Minister Wilson to the Secretary of State.

No. 295.]

Sir: I have the honor to confirm my telegram of February 5.

In explanation of the information contained therein I have to report the following events: It appears that the cabinet of Mr. Schollaert made known to His Majesty the King its inability to secure a parliamentary majority for the pending treaty of annexation, and advised him that the pressure of Belgian public opinion (and possibly international opinion) called imperatively for the suppression of the Domain of the Crown—the character and scope of which has been explained in former dispatches—and the unrestricted sovereignty of Belgium throughout every part of the Kongo. It was further submitted to His Majesty that, while public opinion was fixed and irrevocable to that extent, it might be possible to carry through a treaty of annexation which, while safeguarding these views, might at the same time, in recognition of the services and sacrifices of the King, afford financial compensations in the form of a special fund designed to carry on the philanthropic, scientific, and other projects which the King has, or claims to have, in hand for the benefit of Belgium and the Kongo.

The day after Mr. Schollaert handed in to the commission of 17 the following ministerial declaration:

Mr. President: The Government has decided to ask the Independent State of the Kongo to open new negotiations on the subject of the transfer of the Kongo to Belgium. It has, therefore, the honor to ask you to suspend your deliberations upon the subject of the treaty which has been submitted to you for some days, in order that it may transmit the additional convention which it expects to conclude.

It will be glad if you will consent to resume, for a while, the examination, in the second reading, of the bill for the government of the colonial possessions of Belgium.

Be good enough, Mr. President, to receive the assurance of my high consideration.

L. Schollaert.

The treaty of annexation, therefore, which has been pending before Parliament may be considered as having passed out of the realm of debate, and we may expect to enter upon the discussion of an entirely new phase of the Kongo question.

I have, etc.,

Henry Lane Wilson.