cruisers, and posts, the establishment of which is provided for in Article II, and all other stations established or recognized according to the terms of Article IV by each Government in its possessions, will furthermore have the mission of watching, so far as circumstances permit, and in proportion to the progress of their administrative organization, the routes on their territory followed by the slavedealers, of stopping the convoys on the march, and of pursuing them wherever they can legally take action.

Article XVI.

In the regions of the coast known to serve habitually as places of passage or terminal points for Slave Traffic coming from the interior, as well as at the points of intersection of the principal caravan routes crossing the zone contiguous to the coast already subject to the influence of the Sovereign or Protecting Powers, posts shall be established, under the conditions and with the reservations mentioned in Article III, by the authorities responsible for such territories, with the purpose of intercepting the convoys and liberating the slaves.

Article XVII.

A strict supervision shall be organized by the local authorities at the ports and in the countries adjacent to the coast, with the view of preventing the sale and shipment of slaves brought from the interior, as well as the formation and departure for the interior of bands of man-hunters and slave-dealers.

Caravans arriving at the coast or its vicinity, as well as those arriving in the interior at a locality occupied by the authorities of the territorial Power, shall, on arrival, be submitted to a minute inspection as to the persons composing them. Any individual ascertained to have been captured or carried off by force or mutilated, either in his native country or on the way, shall be liberated.

Article XVIII.

In the possessions of each of the Contracting Powers the Administration shall have the duty of protecting liberated slaves, of repatriating them if possible, of procuring for them means of subsistence, and, in particular, of providing for the education and support of abandoned children.

Article XIX.

The penal arrangements provided for in Article V shall be made applicable to all crimes or offences committed in the course of operations for the transport of and traffic in slaves on land, whenever proved.

Any person having incurred a penalty in consequence of an offence provided for by the present General Act shall be under the obligation of providing security before he is allowed to undertake any commercial operation in countries where the Slave Trade is carried on.

 

Chapter III.

Repression of the Slave Trade by Sea.

§ I. General Provisions.

Article XX.

The Signatory Powers acknowledge the opportuneness of taking steps in common for the more effective repression of the Slave Trade in the maritime zone in which it still exists.

Article XXI.

This zone extends, on the one hand, between tho coasts of the Indian Ocean (those of the Persian Gulf and of the Red Sea included) from Beluchistan to Point Tangalane (Quilimane), and, on the other hand, a conventional line which first follows the meridian of Tangalane till it meets the 26th degree of south latitude; is then merged in this parallel, then passes round tho Island of Madagascar by the east, keeping 20 miles off the east and north shore till it crosses the meridian of Cape Amber. From this point the limit of the zone is determined by an oblique line which extends to the coast of Beluchistan, passing 20 miles off Cape Ras-el-Had.

Article XXII.

The Signatory Powers of the present General Act, between whom there are special Conventions for the suppression of the Slave Trade, have agreed to restrict to the above-mentioned zone the clauses of these Conventions concerning the reciprocal right of visit, search, and detention ("droit de visite, de recherche, et de saisie") of vessels at sea.

Article XXIII.

The same Powers have also agreed to limit the above-mentioned right to vessels of less than 500 tons burthen.

This stipulation shall be revised as soon as experience shall have shown the necessity of such revision.

Article XXIV.

All other provisions of the Conventions concluded between the aforesaid Powers, (or the suppression of the Slave Trade, remain in force in so far as they are not modified by the present General Act.

Article XXV.

The Signatory Powers undertake to adopt effective measures for preventing the usurpation of their flag, and putting a stop to the transport of slaves on vessels authorized to fly their colours.

Article XXVI.

The Signatory Powers undertake to adopt all measures necessary for facilitating the rapid exchange of information calculated to bring about the discovery of persons taking part in Slave Trade operations.

Article XXVII.

At least one International Bureau shall be created; it shall be established at Zanzibar. The High Contracting Parties undertake to forward to it all the documents specified in Article XLI, as well as information of all kinds likely to assist in the suppression of the Slave Trade.

