Mr. Tree to
Brussels , April 19, 1887. (Received April 30.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the treaty between Henry M. Stanley, representing the Congo State, and Tippoo-Tib, the powerful Arabian dealer in slaves and ivory, of the Upper Congo, rumors of which have been in circulation for some time past, has been published here.
It is as follows:
Henry Morton Stanley, acting on behalf of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, Sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo, nominates Hamed-bin-Mohamed-Tippoo-Tib-Ouali, of the district of the Stanley Palls, with a salary of £30 a month, on the following conditions.
- Tippoo-Tib binds himself to hoist the flag of the Congo State on the station near the Stanley Falls, and to make respected the authority of the State on the River Congo and all its tributaries, as well at his station as down the river as far as to the River Arnwimi. He undertakes to prevent the Arabs, and the tribes there established, from carrying on the slave trade.
- Tippoo-Tib will receive a resident representing the Independent State of the Congo, and will make use of him as a medium for all communications which he may have to make to the general administration.
- Tippoo-Tib will have full liberty to pursue legitimate trade in all directions and towards all places that may suit him.
- Tippoo-Tib will have to appoint an ad interim substitute, to whom his powers will be delegated in his absence and who is to succeed him if he dies; His Majesty the King of the Belgians reserving to himself the right to disapprove the choice of Tippoo-Tib if he see serious objection to it.
- The present arrangement will be valid only so long as Tippoo-Tib or his ad interim substitute shall fulfill the conditions here enumerated.
Zanzibar, February 24, 1887.
This treaty is considered of great importance to the State of the Congo, as it is supposed that it will have the effect of restoring its lost authority over Stanley Falls and of all that region. It is said that the influence of Tippoo-Tib is paramount over the country, and that he has at least 1,600 fighting men furnished with fire-arms always tinder his orders and at his disposal.* * *
Some of the newspapers here are criticising the King rather severely for having entered into a treaty with a slave-trader, which does not in express terms exclude him from trafficing in slaves.
Article 1 does, in fact, engage him to prevent “the Arabs and the tribes there established from carrying on the slave-trade,” and article 3 gives him liberty “to pursue legitimate trade in all directions and towards all places that may suit him.” The term “legitimate trade” in this last-named article is thought to be rather ambiguous, and to cover an intention on the part of the Congo State Government to be blind to what Tippoo-Tib may do in this direction, provided he maintains its authority at Stanley Falls.
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Mr. Van Eetvelde, the administrator-general of foreign affairs of the Congo State, informs me that the intent of the treaty really is to prevent Tippoo-Tib from carrying on the slave-trade within its jurisdiction. He says they also hope through this powerful Arab to turn to the profit of the State a part of the commerce which is now carried on with the eastern coast.
In connection with Congo affairs I have also to inform you that the Belgian Parliament has passed the bill which I have referred to in previous dispatches, authorizing the Congo State to issue in Belgium bonds to the extent of 150,000,000 of francs, and that the French Government has authorized 80,000,000 francs of the amount to be negotiated in France. The loan is entirely a lottery affair.
The bonds will run for ninety-nine years without interest, but there will be drawings at certain periods at which it is possible to gain prizes running from 200,000 down to 250 francs. A portion of the money raised by this loan will be put into the railroad which is projected around Stanley Falls.
I think I observe a rather greater interest here in the Congo country than has ever been manifested before this I have heard of a number of young men who are preparing to go out, some of whom are the sons of men of rank.
I have, etc.,