Treaty Series No. 686
Treaty between the United States and Other Powers Relating to Spitzbergen, Signed at Paris February 9, 1920 60
The President of the United States of America; His Majesty the King of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions [Page 79] beyond the Seas, Emperor of India; His Majesty the King of Denmark; the President of the French Republic; His Majesty the King of Italy; His Majesty the Emperor of Japan; His Majesty the King of Norway; His Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands; His Majesty the King of Sweden,
Desirous, while recognising the sovereignty of Norway over the Archipelago of Spitsbergen, including Bear Island, of seeing these territories provided with an equitable régime, in order to assure their development and peaceful utilisation,
Have appointed as their respective Plenipotentiaries with a view to concluding a Treaty to this effect:
The President of the United States of
Mr Hugh Campbell Wallace, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America at Paris;
His Majesty the King of Great Britain and
Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas,
Emperor of India:
The Right Honourable the Earl of Derby, K.G., G.C.V.O., C.B., His Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Paris;
- for the Dominion of Canada:
The Right Honourable Sir George Halsey Perley, K.C.M.G., High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom;
- for the Commonwealth of
The Right Honourable Andréw Fisher, High Commissioner for Australia in the United Kingdom;
- for the Dominion of New
The Right Honourable Sir Thomas MacKenzie, K.C.M.G., High Commissioner for New Zealand in the United Kingdom;
- for the Union of South
Mr. Reginald Andrew Blankenberg, O.B.E., Acting High Commissioner for South Africa in the United Kingdom;
- for India:
The Right Honourable the Earl of Derby, K.G., G.C.V.O., C.B.;
His Majesty the King of
Mr. Herman Anker Bernhoft, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of H. M. the King of Denmark at Paris;
The President of the French
Mr. Alexandre Millerand, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
His Majesty the King of
The Honourable Maggiorino Ferraris, Senator of the Kingdom;
His Majesty the Emperor of
Mr. K. Matsui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of H. M. the Emperor of Japan at Paris;
His Majesty the King of
Baron Wedel Jarlsberg, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of H. M. the King of Norway at Paris;
His Majesty the Queen of the
Mr. John Loudon, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of H. M. the Queen of the Netherlands at Paris;
His Majesty the King of
Count J.-J.-A. Ehrensvärd, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of H. M. the King of Sweden at Paris;
Who, having communicated their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:
The High Contracting Parties undertake to recognise, subject to the stipulations of the present Treaty, the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway over the Archipelago of Spitsbergen, comprising, with Bear Island or Beeren-Eiland, all the islands situated between 10° and 35° longitude East of Greenwich and between 74° and 81° latitude North, especially West Spitsbergen, North-East Land, Barents Island, Edge Island, Wiche Islands, Hope Island or Hopen-Eiland, and Prince Charles Foreland, together with all islands great or small and rocks appertaining thereto (see annexed map61).
Ships and nationals of all the High Contracting Parties shall enjoy equally the rights of fishing and hunting in the territories specified in Article 1 and in their territorial waters.
Norway shall be free to maintain, take or decree suitable measures to ensure the preservation and, if necessary, the re-constitution of the fauna and flora of the said regions, and their territorial waters; it being clearly understood that these measures shall always be applicable equally to the nationals of all the High Contracting Parties without any exemption, privilege or favour whatsoever, direct or indirect, to the advantage of any one of them.
Occupiers of land whose rights have been recognised in accordance with the terms of Articles 6 and 7 will enjoy the exclusive right of hunting on their own land: (1) in the neighbourhood of their habitations, houses, stores, factories and installations, constructed for the purpose of developing their property, under conditions laid down by the local police regulations; (2) within a radius of 10 kilometres round the headquarters of their place of business or works; and in both cases, subject always to the observance of regulations [Page 81] made by the Norwegian Government in accordance with the conditions laid down in the present Article.
The nationals of all the High Contracting Parties shall have equal liberty of access and entry for any reason or object whatever to the waters, fjords and ports of the territories specified in Article 1; subject to the observance of local laws and regulations, they may carry on there without impediment all maritime, industrial, mining and commercial operations on a footing of absolute equality.
They shall be admitted under the same conditions of equality to the exercise and practice of all maritime, industrial, mining or commercial enterprises both on land and in the territorial waters, and no monopoly shall be established on any account or for any enterprise whatever.
Notwithstanding any rules relating to coasting trade which may be in force in Norway, ships of the High Contracting Parties going to or coming from the territories specified in Article 1 shall have the right to put into Norwegian ports on their outward or homeward voyage for the purpose of taking on board or disembarking passengers or cargo going to or coming from the said territories, or for any other purpose.
It is agreed that in every respect and especially with regard to exports, imports and transit traffic, the nationals of all the High Contracting Parties, their ships and goods shall not be subject to any charges or restrictions whatever which are not borne by the nationals, ships or goods which enjoy in Norway the treatment of the most favoured nation; Norwegian nationals, ships or goods being for this purpose assimilated to those of the other High Contracting Parties, and not treated more favourably in any respect.