Article XXVIII.

Any slave who may have taken refuge on board a ship of war flying the flag of one of the Signatory Powers shall be immediately and definitively freed; such freedom, however, shall not withdraw him from the competent jurisdiction, if he has committed a crime or offence at common law.

Article XXIX.

Every slave detained against his wish on board a native vessel shall have the right to claim his liberty.

His freedom may be declared by any Agent of one of the Signatory Powers on whom the General Act confers the right of ascertaining the status of persons on board such vessels; such freedom, however, shall not withdraw him from the competent jurisdiction if he has committed a crime or offence at common law.

§ II. Regulation concerning the Use of the Flag and Supervision by Cruisers.

1. Rules respecting the Grant of the Flag to Native Vessels; and respecting Crew Lists and Manifests of Black Passengers.

Article XXX.

The Signatory Powers undertake to exercise a strict supervision over the native vessels authorized to fly their flag in the zone indicated in Article XXI, and over the commercial operations carried on by such vessels.

Article XXXI.

The term "native vessel" applies to vessels fulfilling one of the two following conditions: —

1. It must present the outward appearance of native build or rig.

2. It must be manned by a crew of whom the captain and the majority of the seamen belong by origin to a country having a sea-coast on the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, or the Persian Gulf.

Article XXXII.

Authority to fly the flag of one of the said Powers shall in future only be granted to such native vessels as shall satisfy Al1 the three following conditions: —

1. Their fitters-out or owners must be either subjects of or persons protected by the Power whose flag they claim to fly.

2. They must furnish proof that they possess real estate situated in the district of the authority to whom their application is addressed, or to supply a solvent security as a guarantee for any fines to which they may eventually become liable.

3. Such fitters-out or owners, as well as the captain of the vessel, must furnish proof that they enjoy a good reputation, and especially that they have never been condemned for acts of Slave Trade.

Article XXXIII.

The authorization, when granted, shall be renewed every year.

It can at any time be suspended or withdrawn by the authorities of the Power whose colours the vessel flies.

Article XXXIV.

The deed of authorization shall bear the indications necessary to establish the identity of the vessel. The captain shall have the custody of it. The name of the native vessel and the indication of its tonnage shall be inlaid and painted in Latin characters on the stem; and the initial or initials of the name of the port of registry, as well as the registration number in the series of numbers of that port, shall be printed in black on the sails.

Article XXXV.

A crew list shall be issued to the captain of the vessel at the port of departure by the authorities of the Power whose colours it flies. It shall be renewed each time the vessel is fitted out, or, at latest, at the end of a year, and in conformity with the following provisions: —

1. The list shall be visé at the moment of departure by the authority who has issued it.

2. No negro can be engaged as a seaman on a vessel without having been previously questioned by the authority of the Power whose colours it flies, or, failing such authority, by the territorial authority, with a view to establish that he has contracted a free engagement.

3. Such authority shall see that the proportion of seamen and boys is not out of proportion to the tonnage or rig of the vessels.

4. The authority who shall have interrogated the men before their departure shall inscribe them on the crew list, in which they shall be mentioned with a short description of each of them against his name.

5. In order the more effectively to prevent any substitution, the seamen may, moreover, be provided with a distinctive mark.

Article XXXVI.

If the captain of a vessel should desire to embark negro passengers, he shall make declaration thereof to the authority of the Power whose colours he flies, or, failing such authority, to the territorial authority. The passengers shall be interrogated, and after it has been ascertained that they embark of their own free will, they shall be inscribed in a special manifest, bearing the description of each of them against the name, and indicating especially sex and height. Negro children shall not be admitted as passengers unless they are accompanied by their relations or by persons whose respectability is well known. On departure the passenger manifest shall be visé by the aforesaid authority after it has been called over. If there are no passengers on board, this shall be specially mentioned on the crew list.

Article XXXVII

On 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 flies, or, failing such authority, to the territorial authority, the crew list, and, if need be, the passenger manifests previously delivered. Such authority shall check the passengers arrived at their destination or stopping at a port of cali, and shall mention their landing in the manifest. On departure the said authority shall affix a fresh visa to the list and to the manifest, and shall call over the passengers.

