Minister King to the Secretary of State.

No. 226.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a copy of the treaty signed March 24, 1905, between Siam and Denmark. The explanatory statement prefixed comes from Mr. Strobel, and as such can be relied upon as the views of the Siamese Government.

I would call attention especialty to Article VI on jurisdiction. This treaty acknowledges the Bangkok Siamese court of appeals, as does the French treaty. An endeavor was made to secure a Danish legal adviser to sit in this court when Danish interests were involved, but did not succeed. As indicating the tendency of the treaty powers toward Siam just now this treaty is of interest, following, as it does, so soon after the ratification of the Franco-Siamese treaty of December 9, 1904, * * *

The general adviser for the Siamese Government informs me that the attitude of Denmark throughout these negotiations has been most cordial. And I can discover in the several concessions made on the part of Denmark evidence of nothing but a desire to assist the Siamese Government and to take as advanced a position in this direction as any of the treaty-making powers. * * *

In this connection it is to be observed that the signatory for Denmark, Mr. A. E. Olarovsky, is the Russian minister resident at this court.

I have, etc.,

Hamilton King.

New treaty between Siam and Denmark.—System of jurisdictions.

With the exception of the treaties with England and France, no plan of jurisdiction is provided by the present treaties. Most of those treaties contain merely an article to the effect that where a question is at issue between a Siamese and a foreigner the consul of the foreigner and a Siamese functionary should come together and try to settle the matter amicably. Such a provision is of course entirely impracticable under present conditions and is virtually a dead letter. It therefore becomes necessary to establish a definite system of jurisdiction with all the treaty powers, and the treaty with Denmark which was signed yesterday is the first of a series which will be negotiated by the Siamese Government for this purpose.

Article I of the treaty restricts the right of protection to those persons to whom the Danish law gives Danish nationality.

Articles II to V, providing for a joint inquiry, follow closely the English treaty of 1899. The last paragraph of Article III, however, providing for the submission of this question to a third person where there is a difference between the consular officer and the Siamese representative, is new.

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Articles V to—, regarding jurisdiction, follow closely the recent French treaty. Where the defendant is a Dane, the case is brought before the Danish consul; where a Siamese, before the Siamese court of foreign causes. In the North the number of provinces in which the international court is to have jurisdiction includes the provinces mentioned both in the English treaty and the late French treaty, with the addition of Pray, which is not included in either the English or the French treaty. The articles in the Danish treaty are also fuller and clearer and provide that the international court shall have jurisdiction not only over questions between Danes and Siamese, but also in cases where a Dane is a defendant and the plaintiff a foreigner.

It will also be noticed that in the Danish treaty, as in the French treaty, appeals from the North are to the Siamese court of appeals of Bangkok.

text of treaty.

The following is the full text of the new treaty:

His Majesty Somdetch Phra Paramindr Maha Chulalongkorn, King of Siam and all its dependencies, Laos Chiang, Laos Kao, Malays, Kareans, etc., and His Majesty Christian the Ninth, King of Denmark, of the Vandals and Goths, Duke of Schleswig Holstein, Stormarn, the Ditmarshes, Lauenburg, and Oldenburg;

Desiring to facilitate and extend the relations of friendship and good understanding between their respective countries, have resolved to conclude a convention concerning the registration of and jurisdiction over Danish subjects in Siam, and have to that end appointed the following plenipotentiaries:

His Majesty the King of Siam, His Royal Highness Prince Devawongse Varoprakar, minister for foreign affairs;

And His Majesty the King of Denmark, A. E. Olarovsky, esquire, minister resident of his Majesty the Emperor of Russia, charged with Danish interests in Siam, commander of the Royal Danish Order of Danebrog;

Who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers and found them to be in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles:

I. The registration of Danish subjects residing in Siam shall comprise all persons residing in Siam upon whom the Danish laws confer Danish nationality, and no other person shall be entitled to any protection from the Danish Government.

II. The lists of registration shall be open to the inspection of the Siamese Government on proper notice being given.

III. If any question arises as to the right of any person to be registered at the Danish consulate or as to the validity of a certificate of registration issued by that consulate, a joint inquiry shall be held by the consul for Denmark and a duly authorized representative of the Siamese Government, who will settle the question, giving due regard to the evidence to be produced in behalf of the validity of the certificate or of the right of the person to be registered.

If the representative of the Siamese Government and the consul for Denmark can not agree, they shall be entitled to submit the evidence in the case to a third person to be agreed upon by them both, whose decision shall be final.

IV. Should any action, civil or criminal, be pending while such inquiry is going on which by its nature can not be deferred until the result of the inquiry is known, the question of the court in which such action shall be heard shall be determined conjointly by the Danish consul and the representative of the Siamese Government.

If the person in respect of whom the inquiry is held come within the conditions for registration laid down in Article I of this agreement he may, if not yet registered, forthwith be registered as a Danish subject and provided with a certificate of registration at the Danish consulate; otherwise he will be recognized as falling under Siamese jurisdiction, and if already on the lists of the Danish consulate his name shall be erased therefrom.

VI. With regard to the jurisdiction to which in the future without any exception all Danish subjects in Siam will be subjected the two governments agree:

A. (1) In criminal matters if the offender be a Danish subject, he shall be tried and punished by the Danish consular officer.

(2) In civil matters all actions brought by a Siamese against a Danish subject shall be heard before the Danish consular court. If the defendant is a Siamese, the action shall be heard by the Siamese court for foreign causes.

B. (1) But all civil or criminal cases arising in the provinces of Chiengmai, Lakhon, Lampoon, Pray, and Nan brought or instituted either by the Siamese Government or by Siamese or foreign subjects, in which a Danish subject may be a defendant, and likewise all civil and criminal cases in which a Danish subject may be the plaintiff or complainant, the defendant being a person under Siamese jurisdiction, shall be heard before the Siamese international court.

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(2) In any of the cases mentioned in the last preceding paragraph the Danish consul shall have the right to be present at the trial or to be represented there by a duly authorized delegate and to make any observation which he may deem proper in the interest of justice.

(3) In cases where the defendant is a Danish subject, the Danish consul may, at any stage of the proceedings, if he thinks proper, by means of a written requisition evoke the case before him. Such case shall then be transferred to the Danish consular court, which shall from that time alone be competent to try the case, and to which the Siamese authorities shall be bound to give their assistance.

(4) In all criminal cases where the law allows bail, the accused shall be admitted to bail instead of being imprisoned.

VII. Appeals from the judgments rendered by the court for foreign causes, as well as by the international court established in the provinces of Chiengmai, Lakhon, Lampoon, Pray, and Nan, shall be brought before the court of appeal of Bangkok.

VIII. All enactments in former treaties, agreements, or conventions between Denmark and Siam that are not modified by the present convention remain in full force.

IX. The present convention shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged within six months from date of its signature.

In witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present convention and have affixed their seals.

  • Devawongse Varoprakar.
  • A. E. Olarovsky.