Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Address of the President to Congress December 4, 1917
File No. 711.5914/55
Minister Egan to the Secretary of State
Copenhagen, March 27, 1916.
Sir: In pursuance of the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 88 of March 14, 6 p.m., I have the honor herewith to transmit to the Department certified copies of the original documents referred to in the aforesaid instruction. These documents which, as stated in the Legation’s telegraphic despatch No. 227 of March 20, 4 p.m., the Danish Foreign Office intended to send to the Danish Minister at Washington, have been delivered to me instead. They are accompanied by a letter of transmittal from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (enclosure No. 1) and are as follows:
- Enclosure No. 2. Concession of March 12, 1897, to The Floating Dock Company of St. Thomas, Ltd.
- Enclosure No. 3. Letter from Ministry of Finance of January 18, 1913, to the West India Company. Harbor.
- Enclosure No. 4. Letter from the Ministry of Finance of April 16, 1913, to the West India Company. Harbor.
- Enclosure No. 5. Letter from the Ministry of Finance of July 16, 1915, to Ejnar Svendsen together with an enclosure thereto.
- Enclosure No. 6. Letter from the Directorate of the Danish West India National Bank of February 3, 1910, to the Ministry of Finance.
- Enclosure No. 7. Law of April 30, 1909. St. Thomas Harbor loan.
- Enclosure No. 8. Letter from the Ministry of Finance of August 6, 1910, to the Directorate of the Danish West India National Bank.
- Enclosure No. 9. Letter from the Directorate of the Danish West India National Bank of August 13, 1910, to the Ministry of Finance.
- Enclosure No. 10. English text of the Danish Government’s guarantee of the Saint Thomas Harbor 4% loan of 1910.
I have [etc.]
Central Government for the Danish West India Islands
Copenhagen, March 18, 1916.
Pursuant to a request received privately to that effect, we hereby transmit a copy of the concession (Exhibit A) of March 12, 1897, for The Floating Dock Company of St. Thomas, Limited, for the use of an iron floating dock in St. Thomas Harbor for a period of 21 years, which concession, with the permission of the Ministry of Finance, is now being utilized by the St. Thomas Dock’ Engineering and Coaling Company, Ltd.; furthermore a copy of the letter of the Ministry of Finance, under date of January 18, (Exhibit B) and April 16, 1913, (Exhibit C) to the West India Company (Det vestindiske Kompagni), relating to the rights granted to it in St. Thomas Harbor, in which connection it may be remarked that copies of these documents have already been transmitted to the Foreign Ministry together with the letter of the Ministry of Finance of the 5th ultimo. The West Indies Company has no other concession from the Ministry of Finance.
As regards the concession of Diploma Engineer Ejnar Svendsen for the establishment and operation of an electric plant at Christiansted on St. Croix Island, we refer to the letter of the Ministry of Finance of July 16, 1915, (Exhibit D) of which a copy is herewith inclosed.
With respect to the guaranty of the Danish Government Bank for the loan of 1910 of the St. Thomas Harbor Council, amounting to 500,000 francs, for work connected with the deepening of the harbor, we refer to the inclosed copy of the law (Exhibit F) embodying an additional appropriation for the fiscal year from April 1, 1908, to March 31, 1909, §24, XI B, serial No. 26, to which is added a copy of a letter from the council of the Danish West India National Bank to the Ministry of Finance of February 3, 1910, (Exhibit E) a letter from the Ministry of Finance to the bank council of August 6, 1910, (Exhibit G) and the letter of the bank council of August 13, 1910, (Exhibit H) and, finally, the English text of the partial bonds issued for the harbor loan (Exhibit I).
- A. C. Schlichtkrull
- C. Dines Hansen
Concession for the Floating Dock Company of St. Thomas, Limited, for the utilization of an iron floating dock in St. Thomas Harbor for a period of 21 years
His Royal Majesty, King of Denmark, etc., governor for the Danish West India Islands, Carl Emil Hedemann, R. of D., hereby makes known inasmuch that as, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Finance, it pleased His Majesty, the King, in his decree of February 2, last, to authorize the Government for the Danish West India Islands to grant a concession for the Floating Dock Company of St. Thomas, Limited, for the exploitation of an iron floating dock in St. Thomas Harbor for a period of 21 years, the said company is hereby given and granted the concession in question on the following specific conditions:
1. The iron floating dock which already lies in St. Thomas Harbor shall as heretofore have a length of at least 250 English feet, a breadth of at least 70 English feet internal measurement, and a capacity of 3,000 English tons.[Page 610]
2. The mooring place of the floating dock shall as hitherto be located at the large careening place in St. Thomas Harbor. The dock shall be moored as near to the shore as the depth will permit, and it must not lie in the way of ships which may go to or depart from the wharves in that part of the harbor.
