Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 5, 1899
Mr. Allen to Mr. Hay.
Seoul, Korea, April 3, 1899.
Sir: I have the honor to hand you inclosed a copy of a concession granted to a Russian subject by the Korean Government after several months’ negotiations, and covering a right to take whales off the coast of Korea and use three ports for their purposes.
This concession was signed on the 29th ultimo.
I have, etc.,
This writing witness that the Government of Dai Han does hereby make to Count Henry Keyserling the concessions herein mentioned and that said Government and said Count Keyserling hereby make the following stipulations and agreements respecting the same:
There shall be set apart without delay for the use and occupation of Count Keyserling, as herein agreed upon, three places, viz:
- In the province of Kiongsang, along the coast near Cape Tikhmeneff (Oolsan Bay).
- In the province of Kang Wan, at the place of Chang Shing-Takoo.
- In the province of Ham Kiung, on the island of Ching-po.
Each of said places shall not exceed in extent 700 feet in length and 350 feet in width, and they shall be located on convenient spots near the seashore.
The location and limits of the above-mentioned three places shall without delay be made by the Government of Dai Han through a duly appointed representative and Count Keyserling acting jointly, and the limits of the same shall be clearly marked on the spots by stone or wooden posts, and a map and description of each place in Russian and Chinese shall be made in duplicate and signed by said representative and Count Keyserling. One duplicate to be delivered to and kept by the foreign office of the Dai Han Government and the other to be delivered to and kept by Count Keyserling, and the same shall, when so delivered, be considered and taken as part of his agreement.
If the places mentioned in article I belong wholly or in part to the Dai Han Government, then Count Keyserling may take possession of such part as belongs to the Government as soon as the maps and description have been signed and delivered as provided in article 2; but if any part of the same belongs to a Dai Han subject, such part shall not be taken or occupied until such subject is paid the full value of his property and rights of every kind, such payment to be made by Count [Page 485] Keyserling, If Connt Keyserling is unable to agree with such owners as to the value and price to be paid, such price and value shall be determined by the joint action of a representative of the Dai Han foreign office and Count Keyserling, and in no case shall property belonging to a Dai Han subject be taken or occupied until special permission so to do shall be issued under the seal of the Dai Han foreign office.
When Count Keyserling shall obtain possession of said three places as mentioned and described above he shall have the right to use and occupy the same during the term of this agreement for the purpose of working up whales and their products, and for that purpose may erect and maintain thereon all necessary buildings, godowns, ware and store houses, and other houses and structures necessary for carrying on said business with the right to fix and operate necessary machinery and other appliances for such purpose.
Count Keyserling will employ for the work under this agreement preferably Dai Han subjects; but in case of strikes or insufficiency of special knowledge or unsuccessful workmanship he can replace them by workmen of other nationalities, provided that, with the exception of Chinese, no foreigner shall be employed unless his government is in treaty relations with the Dai Han Government, and passports must be procured from the Dai Han Government for all such workmen, as well as for all foreign employees of Count Keyserling. If any of such foreign employees or workmen break the laws of Dai Han or the customs regulations or cause trouble with the natives or engage in smuggling either by export or import or break any of the regulations of this agreement, the Dai Han Government may cancel and withdraw such passport and will give notice thereof to the representative of the government to which the offender belongs, and such offender shall no longer have the right to reside outside the treaty ports; and Count Keyserling shall thereupon discharge from his employment the offender and use his best efforts to have such offender leave the country or go to an open port.
Count Keyserling further undertakes that he and his representatives will in good faith endeavor to preserve order among his foreign employees and workmen and to prevent them from breaking the laws of Dai Han or the customs regulations or causing trouble and to bring them to justice and punishment in case they do so.
No part of the three places assigned to Count Keyserling by this agreement shall be used or occupied for any purpose except for those mentioned in this agreement; and all concessions herein made to Count Keyserling shall be strictly construed; and no concessions or rights are granted hereunder by the Dai Han Government unless expressly named, given, and provided for in this agreement. Neither Count Keyserling nor any foreign workmen or foreign employees of Count Keyserling shall engage in any business or occupation at said places except in the business embraced by this agreement; and in case such workman or employee does engage in any other business or occupation he shall be discharged by Count Keyserling and his passport canceled, and he shall not be permitted to remain outside of the treaty ports. Full jurisdiction shall be retained by the Dai Han Government over all its subjects employed by Count Keyserling, and no asylum shall be given by him or his foreign employees or workmen to such subjects.
The Dai Han administration will render all proper assistance to Count Keyserling in his dealings with the local population and workmen.