No charge or restriction shall be imposed on the exportation of any goods to the territories of any of the Contracting Powers other or more onerous than on the exportation of similar goods to the territory of any other Contracting Power (including Norway) or to any other destination.
All public wireless telegraphy stations established or to be established by, or with the authorisation of, the Norwegian Government within the territories referred to in Article 1 shall always be open on a footing of absolute equality to communications from ships of all flags and from nationals of the High Contracting Parties, under the conditions laid down in the Wireless Telegraphy Convention of July 5, 1912, or in the subsequent International Convention which may be concluded to replace it.[Page 82]
Subject to international obligations arising out of a state of war, owners of landed property shall always be at liberty to establish and use for their own purposes wireless telegraphy installations, which shall be free to communicate on private business with fixed or moving wireless stations, including those on board ships and aircraft.
The High Contracting Parties recognise the utility of establishing an international meteorological station in the territories specified in Article 1, the organisation of which shall form the subject of a subsequent Convention.
Conventions shall also be concluded laying down the conditions under which scientific investigations may be conducted in the said territories.
Subject to the provisions of the present Article, acquired rights of nationals of the High Contracting Parties shall be recognised.
Claims arising from taking possession or from occupation of land before the signature of the present Treaty shall be dealt with in accordance with the Annex hereto, which will have the same force and effect as the present Treaty.
With regard to methods of acquisition, enjoyment and exercise of the right of ownership of property, including mineral rights, in the territories specified in Article 1, Norway undertakes to grant to all nationals of the High Contracting Parties treatment based on complete equality and in conformity with the stipulations of the present Treaty.
Expropriation may be resorted to only on grounds of public utility and on payment of proper compensation.
Norway undertakes to provide for the territories specified in Article 1 mining regulations which, especially from the point of view of imposts, taxes or charges of any kind, and of general or particular labour conditions, shall exclude all privileges, monopolies or favours for the benefit of the State or of the nationals of any one of the High Contracting Parties, including Norway, and shall guarantee to the paid staff of all categories the remuneration and protection necessary for their physical, moral and intellectual welfare.[Page 83]
Taxes, dues and duties levied shall be devoted exclusively to the said territories and shall not exceed what is required for the object in view.
So far, particularly, as the exportation of minerals is concerned, the Norwegian Government shall have the right to levy an export duty which shall not exceed 1% of the maximum value of the minerals exported up to 100,000 tons, and beyond that quantity the duty will be proportionately diminished. The value shall be fixed at the end of the navigation season by calculating the average free on board price obtained.
Three months before the date fixed for their coming into force, the draft mining regulations shall be communicated by the Norwegian Government to the other Contracting Powers. If during this period one or more of the said Powers propose to modify these regulations before they are applied, such proposals shall be communicated by the Norwegian Government to the other Contracting Powers in order that they may be submitted to examination and the decision of a Commission composed of one representative of each of the said Powers. This Commission shall meet at the invitation of the Norwegian Government and shall come to a decision within a period of three months from the date of its first meeting. Its decisions shall be taken by a majority.
Subject to the rights and duties resulting from the admission of Norway to the League of Nations, Norway undertakes not to create nor to allow the establishment of any naval base in the territories specified in Article 1 and not to construct any fortification in the said territories, which may never be used for warlike purposes.
Until the recognition by the High Contracting Parties of a Russian Government shall permit Russia to adhere to the present Treaty, Russian nationals and companies shall enjoy the same rights as nationals of the High Contracting Parties.
Claims in the territories specified in Article 1 which they may have to put forward shall be presented under the conditions laid down in the present Treaty (Article 6 and Annex) through the intermediary of the Danish Government, who declare their willingness to lend their good offices for this purpose.
The present Treaty, of which the French and English texts are both authentic, shall be ratified.
Ratifications shall be deposited at Paris as soon as possible.[Page 84]
Powers of which the seat of the Government is outside Europe may confine their action to informing the Government of the French Republic, through their diplomatic representative at Paris, that their ratification has been given, and in this case, they shall transmit the instrument as soon as possible.
The present Treaty will come into force, in so far as the stipulations of Article 8 are concerned, from the date of its ratification by all the signatory Powers; and in all other respects on the same date as the mining regulations provided for in that Article.
Third Powers will be invited by the Government of the French Republic to adhere to the present Treaty duly ratified. This adhesion shall be effected by a communication addressed to the French Government, which will undertake to notify the other Contracting Parties.
In witness whereof the above-named Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty.
- (L.S.) Hugh C. Wallace
- (L.S.) Derby
- (L.S.) George H. Perley
- (L.S.) Andrew Fisher
- (L.S.) Th. MacKenzie
- (L.S.) R. A. Blankenberg
- (L.S.) Derby
- (L.S.) H. A. Bernhoft
- (L.S.) A. Millerand
- (L.S.) Maggiorino Ferraris
- (L.S.) K. Matsui
- (L.S.) Wedel Jarlsberg
- (L.S.) J. Loudon
- (L.S.) J. Ehrensvard