Article XXXVIII.

On the African coast and on the adjacent islands no negro passenger shall be shipped on board a native vessel except in localities where there is a resident authority belonging to one of the Signatory Powers.

Throughout 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 authority belonging to one of the High Contracting Powers, and unless such authority is present at the landing.

Cases of force majeure which may have caused an infraction of these provisions shall be examined by the authority of the Power whose colours the vessel flies, or, failing such authority, by the territorial authority of the port at which the inculpated vessel puts in.

Article XXXIX.

The provisions of Articles XXXV, XXXVI, XXXVII, and XXXVIII are not applicable to vessels only partially decked, having a maximum crew of ten men, and satisfying one of the two following conditions: —

1. That it is exclusively employed in fishing within territorial waters.

2. That it is occupied in the small coasting trade between different ports of the same territorial Power, and never goes further than 5 miles from the coast.

These different boats shall receive, according to circumstances, from the territorial or Consular authority a special licence, renewable every year, and revocable under the conditions provided for in Article XL, and the uniform model of which, annexed to the present General Act, shall be communicated to the International Information Office.

Article XL.

All acts or attempted acts of Slave Trade legally brought home to the captain, fitter-out, or owner of a vessel authorized to fly the flag of one of the Signatory Powers, or holding the licence provided for in Article XXXIX, shall entail the immediate withdrawal of the said authorization or licence. All offences against the pro- visions of section 2 of Chapter III Ahall in addition be punished by the penalties enacted by special Laws and Ordinances of each of the Contracting Powers.

Article XLI.

The Signatory Powers undertake to deposit at the International Information Office specimen forms of the following documents: —

1. Licence to fly the flag;

2. Crew list;

3. Manifest of negro passengers;

These documents, the tenour of which may vary according. to the different Regulations of each country, shall compulsorily contain the following particulars, drawn up in a European language: —

1. As regards the authorization to fly the flag:
(a.) The name, tonnage, rig, and principal dimensions of the vessel;
(b.) The register number and the signal letter of the port of registry;
(c.) The date of obtaining the licence, and the office held by the person who has issued it.

2. As regards the crew list:
(a.) The name of the vessel, of the captain, and of the fitter-out or owner;
(b.) The tonnage of the vessel;
(c.) The register number and the port of registry of the vessel, its destination, and the particulars specified in Article XXV.

3. As regards the manifest of negro passengers:
The name of the vessel which conveys them, and the particulars indicated in Article XXXVI for the proper identification of the passengers.
The Signatory Powers shall take the necessary measures in order that the territorial authorities or their Consuls may send to the said Office certified copies of all authorizations to fly their flag, as soon as such authorizations shall have been granted, as well as notice of the withdrawal of any such authorization. The provisions of the present Article only concern the papers intended for native vessels.

2. Detention of Suspected Vessels.

Article XLII.

When the officers in command of vessels of war of any of the Signatory Powers have reason to believe that a vessel of less than 500 tons burthen, found in the above-mentioned zone, is engaged in the Slave Trade' or is guilty of the fraudulent use of a flag, they may proceed to the verification of the ship's papers.

The present Article does not imply any change in the present state of things I\B regards jurisdiction in territorial waters.

Article XLIII.

With this object, a boat, commanded by a naval officer in uniform, may be sent on board the suspected vessel after it has been hailed to give notice of such intention.

The officer sent on board the vessel detained shall act with nU possible consideration and moderation.

Article XLIV.

The verification of the ship's papers shall consist in 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 remaining in force.

The verification of the ship's papers only authorizes the muster of the crew and passengers in the cases and under the conditions provided for in the following Article.

Article XLV.

Investigation of the cargo or search can only take place with respect to a vessel navigating under the flag of one of the Powers which have concluded, or may conclude, special Conventions as mentioned in Article XXII, and in accordance with the provisions of such Conventions.