The dredging or deepening operations at and near the mooring place of the floating dock may be undertaken by the company at its own expense, but can not be required by it to be done by the public.
3. The company shall be entitled to fix its own rules for the use of the floating dock and to determine the fees therefor. Just as it is understood as a matter of course that nothing shall be contained in these rules which might conflict with the rules prevailing at any time regarding the order and security of the harbor, so is it likewise true that the access to the utilization of the dock, with the exceptions enumerated below, shall be alike to the ships of all nations, and the rates shall be determined alone according to the character and size of the ships, in which connection the rules and rates shall be made publicly known.
Danish warships and mail ships of all nations shall at all times have the preference to utilize the dock before all other ships.
The company shall be at liberty to grant rebates or reductions in the usual rates for the use of the dock to companies or shipowners who own several ships and therefore use the dock more frequently.
4. If the company does not show any neglect in keeping the floating dock in a perfectly utilizable condition, the Government will not, within a period of twenty-one years from the date of this concession, permit the establishment of any other iron or wooden floating dock in St. Thomas Harbor or of any slip for ships of over 200 tons except the one already existing there, for the extension or alteration whereof the privilege of this company shall not constitute any hindrance.
If any defect should appear which would hinder the use of the floating dock in whole or in part the company shall be obliged to have such defect remedied as soon as possible, and the Government shall be at liberty in all such cases to require the company, on eight days’ notice, to appoint an expert to render an opinion on the defect whereupon the Government shall appoint another expert to render a like opinion. The persons thus appointed shall have to give their opinion both regarding the character of the defects which have appeared, and regarding the length of time which, according to circumstances, will be required, and sufficient to remedy the defect. If they do not agree, they shall mutually select, if necessary by drawing lots, an umpire who shall decide the matter by siding with one of the first mentioned experts.
If the defect is not remedied before the expiration of the period fixed as above, and unless the company is able, on the basis of an opinion requested to be obtained by it under the conditions mentioned above, can prove that this fact is attributable to incalculable circumstances, the company’s privilege shall be forfeited and the Government shall be authorized after that time to permit the establishment of other floating docks or slips in St. Thomas.
5. The company obligates itself toward the Danish Government not to remove the dock from the islands within the above-mentioned period unless it is proven that the dock has failed to yield any profit during three consecutive years.
If any exportation occurs, the dock shall pay the usual ship and harbor dues.
6. The company shall be considered to be domiciled in St. Thomas and shall be obliged at all times to have a representative actually domiciled there, who shall be authorized to represent the company in dealings with the Government. In all matters relating to the floating dock and whose settlement is not reserved to the Government under Article 7 of the concession, the company shall be amenable to the local courts of the place.
7. Futhermore, in all cases in which questions may arise regarding the interpretation of the wording and correct meaning of this concession the company shall be subject to the judgment or decision of the Government.
8. The company shall be obliged to have the present concession proclaimed by the Royal West Indian Superior Court and the St. Thomas township court within six weeks after date.
Government for the Danish West Indies, St. Thomas, March 12, 1897.
Under my hand and seal of the Government,
- L. S. Hedemann.
Copenhagen, January 18, 1913.
In a letter dated the 6th instant the company among other things requested to have transferred to it the rights, granted to the consortium for the exploitation through drainage and deepening of an area within the harbor of the Danish West India island of St. Thomas, in the letters from the Ministry of Finance to the consortium of the 2d and 11th (cf. letter of October 14, last year).
In this connection it may be stated that the Ministry of Finance, in view of the fact, that it appears from the secretly adopted by-laws of the company (a copy of which is returned herewith, bearing the mark “Set. Colonies Central Administration, January 17, 1913, A. C. Schlichtkrull”) that the company has its domicile at Copenhagen and that a majority of the members of the board of directors must have the rights of Danish citizenship, so that the conditions laid down in the aforementioned letters of the Ministry for the desired transfer of rights are fulfilled hereby permits the company to dam up the areas in St. Thomas Harbor which are marked in red on the plan which accompanied the aforementioned concession granted to the consortium on July 7th of last year, for the exploitation through drainage and deepening of an area within the harbor of the Danish West India Island of St. Thomas which plan is appended, so that when these land areas are reclaimed the company will acquire free and unrestricted ownership thereof, although the company, in so far as such ownership may conflict with private rights, will have to settle with the interested parties. The company shall likewise have exclusive right to utilize and exploit the basins constructed in conformity with the aforementioned plan. It may especially be remarked, that in consequence of the permit thus given, the company, will be entitled to charge wharfage stakemoney, and other similar dues against vessels who come alongside the wharves or otherwise make use of the basins. The wharfage dues shall be charged in accordance with rates established in advance, which rates shall be alike to all.
