to Mr. Bayard.
the United States,
Paris, February 3, 1886.
(Received February 18.)
Sir: I send herewith a copy and a translation of
the treaty between France and Madagascar of the 17th of December, 1885,
which has just been made public.
France assumes by this treaty a full and unqualified protectorate over the
whole of the island of Madagascar; formerly she only claimed to protect the
Sakalavas and the Antankares, of the northwest coast. The governmental
powers are now divided between France and Madagascar. A French resident at
Antananarivo will take charge of all the foreign relations, and will try
according to French law all litigation between Frenchmen or between
Frenchmen and foreigners. He will also try, with the assistance of a native
judge, all litigation between Frenchmen and natives. Frenchmen will have the
same right to reside, travel, and trade on the island as the natives
The right to hold real estate, which was the origin of the dispute, is
conceded in fact, if not in express terms, to Frenchmen, for they cap lease
property for any length of time, and upon the death of any leaseholder, the
rest of the lease, together with any option of renewal, will [Page 300] devolve on his heirs. Property occupied by a
Frenchman cannot be entered without his consent or that of the resident.
Authority over local matters is left to the Queen, who shall continue, says
the treaty, to direct the interior administration of the island. France,
however, binds herself to assist the Queen in defending her state and to
protect her subjects abroad. She undertakes, besides, to provide such
military instructors, engineers, professors, and artisans and overseers as
may be asked for, a clause which in due course of time will, if skillfully
availed of, place the whole island under the control of France.
It is true that foreigners other than Frenchmen residing on the island are
left to be dealt with by the local authorities, but as no foreign Government
can communicate with the Malagasy court except through the French resident,
and as this court is forbidden from taking any action involving questions of
a foreign character, this restriction, if so considered, will not in the
least hinder French influence or put any check upon her authority.
The queen is to pay 10,000,000 francs, not as a war indemnity, but in
settlement of all French private claims and damages sustained by foreigners
during the war.
I have, &c,
[Inclosure in No.
Treaty with Madagascar concluded December 17,
1885, between the Government of the French Republic
and the Government of Her Majesty the Queen of
The Governments of the French Republic and of Her Majesty the Queen of
Madagascar, wishing to prevent forever the renewal of the differences
which have lately arisen, and desiring to strengthen their former
friendly relations, have agreed to conclude a convention to this effect,
and have named for plenipotentiaries to wit, Mr. Paul Emile Miot,
rear-admiral commanding in chief the naval division of the Indian Ocean,
and Mr. Salvator Patrimonio, minister plenipotentiary for the French
Republic, and General Digby Willoughby, general officer commanding the
Malagasy forces and minister plenipotentiary for the Government of Her
Majesty the Queen of Madagascar, who, after having exchanged their full
powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following
articles, subject to their ratification:
- The Government of the French Republic will represent
Madagascar in all its foreign relations. The Malagasies abroad
will be placed under the protection of France.
- A resident representing the Government of the Republic will
control the foreign relations of Madagascar, without interfering
in the internal administration of the country.
- He will reside at Antananarivo, with a military guard, and
will be entitled to be received in private personal audience by
- The Malagasy authorities under the Queen will not intervene in
questions arising between French subjects or between French and
foreign subjects. Actions at law between Frenchmen and
Malagasies will be tried by the resident, assisted by a Malagasy
- Frenchmen will live under French laws as regards the
punishment of crimes and offenses committed in
- French subjects may freely reside, travel, and carry on trade
throughout the Queen’s dominions. They will be entitled to lease
for undetermined periods or to take leases for long periods,
renewable at the sole pleasure of the contracting parties, land,
houses, shops, and all other descriptions of real property, and
may freely engage and take into their service, on any footing,
any Malagasy subject who may be unhindered by previous
engagements. Leases and contracts with work-people will be
certified in due form before the French resident and the
magistrates of the country, and the strict executions of the
provisions of such instruments will be guaranteed by the
Government. At the death of a Frenchman who may have been the
tenant of any landed or house property, his heirs will have the
benefit of the remaining term of [Page 301] the lease concluded by the deceased, with
the power of renewing the same. Frenchmen will only be called
upon for the land tax paid by the Malagasies.
- No person shall have access to the property or enter the
establishments or houses occupied by Frenchmen, or by any person
in their service, except with the sanction of the French
- The Queen expressly confirms the guarantees stipulated by the
treaty of August 7, 1885, in favor of liberty of conscience and
- The Queen’s Government undertakes to pay the sum of 10,000,000
francs, to be applied in the settlement of French claims
liquidated before the last war, and in compensation for the
damages suffered by foreign subjects by reason of that war. The
investigation and settlement of these indemnities is left to the
- Until payment in full of the above-mentioned sum French troops
will occupy Tamatave.
- No claim will be admitted in connection with the measures
taken up to the present by the French military
- The Government of the French Republic undertakes to lend
assistance to the Queen in the defense of her states.
- The Queen will continue as heretofore to preside over the
internal administration of the whole island.
- In consideration of these engagements, the French Republic
agrees to desist from any renewal of its demand for a war
- The Government of the French Republic, in order to aid the
advance of the Malagasy Government and people on the path of
civilization and progress undertakes to place at the Queen’s
disposal the military instructors, engineers, professors, and
artisan foremen whose services may be applied for.
- The Queen expressly undertakes to treat with goodwill the
Sakalavas and Antankares, agreeably to the information on this
subject furnished by the French Government. The Government of
the Republic reserves to itself the right of occupying the Bay
of Diego Suarez, and of creating there the establishments that
it may consider desirable.
- The President of the French Republic and the Queen grant a
general and complete amnesty, accompanied by the raising of all
sequestrations placed upon their property, to their respective
subjects, who prior to the conclusion of peace compromised
themselves by serving the other contracting party.
- The actually existing treaties and conventions between the
French Republic and the Queen are expressly confirmed in so far
as they may not be contrary to stipulations of the present
- The present treaty has been drawn up in French and Malagasy,
the two versions having exactly the same sense, so that the two
texts may be legally cited in every respect.
- The present treaty shall be ratified within a period of three
Made in duplicate on board the Naiïda, in
the harbor of Tamatave, December 17,
The rear-admiral commanding in chief the naval division of the
plenipotentiary of the French Republic,
The minister plenipotentiary of Her Majesty
the Queen of Madagascar, general officer commanding the Malagasy