Article XLVI.

Before quitting the detained vessel, the officer shall draw up a Minute according to the forms and in the language of the country to which he belongs.

This Minute shall be dated and signed by the officer, and shall relate the facts.

The captain of the detained vessel, as well as the witnesses, shall have the right to cause to be added to the Minute any explanations they may think expedient.

Article XLVII.

The Commander of a man-of-war who may have detained a vessel under a foreign flag, shall in all cases make a Report thereon to his own Government, and state the grounds upon which he acted.

Article XLVIII.

A summary of this Report, as well as a copy of the Minute drawn up by the officer sent on board the detained vessel, shall be sent as soon as possible to the International Information Office, which shall communicate the same to the nearest Consular or territorial authority of the Power whose flag was used by the vessel in question. Duplicates of these documents shall be kept in the archives of the Office.

Article XLIX.

If, in carrying out the supervision provided for in the preceding Articles, the officer ill command of the cruizer is convinced that an act of Slave Trade has been committed on board during the passage, or that irrefutable proofs exist against the captain or fitter-out, to justify a charge of fraudulent use of the flag, of fraud, or of participation in the Slave Trade, he shall take the detained vessel to the nearest port of the zone where there is a competent authority of the Power whose flag has been used,

Each Signatory Power undertakes to appoint in the zone territorial or Consular authorities, or special Delegates competent to act in the above-mentioned cases; and to notify such appointments to the International Information Office.

The suspected vessel can also be handed over to a cruizer of its own nation, if the latter consents to take charge of it.

3. Examination and Trial of Vessels seized.

Article L.

The authority referred to in the preceding Article, to whom the detained vessel has been handed over, shall proceed to makes full investigation, according to the Laws and Rules of his country, in the presence of an officer belonging to the foreign cruizer.

Article LI.

If it is proved by the inquiry that the flag has been fraudulently used, the detained vessel shall remain at the disposal of its captor.

Article LII.

If the examination shows an act of Slave Trade, made clear by the presence on board of slaves destined for sale, or by any other Slave Trade offence provided for by special Convention, the vessel and cargo shall remain sequestrated in charge of the authority who has directed the inquiry.

The captain and crew shall be handed over to the Tribunals fixed by Articles LIV and. LVI. The slaves shall be set at liberty as soon as Judgment has been delivered.

In the cases provided for by this Article, liberated slaves shall he disposed of in accordance with the special Conventions concluded, or which may be concluded, between the Signatory Powers, In default of such Conventions, the said slaves may be handed over to the local authority, to be sent back, if possible, to their country of origin; if not, such authority shall help them so far as possible to obtain means of subsistence, and, if they desire it, to settle on the spot.

Article LIII.

If it should be proved by the inquiry that the vessel has been illegally detained, a right will accrue to an indemnity in proportion to the damages suffered by the vessel being taken out of its course. The amount of this indemnity shall be fixed by the authority which has directed the inquiry.

Article LIV.

In case the officer of the capturing vessel should not accept the conclusions of the inquiry carried on in his presence, the matter shall, as a matter of course, be handed over to the Tribunal of the nation under whose flag the captured vessel sailed No exception shall be made to this rule, unless the disagreement arises ill respect of the amount of the indemnity provided for in Article LIII, when it shall be fixed by arbitration, as specified in the following Article.

Article LV.

The capturing officer, and the authority which baa directed the inquiry, shall each appoint an Arbitrator within forty-eight hours; and the two Arbitrators shall have twenty-four hours to choose an Umpire. The Arbitrators shall, as far as possible, be chosen from among the Diplomatic, Consular, or Judicial officers of the Signatory Powers. Natives in the pay of the Contracting Governments are formally excluded. The decision shall be taken by majority of votes, and shall be considered final. If the Court of Arbitration is not constituted within the time indicated, the procedure in respect of indemnity and damages shall be in accordance with the provisions of Article LVIII, paragraph 2.

Article LVI.

