No. 13.
Mr. Tree to Mr. Bayard .

No. 57.]

Sir: I have the honor, in acknowledging the receipt of your instruction No. 28, of the 24th ultimo, to inform you that I have, in accordance with your request, sent to you by this mail, under separate cover, as printed matter, two additional copies of the Official Bulletin No. 2 of the Independent State of the Congo. I have also placed under the same cover two copies each of the Official Bulletins 1 and 2, of 1886, which have been just issued by the Government.

  • No. 1 seems to be a republication of the decree organizing the judicial system of the State, and announcing the appointment of the judges of the court.
  • No. 2 publishes decrees regulating the mode of the publication of official acts, the further organization of the postal service, the legalization of certain documents, the protection of the port of Banana, and the establishment of an export duty on certain products of the country, which are named in a schedule attached to the decree.

I also desire to call your attention to a decree published on page 32 et seq. of this number, which determines the condition on which sea-going vessels may acquire a Congolaise nationality.

It may not be irrelevant, in this dispatch, also to say that it is announced here that the Pope has employed himself in regulating the [Page 23] ecclesiastical situation of the Independent State of the Congo. It is said that, conformably to the views of the King of Belgium, Leo XIII has accorded to the Archbishop of Malines supreme ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the Congo State, and has designated him as the chief of all the future clergy of that territory.

The new African Seminary of Louvain will prepare the ecclesiastics intended to occupy the parishes to be formed in the Congo.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 57.—Official Bulletin of the Independent State of the Congo.—Second year.—No. 2.—Extracts.—Translation.]

The Sovereign King received, in reply to the notification of his accession as Sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo, letters—

On the 14th of January, 1886, from His Majesty the King of the Hellenes.

On the 16th of February, 1886, from His Excellency the President of the Dominican Republic.

On the 25th of February, 1886, from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Hayti.

On the 1st of March, 1886, from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Venezuela.

By a royal decree of the 7th of February, 1886, it was declared that no sea-going ship, except those belonging to the State, should be permitted to navigate under the flag of the State, unless it was provided with a commission delivered according to the provisions of the said decree.

These commissions can be issued, under the decree, to ships which belong more than half: (a) To subjects; (b) to commercial associations whose legal personality the law recognizes, and which have a place of business or a branch house in the Congo; (c) to foreigners who have resided a year in the territory of the State, and who continue to reside there.

The commission expires: (a) After four years’ duration; (b) by the change of name of the ship; (c) by the employment of the ship as a corsair, pirate, or in the slave trade; (d) when the ship no longer fulfills the conditions mentioned above as to ownership; (e) in case of the capture or destruction of the ship.

By a royal decree of December 15, 1885, an export duty was laid on certain products exported to foreign countries, whether by way of the Congo or by sea.

Schedule of export duties.

Merchandise. Rate per 100 kilog. Merchandise. Rate per 100 kilog.
Francs. Francs.
Groundnuts 1.30 Palm oil 2.50
Coffee 1.00 Ivory 50.00
Caoutchone 20.00 Palm nuts 1.20
Copal 8.00 Sesame 1.70

For quantities less than 100 kilograms the duty is to be collected proportionally to the above rate.