Mr. von Alvensleben to Mr. Bayard.
Washington, March 16, 1885. (Received March 18.)
Sir: The undersigned, Imperial German envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, has the honor to communicate the following to the Hon. Thomas F. Bayard, Secretary of State of the United States:
An association of German subjects, under the name of the “German Colonization Society,” has purchased certain territories, together with sovereign rights, by means of treaties with the native chiefs. The said territories are situated in the eastern part of Africa, to the west of the dominions of the Sultan of Zanzibar. The association has requested His Majesty the Emperor to assume the sovereignty over these territories, which request has been complied with by His Majesty, who has caused the accompanying imperial letter of protection, bearing date of the 27th ultimo, to be issued to the association. The territories in question are situated within the extended zone of the conventional basin of the Congo, provided for in Chapter I, Article I, sub. 3, of the “Acte général de la Conférence de Berlin,” to which zone the signatory powers have pledged themselves to apply the provisions of that instrument.
The Government of His Majesty the Emperor, in consequence hereof, assumes the obligation to see that the provisions of the Acte général are executed within the German possessions lying in the said zone, and it claims, at the same time, the advantages for said possessions which are guaranteed in Chapter III of the Acte général in respect to the neutrality of the territories lying within the conventional basin of the Congo.
In obedience to instructions received the undersigned has the honor to bring the foregoing to the knowledge of the United States Government, and he avails himself of this occasion, &c.