Cases shall be referred with the least possible delay to the Tribunal of the nation whose colours have been used by the accused. Nevertheless, Consuls or any other authority of the same nation as the accused, specially commissioned to that effect, may be authorized by their Government to deliver Judgment instead and in the place of the Tribunals.

Article LVII.

The procedure and Judgment in regard to offences against the provisions of Chapter III shall always take place in as summary a manner as is permitted by the Laws and Regulations in force in the territories subject to the authority of the Signatory Powers.

Article LVIII.

Any Judgment of the national Tribunal, or of the authorities referred to in Article LVI, declaring that the detained vessel did not carry on Slave Trade, shall be immediately executed, and the vessel shall be entirely free to continue its course.

In such case, the captain or fitter-out of a vessel detained without legitimate ground of suspicion, or which has been subjected to annoyance, shall have the right of claiming damages, the amount of which shall be fixed by agreement between the Governments directly interested, or by arbitration, and shall be paid within n period of six months from the date of the JUdgment acquitting the captured vessel.

Article LIX.

In case of condemnation, the sequestered vessel shall be declared a lawful prize for the benefit of the captor. The captain, crew, and all other persons found guilty shall be punished according to the gravity of the crimes or offences committed by them, and ill accordance with Article V.

Article LX.

The provisions of Articles L to LIX do not affect in any way the jurisdiction or procedure of existing special Tribunals, or of those which may hereafter he formed, to take cognizance of Slave Trade offences. prohibit the importation, transit, and exit, as well as traffic slaves. They shall organize the most active and the strictest supervision at all places where the arrival, transit, or exit of African slaves takes place.

Article LXIII.

Slaves liberated under the provisions of the preceding Article in The High Contracting Parties undertake to make known to each other reciprocally the instructions which they may give to the Commanders of their men-or-war navigating the seas of the zone referred to for carrying out the provisions of Chapter III.

 

Chapter IV.

Countries to which Slaves are sent, the Institutions of which recognize the Existence of Domestic Slavery.

Article LXII.

The Contracting Powers whose institutions recognize the existence of domestic slavery, and whose possessions, whether in or out of Africa, consequently serve, in spite of the vigilance of the authorities, as places of destination for African slaves, engage to prohibit the importation, transit, and exit, as well as traffic in slaves. They shall organize the most active and the strictest supervision at all places where the arrival, transit, or exit of African slaves takes place.

Article LXIII.

Slaves liberated under the provisions of the preceding Article shall, if circumstances permit, be, sent back to the country from whence they came. In all cases they shall receive letters of freedom from the competent authorities, and shall be entitled to their protection and assistance for the purpose of obtaining means of subsistence.

Article LXIV.

Every fugitive slave arriving at the frontier of any of the Powers mentioned in Article LXII shall be considered free, and shall have the right to claim letters of freedom from the competent authorities.

Article LXV.

Any sale or transaction to which the slaves referred to in Articles LXIII and LXIV may have been subjected through circumstances of any kind whatsoever shall be considered as null and void.

Article LXVI.

Native vessels flying the flag of one of the countries mentioned in Article LXII, if there is any indication that they are employed III Slave Trade operations, shall be subjected by the local authorities in the ports they frequent to a strict verification of their crew and passengers, both on arrival and departure. Should African slaves he on board, judicial proceedings shall be taken against the vessel, and against all persons who may be implicated. Slaves found on board shall receive letters of freedom through the authorities who effected the seizure of the vessels.

Article LXVII.

Penal provisions in harmony with those provided for by Article V shall be issued against persons importing, transporting, and trading in African slaves against the mutilators of children or of male adults, and those who traffic in them, as well as against their associates and accomplices.

Article LXVIII.

The Signatory Powers recognize the great importance of the Law respecting the prohibition of the negro Slave Trade sanctioned by His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans on the 4th (16th) December, 1889 (22 Rebi-ul-Akhir, 1307), and they arc assured that an active supervision will be organized by the Ottoman authorities, especially on the west coast of Arabia, and on the routes which place this coast in communication with the other possessions of His Imperial Majesty in Asia.