The company shall likewise be permitted to erect, on the land belonging to it, reservoirs for liquid fuel for ships, observing such reasonable safety measures against conflagration as the proper authority may deem necessary.
Pilotage and harbor dues (including ship dues) shall be paid to the harbor treasury by the ships which come to or utilize the harbor, wharf, mole and dock establishments which may be constructed by the company, to the same extent and according to the same rates as those prevailing at all times in the remainder of St. Thomas Harbor.
The police supervision over the aforementioned sea and land areas will evolve upon the local harbor police and the general police.
With respect to the application, made in the aforementioned letter of the company for duty free importation of all materials imported for the original installation in and about St. Thomas Harbor of the aforementioned establishments it may be remarked that, in the letter of the 8th instant, the Government for the West Indies Islands was authorized to lay before the colonial council for St. Thomas and St. Jan a proposal for the exemption from customs duties and ship dues of materials imported for establishments in and about St. Thomas Harbor, this proposal reading to the effect that the Government is authorized, for a period of ten years calculated from January 1, 1913, to grant exemption from customs duties and ship dues on all materials, including working implements and machinery which are imported to St. Thomas as an original installation there of establishments designed to provision or serve ships coming into the harbor, or which are otherwise calculated [to] further the navigation in the harbor.
- N. Neergaard
- C. Dines Hansen
To The West India Company.
Copenhagen, April 16, 1913.
The company having been informed, in the communication of the 10th instant, that there was no intention for the time being to give to any other than this company a permission to establish electric works on St. Thomas Island for the supply of needs beyond those of private individuals (including those of one company), and that there would not be given any such permit for such establishments [Page 612] until the company could have an opportunity to express itself on the subject, a communication was received on the 11th instant from the Government for the Danish West India Islands to the effect that, in view of an application from Diploma Engineer Ejnar Svendsen of Roskilde for permission to establish and operate an electric plant for the supply of light to the city of Charlotte Amalie under date of the 17th ultimo, it granted Mr. Svendsen the said permit on the recommendation of the building and street commission.
In order to prevent the occurrence the Government was informed by telegram on the 11th instant that no concessions must be issued until correspondence had been had with the Ministry of Finance, and thereupon, as far as concerns the plans, mentioned in the aforementioned letter of the Government under date of February 12, last, for the widening of the present area of St. Thomas Harbor by making Gregori and the two Gregori canals a part of the Harbor (which plans the company regards as a menace to its purposes and its future) a letter was written to the Government (as the company was already informed in the letter of the 10th instant) to the effect that, under the present circumstances, there will be no question of any steps toward extending the area of St. Thomas Harbor.
As we agree with the company that it would be unfortunate if its plans were crossed by foreign companies with foreign capital (cf. in this regard the proceedings in the Parliament concerning a law for the concession of various establishments in St. Thomas Harbor), we are willing to give a promise that, within a certain period within which the company will be asked for a proposal, and provided that the establishments of the company prove adequate to serve the expected increase of traffic, no other companies will be granted concessions for commercial, industrial or navigational establishments in St. Thomas Harbor.
- N. Neergaard
- C. Dines Hansen
To The West Indian Company.
Copenhagen, July 16, 1915.
In connection with your letter of the 2d instant, we hereby transmit to you a concession prepared for you on this date by the Ministry of Finance for the establishment and operation of an electric plant in the city of Christiansted on the Island of St. Croix.
We will furthermore inform you that a letter has been written on this date to the Government for the Danish West India Islands to the effect that the Minister of Finance desires that your application, presented here and transmitted by the Ministry of Finance to the Government for authorization to carry out electric installations on St. Thomas Island may be granted.
With respect to the right to obtain current from the electric plant on St. Thomas Island erected by the West India Company we will refer to the accompanying copy of an agreement under date of August 14, 1914, between the commune of St. Thomas and St. Jan and the West India Company relating to the supply of the city of Charlotte Amalie with electric light.
An inclosure is returned herewith.
- Edvard Brandes
- C. Dines Hansen
To the Diploma Engineer, Ejnar Svendsen.
Concession to Diploma Engineer Ejnar Svendsen for the establishment and operation of an electric plant in the City of Christiansted, St. Croix
The Ministry of Finance hereby grants to Diploma Engineer Ejnar Svendsen a concession for the establishment and operation of an electric plant in the City of Christiansted, on the Island of St. Croix, for the supply of the city with electric light and for the establishment of the necessary overhead wires through the public streets and over the public squares.
