862S.01/10

The Belgian Chargé ( De Selys ) to the Secretary of State

[Translation12]

Mr. Secretary of State: The Belgian, French and British Governments have agreed on the text intended to meet the suggestions offered by the Government of the United States of America in the matter of mandates. You will find herewith:

In the first place, the text of the draft of a mandate to be granted to Belgium over the Ruanda and Urundi territories as it stands after amendment.

In the second place, a draft of a convention to be signed between Belgium and the United States conferring upon the latter country, in the African territories placed under Belgian mandate, the same advantages as are enjoyed by the States members of the League of Nations.13 This draft, also made in perfect agreement with the French and British Governments, meets the suggestions of the American Government.

The King’s Government instructs me and I have the honor:

  • First, to deliver to Your Excellency a copy of the draft of the said mandate with a statement that it is this text which Belgium will ask the League of Nations to approve;
  • Second, to ask Your Excellency kindly to designate a plenipotentiary who will sign at Brussels the convention of which the draft is enclosed, if, as the King’s Government has every reason to believe, the present draft is acceptable to the Government of the United States.

It would be a great advantage to have this question decided with as little delay as possible, as the Powers concerned would like to dispose of the whole matter of African mandates at the session of the Council of the League of Nations that will open on July 11th next, and I should be particularly obliged to Your Excellency, therefore, if you would kindly let me know, if possible, before that date what course your Government will have decided upon in this matter.

I take [etc.]

Florent de Selys
[Enclosure—Translation14]

Amended Draft Mandate for Ruanda and Urundi

The Council of the League of Nations:

Whereas by Article 119 of the treaty of peace with Germany, signed at Versailles on June 28, 1919, Germany renounced in favor [Page 634] of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers all her rights over her oversea possessions, including German East Africa;

Whereas the Principal Allied and Associated Powers agreed, in accordance with Article 22, paragraph 1 (Covenant of the League of Nations), of the above-named treaty, to confer a mandate on His Majesty the King of the Belgians to administer a part of the former colony of German East Africa, and proposed to formulate the mandate in the following terms;

Whereas His Majesty the King of the Belgians has agreed to accept the mandate over the said territory and has undertaken to exercise it in the name of the League of Nations in accordance with the following provisions;

Hereby approves the terms of the said mandate as follows:

Article 1

The territory over which a mandate is conferred upon His Majesty the King of Belgians (hereinafter called the mandatory) comprises that part of the territory of the former colony of German East Africa situated to the west of the following line.

[Here follows the same description of the frontier as in the draft printed on page 625; but here is omitted the last paragraph of article 1 which appears in that draft.]

Article 2

[The same as in the draft printed on page 627.]

Article 3

[The same as in the draft printed on page 627.]

Article 4

[The same as in the draft printed on page 627.]

Article 5

[The same as in the draft printed on page 627.]

Article 6

In the framing of laws relating to the holding and transfer of land, the mandatory undertakes to take into consideration native laws and customs, and to respect the rights and safeguard the interests of the native population.

No native land may be transferred, except between natives, without the previous consent of the public authorities. No real rights [Page 635] over native land in favor of non-natives may be created except with the same consent.

The mandatory will promulgate strict regulations against usury.

Article 7

The mandatory undertakes to secure to all citizens of states members of the League of Nations the same rights as are enjoyed by his own nationals, in respect of entry into and residence in the territory, the protection afforded to their person and property, the acquisition of property, movable and immovable, and the exercise of their profession or trade, subject only to the requirements of public order and on condition of compliance with the local law.

Further, the mandatory undertakes to insure to all citizens and subjects of states members of the League of Nations, on the same footing as to his own nationals, freedom of transit and navigation and complete economic, commercial and industrial equality, provided that the mandatory shall be free to organize public works and essential services on such terms and conditions as he thinks just.

Concessions for the development of the natural resources of the territory shall be granted by the mandatory without distinction on grounds of nationality between the citizens and subjects of states members of the League of Nations, but on such conditions as will maintain intact the authority of the local government.

Concessions having the character of a general monopoly shall not be granted. This provision does not affect the right of the mandatory to create monopolies of a purely fiscal character in the interest of the territory under mandate and in order to provide the territory with fiscal resources which seem best suited to the local requirements; or, in certain cases, to carry out the development of natural resources either directly by the state or by a controlled agency, provided that there shall result therefrom no monopoly of the natural resources for the benefit of the mandatory or his nationals, directly or indirectly, nor any preferential advantage which shall be inconsistent with the economic, commercial and industrial equality hereinbefore guaranteed.

The rights conferred by this article extend equally to companies and associations organized in accordance with the law of any of the members of the League of Nations, subject only to the requirements of public order, and on condition of compliance with the local law.

Article 8

Subject to the provisions of local laws relating to the maintenance of public order and morality, the mandatory shall insure, throughout the territory, freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all [Page 636] forms of worship; and, subject to the control which would be necessary for the maintenance of a good administration, it shall give to all missionaries, citizens or subjects of any state member of the League of Nations, freedom to enter into the territory and to travel and reside therein for the discharge of their ministry, to acquire and possess property, to erect buildings for religious purposes and to open schools.

Article 9

[The same as in the draft printed on page 629.]

Article 10

The mandatory shall have full powers of administration and legislation in the area subject to the mandate; this area shall be administered in accordance with the laws of the mandatory as an integral part of his territory and subject to the preceding provisions.

The mandatory shall therefore be at liberty to apply his laws to the territory under the mandate subject to the modifications required by local conditions, and to constitute the territory into a customs, fiscal or administrative union or federation with the adjacent territories under his own sovereignty or control; provided always that the measures adopted to that end do not infringe the provisions of this mandate.

Article 11

The mandatory shall make to the Council of the League of Nations an annual report. This report shall contain full information concerning the measures taken to apply the provisions of the present mandate.

Article 12

The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.

Article 13

If any dispute should arise between the members of the League of Nations relating to the interpretation or the application of the present mandate, and if such dispute cannot be settled by negotiations, it shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice provided for by Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

The present copy shall be deposited in the archives of the League of Nations. Certified true copies thereof shall be communicated by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations to all members of the League.

  1. File translation revised.
  2. Not printed; it is the same, mutatis mutandis, as the French draft of a treaty concerning the Cameroons, translation of which is printed in vol. ii, p. 144.
  3. Supplied by the editor.