Article LXIX.

His Majesty the Shah of Persia consents to organize an active supervision in the territorial waters, and on those portions of the coast of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman which are under his sovereignty; and over the inland routes which serve for the transport of slaves. The Magistrates and other authorities shall receive the necessary powers for this purpose.

Article LXX.

His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar consents to give his most effective support for the repression of crimes and offences committed by traders in African slaves, on land as well 8S at sea. The Tribunals created for this purpose in the Sultanate of Zanzibar shall strictly apply the penal provisions mentioned in Article V. In order the better to insure the freedom of liberated slaves, both in virtue of the provisions of the present General Act and of the Decrees issued in this matter by His Highness and his predecessors, a Liberation Offico shall be established at Zanzibar.

Article LXXI.

Diplomatic and Consular Agents and naval officers of the Contracting Powers shall, within the limits of existing Conventions, give their assistance to the local authorities in order to assist in repressing the Slave Trade where it still exists. They shall be entitled to be present at trials for slave-trading brought about at their instance, without, however, being entitled to take part in the deliberations.

Article LXXII.

Liberation Offices, or institutions in lieu thereof, shall be organized by the Administrations of the countries to which African slaves are sent, for the purposes specified in Article XVIII.

Article LXXIII.

The Signatory Powers having undertaken to communicate to each other all information useful for the repression of the Slave Tra.de, the Governments whom the present Chapter concerns shall periodically exchange with the other Governments statistical data relating to slaves detained and liberated, as well as the legislative and administrative measures taken for suppressing the Slave Trade.

 

Chapter V.

Institutions intended to insure the execution of the General Act.

§ I. The International Maritime Office.

Article LXXIV.

In accordance with the provisions of Article XXVII, an International Office is instituted at Zanzibar, in which each of the Signatory Powers may be represented by a Delegate.

Article LXXV.

The Office shall be constituted as soon as three Powers have appointed their Representatives.

It shall draw up Regulations fixing the mode of exercising its functions. These regulations shall immediately be submitted for the approval of those Signatory Powers who shall have notified their intention of being represented in the Office, and who shall come to a decision with regard to them with the least possible delay.

Article LXXVI.

The expenses of this institution shall be divided in equal parts among the Signatory Powers mentioned in the preceding Article.

Article LXXVII

The object of the Office at Zanzibar shall be to centralize all documents and information of a nature to facilitate the repression of the Slave Trade in the maritime zone. For this purpose the Signatory Powers undertake to forward to it within the shortest possible time —

1. The documents specified in Article XLI.

2. Summaries of the Reports and copies of the Minutes referred to in Article XLVIII.

3. The list of territorial or Consular authorities and Special Delegates competent to take action as regards detained vessels, according to the terms of Article XLIX.

4. Copies of Judgments and Decrees of Condemnation delivered in accordance with Article LVIII.

5. All information likely to lead to the discovery of persons engaged in the Slave Trade in the above-mentioned zone.

Article LXXVIII.

The archives of the Office shall always be open to naval officers of the Signatory Powers authorized to act within the limits of the zone defined in Article XXI, as well as to the territorial or judicial authorities, and to Consuls specially appointed by their Governments. The Office shall supply to foreign officers and agents authorized to consult its archives, translations in a European language of documents written in an Oriental language. It shall make the communications provided for in Article XLVIII.

Article LXXIX.

Auxiliary Offices in communication with the Office at Zanzibar may be established in certain parts of the zone, on agreement beforehand between the interested Powers.

They shall be composed of Delegates of such Powers, and established in conformity with Articles LXXV, LXXVI, and LXXVIII.

The documents and information specified in Article LXXVII, so far as they relate to the part of the zone specially concerned, shall be sent to them direct by the territorial and Consular authorities of the region in question, without prejudice to the communication to the Zanzibar Office provided for by the same Article.

Article LXXX.

The Office at Zanzibar shall draw up, within the two first months of every year, a Report upon its own operations, and those of the auxiliary Offices, during the past year.