The remaining specifications for the execution of the concession will be determined by the Government for the Danish West Indies.
Copenhagen, February 3, 1910.
In a letter dated the 6th ultimo, the Ministry of Finance informed the bank council that the said Ministry is authorized to guarantee, on behalf of the Government Treasury, the punctual payment of the interest and redemption of a loan, amounting to 500,000 francs, which the harbor council of St. Thomas, on behalf of the harbor, intends to issue for the purpose of deepening the harbor, and that the harbor council, having concluded an agreement with an American engineer firm for the execution of the work has now authorized the Royal Ministry to conclude an agreement for a four per cent loan of 500,000 francs.
In connection herewith the aforementioned Ministry has inquired whether the Danish West Indian National Bank will be willing to furnish the harbor treasury, on the guarantee of the Government Treasury, a loan of the aforementioned amount, at 7% interest and redemption per annum, of which 4% per annum of the amount remaining at any time shall be interest and the remainder redemption, on condition that the loan shall be issued at a rate of at least 98% and payable in June term of this year.
In reply council will state that the said bank is willing to furnish the loan in question at a rate of 98%, on condition that the bank shall have delivered to it, for the loan and without expense to it, 500 partial bonds of 1,000 francs each to be issuable without stamps both to bearer and registered, and capable later on of being transferred likewise without stamps, to bearer or to an owner named. Another condition for the granting of the loan shall be that the bank shall not incur any expenditure in the way of stamp tax in connection with the loan. For the redemption of the coupons and bonds drawn, the harbor council shall pay for each interest period a commission of one-eighth per cent of the amount paid out.
We take the liberty of inclosing a proposed wording of the text of the partial bonds with their coupons.
- F. R. Nordlien
- R. Strom
To the Ministry of Finance.
Law embodying an additional appropriation for the fiscal year from April 1, 1908, to March 31, 1909
We, Frederick VIII, by the grace of God King of Denmark, etc., hereby make known that the Parliament has passed and that we have sanctioned the following law:
As an addition to the receipts calculated in Chapter I of the appropriation law for the fiscal year 1908–1909, the following amounts, aggregating 4,245,193 Kr. 33 Ore., are appropriated being assigned to the proper [items?] in the appropriation law.
As a deduction from the above-mentioned receipts there are embodied the following amounts aggregating 70,476 Kr. 32 Ore, assigned to the proper items in the appropriation law.
As an addition to the expenditures embodied in Chapter I of the said appropriation law and which are chargeable in advance as a deduction from’ the receipts the following amounts, aggregating 5,622,707 Kr. 15 Ore., are appropriated and assigned to the proper items in the appropriation law.
To Section 2. (Surplus of receipts from public domains.)
To I. B. Expenses in connection with agriculture.[Page 614]
|1.||To b. 5. b. Building expenses (Main repairs and new buildings)||7,292.45|
|2.||To b. As 8. Additional salaries pursuant to Law No. 78, of April 15, 1908||96.00|
|To 2 I. b. Expenses connected with forests and game:|
|3.||To 1 F. Fences, roads, and water mains||1,200.00|
|4.||To 1 F. Salaries||916.66|
|5.||To 1 I. Building expenses||31,671.38|
|6.||To 2. Jaigersborg Zoological Garden and Charlotte Grove||804.00|
|7.||As 8. Additional salary pursuant to law of April 15, 1908||1,262.00|
To Sec. C. (Receipts from Government assets):
|1 to 2. Surplus from the Greenland deal. The amount set down at||12,513.33|
|2 to 2. Surplus from Usseröd Factory. The amount set down at||19,579.60|
|3 to 3. Surplus from Fredericksvaerk Powderworks. Amount set down at||3,750.00|
|According to which the main sum under 2 is set down at||35,842.93|
|4 to 3. Surplus from operation of Government railroads, etc. Amount set down at||3,125,770.88|
|5 to 4. Surplus from Government ports, etc., amount set down at||9,923.02|
6 like 7. The Superintendent of the school for cottage industry and agriculture established at Borris, is granted exemption from interest for five years up to December 11, 1912, on the loan from the Government Treasury, amount to 600,000 Kr. furnished to the school in pursuance of Law 88, May 23, 1902 (sec. 4), in such a way that the first payment of interest on the loan is made on June 11, 1913, for the six months following December 11, 1912.
To Sec. 4 (Direct taxes)
1 to 2. Income and property tax to the Government in pursuance of Law No. 104 of May 15, 1903.
