Minister Wilson to the Secretary of State.


The instructions to the British minister referred to in the department’s cablegram March 19 have been received here and copy has been furnished me. The instructions do not seem to contemplate concerted action, but express a hope that we will give support.

The instructions bear upon three important points: First, relief of natives from excessive taxation; second, the grant to natives of sufficient lands to insure sustenance and sufficient produce to enable them to buy and sell as in other European colonies; third, the right of traders of all nationalities to acquire plots of land for factories and trading posts. The accompanying argument expresses apprehensions relative to the possibility of fully executing the provisions of Berlin and Brussels acts in the concessions, the integrity of which is stipulated in the treaty of annexation. To prevent future abuses it is suggested that a staple currency be established; that natives should not be compelled by direct or indirect means to render labor without remuneration; that large increases be made in land allotments to natives. Incidentally, assurance is requested that British missionaries, settlers, and merchants will be able in future to acquire plots of land in reasonable quantities in any part of the Kongo Free State.

I am forwarding copy of the instructions by open mail.