No work or operations shall be carried on in said places or in the ports in which they are situated which will create disease or be detrimental to public health.
As incident to the grant herein made of the places on which to work whales Count Keyserling may erect landing stages attached to and in front of each of said three places and extending into the water. Should it afterwards be found that the structure erected interferes with the navigation of the port or tends to fill up or injure the port the same shall forthwith be removed by Count Keyserling at [Page 486] his expense, and if he fails to do so after notice of two months the Dai Han Government may remove the same.
It is expressly understood that nothing in this agreement, and no rights and concessions herein given or made, shall prevent the Dai Han Government from opening any port to foreign trade, and that in case any port is opened where any place selected and assigned to Count Keyserling is situated and the Dai Han Government desires to embrace such place within a foreign settlement, then such place shall be treated as Dai Han property and may be taken for the purpose of such foreign settlement after six months’ notice to Count Keyserling, provided Count Keyserling shall be compensated for the same as follows:
- He shall be repaid whatever he has paid for such place, or part thereof, to any Dai Han subject, as provided in article 8, but if he is given a new place, as hereinafter provided, such repayment shall not be made.
- He shall also be paid the actual cash value of all his buildings and machinery on the place so taken, and the same shall belong to the Dai Han Government. In estimating such cash value, the value of any concession herein made, or damages for the stoppage of his business or any other incidental loss to Count Keyserling, shall not be taken into account.
Provided that the rental of such places, viz, at the rate of 150 yen per year, shall cease and not be paid by Count Keyserling after the place is taken for a foreign settlement; and provided further, that Count Keyserling shall be at liberty to remove all the buildings and machinery, or either of them, within a reasonable time, in which case he shall not be paid for the same; and provided further, that in case any place is taken for a foreign settlement under this article a new place, of the same size, instead shall be assigned to Count Keyserling, if he so desires, free of cost, outside the settlement. Such new place shall be selected as was the place taken, and all the provisions of this agreement shall apply to said new place that applied to the old one for which it is substituted, and Count Keyserling shall pay rent for the same as for the old place, viz, at the rate of 150 yen per year. In case Count Keyserling desires to remove his machinery from the old place to such new place, the Dai Han Government will pay him the cost of such removal.
The term of this agreement shall be twelve years, commencing from the date hereof, and at the end of such term Count Keyserling shall cease operations hereunder, and he shall, within a reasonable time, remove all machinery and appliances for working whales and surrender said places to the Dai Han Government. All buildings and structures shall become the property of the Dai Han Government without any cost, and the Dai Han Government shall take full possession of said places.
As yearly rental for said three places, Count Keyserling agrees to pay the Dai Han Government at Seoul 450 yen each year, in advance; the first of the said payments to be made to the Dai Han foreign office when the agreement is signed, and the others to the same office on the same day of each year thereafter during the continuance of this agreement. If Count Keyserling fails to make any of the said payments for a period of one year after they become due, as in this article stipulated, all rights granted him in this agreement shall be forfeited and become null and void, and the Dai Han Government may enter upon and take possession of and own, without cost, all said three places, and all the buildings, structures, machinery, and other property thereon; provided, that if Count Keyserling shall pay within six months thereafter all the amounts due or to become due as rental and interest on said premises up to the end of the twelve years’ term, he shall be at liberty to remove his buildings and machinery, and if he fails to make such payments within said six months, then all said buildings and machinery shall be forfeited to and belong to the Dai Han Government. If any payment of rental is not made when it becomes due, it shall bear interest at the rate of 1½ per cent per month till paid.
If Count Keyserling or his representatives shall break any of the agreements herein made, or any of the things prohibited herein, he shall in addition to all treaty penalties indemnify and pay the Dai Han Government for all loss and damage sustained by it, and if he permits the same to be repeated or continued after notice by [Page 487] the Dai Han Government, this agreement and ail his rights hereunder may be forfeited by the Dai Han Government, in which case he shall forthwith remove all machinery and stores and other property from the places occupied by him, but the buildings and other structures erected by him shall be forfeited to the Dai Han Government, and it may take full possession of said places, buildings, and structures and have and own the same without cost.
Count Keyserling may, with the consent and permission of the Dai Han foreign office, given in writing, transfer his rights to another reliable person or a reliable company. In case of his death before such transfer, his rights shall go over for the remainder of the term to his legitimate heirs and successors. But in case of any transfer by him to others, or by his death to his heirs and successors, such transferees and heirs and successors shall be subject to all the obligations and prohibitions, limitations and penalties of this agreement. Notice of any transfer shall be at once communicated to the Dai Han foreign office, and in case of death of Count Keyserling the names and interest of Count Keyserling’s heirs and successors shall also be communicated to the said foreign office.