The following is added as a remark:
* * * * * * *
To Sec. 24 (Ministry of Finance):
26. to XI. B. The following is added as a remark:
The Ministry of Finance is authorized to guarantee on behalf of the Government Treasury, the punctual payment of interest and redemption on a loan of 500,000 francs, which the harbor council of St. Thomas intends to take on behalf of the Harbor for the purpose of deepening the latter.
Copenhagen, August 6, 1910.
In a letter of February 3, last, the bank council stated that the Danish West Indian National Bank would be willing to furnish the harbor treasury of St. Thomas, on a guarantee of the Government Treasury, a loan of 500,000 francs with 7% per annum interest and redemption, of which 4% per annum of the amount remaining at any time should be interest, and the remained redemption, provided that the loan should be furnished at the rate of 98% and payable in June term of the year.
For the loan the bank council desired to have delivered to it, without expense to the bank, partial bonds (drawn up in accordance with a model transmitted at the same time) to the number of 500, at 1,000 francs each issuable without the use of stamps and reading both to bearer and registered in some name, being subject later on to transfer, likewise without stamps, to bearer or to an [Page 615] owner named. The bank furthermore laid down the condition that the bank should not be charged any stamp tax in connection with the loan, and it stipulated that there should be paid by the harbor council a commission of one-eighth per cent of the amount paid out, for the redemption of coupons and bonds drawn at each period.
In this connection we will state that the Ministry of Finance accepts the aforementioned offer of the bank council, but with certain alterations in the model adopted by the bank council for the partial bonds and their coupons as will be seen from the inclosed printed model.
Before any further steps are taken in the matter we wish to ask the bank council for a declaration as to whether it can comply with the model inclosed. We will add that we desire to have the matter arranged in such a way that the partial bonds, after being provided here with the mark of the Government guarantee shall be transmitted to St. Thomas in order to be signed there by the harbor council as debtor, whereupon the amount of the loan will be raised in the Danish Indian National Bank in St. Thomas at the same time that the bonds are delivered.
From this date the interest due on December 11 of this year will be calculated, as appears from the coupon attached to the inclosed model of bond marked Number 1.
- A. C. Schlichkrull,
- K. Esbensen
To the Council of the Danish West Indian Bank.
Copenhagen, August 13, 1910.
Having received a communication of the Minister of Finance under date of the 6th instant, the bank council will state that it agrees to the conditions embodied in the communication for the furnishing of a loan of 500,000 francs to the harbor treasury of St. Thomas, including the wording of the text of the partial bonds and their coupons.
- P. M. Damm
To the Ministry of Finance.
Frcs. l,000=Kr. 720
st. thomas harbour 4% loan of 1910 for francs 500,000 = kroner 360,000
St. Thomas Harbour Board hereby makes known: that St. Thomas Harbour is indebted to the holder of this Bond for the sum of One thousand Francs=Seven hundred & twenty Kroner.
Against the total loan, amounting to Frcs. 500,000=Kr. 360,000, there have been issued 500 bonds, each for the sum of Frcs. l,000=Kr. 720, with half-yearly interest coupons for the whole time to run of the loan, payable every 11’ June and 11’ December, the first coupon falling due the 11’ December 1910 and including the interest from to-day’s date. Coupons as well as drawn bonds, are payable at the National Bank of the Danish West Indies, St. Thomas, and at the National Bank in Copenhagen. The bonds are issued to bearer, but may, if desired, be registered in the books of the Harbour Board in the name of the owner and afterwards retransferred to bearer.
Of the original amount of the loan, a half-yearly interest of 2% will be made on the amount of the loan still owing, and the capital shall be redeemed in 21½ years, reckoned from the 11’ December 1910 according to schedule overleaf. The interest will be paid against surrender of the respective coupon. The drawing of the bonds will be effected in St. Thomas by the notary public, not later than two months before the respective term of payment. A notification will be published as to bonds drawn, stating also numbers and amounts, as well as term of payment. All notices regarding the loan will be published in the St. Thomas [Page 616] Tidende (St. Thomas’ Intelligence) at St. Thomas and in Berlingske Tidende (Berling’s Intelligence) in Copenhagen. On this bond being drawn, interest will cease to be allowed after the date it becomes redeemable. The total number of coupons for subsequent terms must be surrendered with the bond on redemption thereof, while missing coupons, if any, will be deducted from the face amount of the respective bond.
The Danish Government guarantees the payment of the principal amount as well as of the interest.
According to the law Nr. 87 of the 30’ April the guarantee of the Danish Government for the fulfilment of all responsibilities of this bond is hereby given.
The Minister of Finance
(The Director of the Public Debt)