§ II. Exchange between the respective Governments of Documents and Information, relating to the Slave Trade.

Article LXXXI.

The Powers shall communicate to each other to the fullest extent, and with the least delay which they shall consider possible—

1. The text of the Laws and Administrative Regulations, whether already existing or enacted in application of the clauses of the present General Act.

2. Statistical information concerning the Slave Trade, slaves detained and libel'8.ted, and the traffic in arms, ammunition, and spirituous liquors.

Article LXXXII.

The exchange of these documents and information shall be centralized in a special office attached to the Foreign Office in Brussels.

Article LXXXIII.

The Office at Zanzibar shall forward to it every year the Report mentioned in Article LXXX upon its operations during the past year, and upon those of the auxiliary Offices which may have been established in accordance with Article LXXIX.

Article LXXXIV.

The documents and information shall be collected and published periodically, and addressed to all the Signatory Powers. This publication shall be accompanied every year by an analytical Table of the legislative, administrative, and statistical documents mentioned in Articles LXXXI and LXXXIII.

Article LXXXV.

The office expenses and the expenditure incurred fur correspondence, translation, and printing shall be shared by all the Signatory Powers, and shall be recovered through the Foreign Office at Brussels.

§ III. Protection of Liberated Slaves.

Article LXXXVI.

The Signatory Powers having recognized the duty or protecting liberated slaves in their respective possessions, undertake to establish, if they should not already exist, in the ports of the zone determined by Article XXI, and in such parts of their said possessions as may be places for the capture, passage, and arrival of African slaves, as many offices or institutions as they may deem sufficient, the business of which will specially consist in freeing and protecting the slaves in accordance with the provisions of Articles VI, XVIII, LII, LXIII, and LXVI.

Article LXXXVII.

Such Offices, or the authorities charged with this service, shall deliver letters of freedom and keep a register thereof.

On receiving notice of an act of Slave Trade or of illegal detention, or at the instance of the slaves themselves, the said Offices or authorities shall exercise all necessary diligence to insure the liberation of the slaves and the punishment of the offenders.

The delivery of letters of freedom should in no case be delayed if the slave be accused of a crime or offence against common law. Rut after the delivery of the said letters, the ordinary legal procedure shall take its course.

Article LXXXVIII.

The Signatory Powers shall encourage the foundation in their possessions of establishments of refuge for women and of education for liberated children.

Article LXXXIX.

Freed slaves shall always be able to resort to the Offices to he protected in the enjoyment of their liberty. Whoever shall have used fraud or violence to deprive a liberated slave of his letters of freedom or of his liberty shall be considered as a slave- dealer.

 

Chapter VI.

Restrictive Measures concerning the Traffic in Spirituous Liquors.

Article XC.

Justly anxious respecting the moral and material consequences which the abuse of spirituous liquors entails on the native populations, the Signatory Powers have agreed to apply the provisions of Articles XCI, XCIJ, and XCIII within a zone extending from the 20th degree north latitude to the 22nd degree south latitude, and hounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and on the east by the Indian Ocean and its dependencies, comprising the islands adjacent to the shore up to 100 marine miles from the coast.

Article XCI.

In the regions of this zone where it shall be ascertained that, either on account of, religious belief or from other motives, the use of distilled liquors does not exist or has not been developed, the Powers shall prohibit their importation. The manufacture therein of distilled liquors shall equally be prohibited.

Each Power shall determine the limits of the zone of prohibition of alcoholic liquors in its possessions or Protectorates, and shall he bound to notify the limits thereof to the other Powers within the space of six months.

The above prohibition can only be suspended in the case of limited quantities destined for the consumption of the non-native population, and imported under the system and conditions determined by each Government.

Article XCII.