In case any dispute or contention or question shall arise under the agreement, the same shall be settled by arbitration, one arbitrator to be selected by the Dai Han foreign office, the other by Count Keyserling, and if these arbitrators can not agree they shall select an umpire without delay, whose decision shall be final, and the Dai Han Government on the one side and Count Keyserling on the other agree to abide by and perform the award and decision of said arbitrators or umpire.
It being necessary for the protection of the revenue that the customs department should depute an officer to reside permanently or occasionally at each of the stations granted by this concession, Count Keyserling undertakes to furnish suitable quarters at each station for the customs officer so deputed, and until such quarters can be built and prepared, Count Keyserling will place a suitable cabin on board any of his ships lying at a station at the disposal of said customs officer and will furnish him with a boat’s crew whenever he has occasion to go afloat.
Count Keyserling undertakes, further, to pay to the customs at Yuensan a sum of $100 a month to meet in part the cost of providing the customs officer required; provided, that when Count Keyserling is not working at any station no officer will be deputed to reside at such station and no contribution for him will be paid; and provided further, that Count Keyserling must always give ten days’ previous notice to the custom-house at Yuensan of his intention to work at any station, so that the officer may be sent with or before Count Keyserling; but if the officer does not arrive at the place before the expiration of the said ten days, Count Keyserling may commence work in his absence at the expiration of said ten days.
Should Count Keyserling work whales at two or more stations at the same time, an officer must be deputed to each station and the fee of $100 per month paid for each officer.
During the term of this concession Count Keyserling may import duty free, in the vessels mentioned in article 18, below, machinery, materials—including salt and coals—and instruments necessary for carrying on the whaling business mentioned herein.
A detailed list of the quantities and values of all such articles, machinery, instruments, stores, materials, and other appliances for use in working whales landed at a station shall be kept by the customs officer on duty. This list will be checked from time to time with the articles, and if anything is found missing and unaccounted for, duty at the tariff rate as originally due will be collected on it.
Provisions and stores for the workmen, which shall be sold to the workmen at the actual cost price, plus the expenses for procuring and keeping them, will be purchased by Count Keyserling in Dai Han, except when the prices are very high, in case of famine or a bad harvest, when he may import them from abroad; provided, that no provisions or stores shall be imported except for the actual use of [Page 488] the workmen and employees, and shall not he sold to anyone else. Such provisions and stores brought into a station, if kept and consumed on board the vessels, shall not be liable to duty; but any provisions or stores landed for consumption on shore shall pay duty, and a list of all such shall be made out at the time of landing and handed to the customs officer on duty, who will check it, and, having certified it correct, will forward it to the Yuensan commissioner, to whom Count Keyserling or his agent will without delay pay the duty shown to be due.
During the term of this concession Count Keyserling may import and export either in his own vessels or on chartered ones sailing under the flag of Dai Han or of a government in treaty relations with the Dai Han, whales and products of the whale fishing, either raw or worked up, but nothing in this concession shall be construed as giving a license to take whales within Korean waters.
1. All vessels which Count Keyserling employs in his whaling business in Korean waters must at the beginning of each season be reported at the Yuensan customhouse and tonnage dues paid upon them.
If it be convenient for any of the vessels employed to proceed to Yuensan herself before payment of tonnage dues, her papers may be examined by the customs officer at the station and his report of the register tonnage accepted as correct.
Subsequent payments of tonnage dues before the close of the season may similarly be made in the vessel’s absence.
2. In lieu of all duties, import or export, on whales or their products the sum of 20 yen shall be paid by Count Keyserling as a tax on each whale, irrespective of size, brought by him into Korean waters to be worked up. On the last day of each month Count Keyserling, or his representative at the station, shall hand a statement of the number of whales brought into that station during the month to the customs officer there on duty, who, having verified the statement and certified it correct, will forward it to the commissioner of customs at Yuensan, to whom Count Keyserling or his agent will without delay pay the amount of tax due, calculated on this verified statement.
The text of this agreement is drawn up in duplicate in Russian, Chinese, and English language, duplicates to be duly executed and signed, and one to be kept in the Dai Han foreign office and the other by Count Keyserling. In case of misunderstanding the English text shall be considered the ruling one.
March 29, third year of Kwang Mu.
- Ye Eung Ik,
The Chief of the Diplomatic Bureau of Dai Han Foreign Office.
- Count Henry Keyserling.