No. 142.
Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard.

No. 155.]

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 enjoy.

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. 155.—Translation.]

Treaty with Madagascar concluded December 17, 1885, between the Government of the French Republic and the Government of Her Majesty the Queen of Madagascar.

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 Queen.
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 judge.
Frenchmen will live under French laws as regards the punishment of crimes and offenses committed in Madagascar.
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 resident.
The Queen expressly confirms the guarantees stipulated by the treaty of August 7, 1885, in favor of liberty of conscience and religious toleration.
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 French Government.
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 authorities.
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 indemnity.
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 treaty.
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 months.

The rear-admiral commanding in chief the naval division of the Indian Ocean,

The minister plenipotentiary of the French Republic,

The minister plenipotentiary of Her Majesty the Queen of Madagascar, general officer commanding the Malagasy forces,