The Powers having possessions or exercising Protectorates in the regions of the zone which are not placed under the system of prohibition, and into which spirituous liquors are at present either freely imported or pay an import duty of less than 15 fr. per hectolitre up to 50 degrees centigrade, undertake to levy on these spirituous liquors an import duty of 15 fro per hectolitre up to 50 degrees centigrade for the three years next after the present General Act comes into force. At the expiration of this period the duty may be increased to 25 fr. for a fresh period of three years. At the end of the sixth year it shall be submitted to revision, taking as a basis the average results produced by these Tariffs, for the purpose of then fixing, if possible, a minimum duty throughout the whole extent of the zone where the system of prohibition referred to in Article XCI should not be in force.

The Powers retain the right of maintaining and increasing the duties beyond the minimum fixed by the present Article in those regions where they already possess that right.

Article XCIII.

Distilled liquors manufactured in the regions referred to in Article XCII, and intended for inland consumption, shall be subject to an excise duty.

This excise duty, the collection of which the Powers undertake to insure as far as possible, shall not he lower than 'the minimum import duty fixed by Article XCII.

Article XCIV.

The Signatory Powers which have possessions in Africa contiguous to the zone specified in Article XC, undertake to adopt the necessary measures for preventing the introduction of spirituous liquors into the territories of the said zone across their inland frontiers.

Article XCV.

The Powers shall communicate to each other, through the Office at Brussels, and according to the terms of Chapter V, information relating to the traffic in spirit110us liquors within their respective territories.

 

Chapter VII.

Final Provisions.

Article XCVI.

The present General Act repeals all contrary stipulations of Conventions previously concluded between the Signatory Powers.

Article XCVII.

The Signatory Powers, without prejudice to the stipulations contained in Articles XIV, XXIII, and XCII, reserve the right of introducing into the present General Act later on, and by common agreement, such modifications or improvements as experience may prove to be useful.

Article XCVIII.

Powers who have not signed the present General Act shall be allowed to adhere to it.

The Signatory Powers reserve the right to impose the conditions which they may deem necessary on such adhesion.

If no conditions should be stipulated, adhesion implies full acceptance of all the obligations and full admission to all the advantages stipulated by the present General Act.

The Powers shall concert among themselves as to the steps to be taken to procure the adhesion of States whose co-operation may be necessary or useful in order to insure the complete execution of the General Act.

Adhesion shall be effected by a separate Act. It shall be notified through the Diplomatic channel to the Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, and by that Government to all the Signatory and adherent States.

Article XCIX.

The present General Act shall be ratified within a period which shall be as short as possible, and which shall not in any case exceed one year.

Each Power shall address its ratification to the Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, which shall give notice thereof to all the other Signatory Powers of the present General Act.

The ratifications of all the Powers shall remain deposited in the archives of the Kingdom of Belgium.

As soon as all the ratifications have been produced, or at latest one year after the signature of the present General Act, their deposit shall be recorded in a Protocol which shall be signed by the Representatives of all the Powers which have ratified.

A certified copy of this Protocol shall be forwarded to all the Powers interested.

Article C.

The present General Act shall come into force in all the possessions of the Contracting Powers on the sixtieth day after the date of the Protocol of Deposit provided for in the preceding Article.

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present General Act, and have thereto affixed their seals.

Done at Brussels, the 2nd day of the month of July, 1890.

(L.S.) Vivian.
(L.S.) John Kirk.
(L.S.) Alvensleben.
(L.S.) Gohring.
(L.S.) R. Khevenhuller.
(L.S.) Lambermont.
(L.S.) E. Banning.
(L.S.) Schack de Brockdorff.
(L.S.) J.-G. de Aguera.
(L.S.) Edm. van Eetvelde.
(L.S.) A. van Maldeghem.
(L.S.) Edwin H. Terrell.
(L.S.) H. S. Sanford.
(L.S.) A. Bouree.
(L.S.) G. Cogordan.
(L.S.) F. de Renzis.
(L.S.) T. Catalani.
(L.S.) L. Gericke.
(L.S.) Nazare Aga.
(L.S.) Henrique de Macedo Pereira Coutinho.
(L.S.) L. Ouroussoff.
(L.S.) Martens.
(L.S.) Burenstam.
(L.S.) Et. Caratheodory.
(L.S.) John Kirk.
(L.S.) Gohring.