Mr. Eustis to Mr. Olney.
Paris, January 16, 1896. (Received Jan. 27.)
Sir: I send herewith a copy of the Yellow Book on Madagascar distributed day before yesterday to the Chambers. It contains the correspondence between the French Government and its representative in the island from December 17, 1885, date of the signing of the first treaty with the Hovas, to December 11, 1895, date of the decree withdrawing the management of the Madagascar affairs from the foreign office and placing it under the minister of colonies.
This correspondence gives the diplomatic history of the efforts of the French Government to substitute for the treaty of 1885, which was disregarded by the Hovas, another one defining in an unequivocal manner the nature of the French suzerainty, particularly with regard to the relations of the Malagasy Government with the foreign nations, and shows how the new treaty was signed after the success of the French expedition.
The only new fact which this correspondence brings to light is that Mr. Hanotaux, who had drafted the treaty of 1895, and who had intrusted it to the general commanding the French expedition when he left Paris, attempted later on to modify it in a manner which would have materially increased the power of France over the island, and that [Page 118] it is only because the instructions to that effect reached General Duchesne after the original treaty was signed that they were not carried out.
I inclose herewith a translation of the treaty as signed, and I italicise the parts which General Duchesne was to suppress had he received the instructions in time. You will readily see that these suppressions would have changed altogether the character of the instrument, which would not have been then a treaty—that is to say, an agreement between the two parties, but simply an act of submission of the Hovas.
It is believed, however, that the treaty will remain as it was signed, although doubts are expressed on that point.
I have, etc.,