Page:Frontiers.djvu/48

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46
Frontiers

Zanzibar were leased, first for a term of years and afterwards in perpetuity, to Great Britain and Germany. Port Arthur, Wei-Hai-Wei, Kiao Chau, and Kowloon are cases in which the fiction of a Lease has been employed to cover what might otherwise appear to have been a violation of the territorial integrity of China. Sometimes Leases are granted for commercial purposes, or as part of a diplomatic bargain. Such has been the case with the so-called Enclaves, leased by Great Britain to King Leopold on the Nile and to France on the Niger. Experience, though not as yet very old, shows that the tendency of Leases is, from being temporary to become permanent, and, in fact, to constitute a rudimentary form of ulterior possession.

Of these modern expedients the last to be noticed represents the most shadowy form of the Sphere of Influence that has yet been devised by the ingenuity of modern diplomacy. I refer to the promise made by a weaker Power to a stronger not to alienate by lease, mortgage, or cession a specified portion of its territories to any other Power. This does not necessarily, though it may sometimes, imply the exercise of a Protectorate by the stronger of the two contracting parties,[1] but it tacitly recognizes some sort of reversionary claim on the part of the latter. At the weakest, it is a sort of diplomatic manifesto to other Powers of a special degree of interest entertained by one. Great Britain's desire to earmark as a potential Sphere of Influence the valley

  1. Undoubtedly in the Persian Gulf the conclusion of such Agreements by the Indian Government with the Trucial Chiefs and with the Sheikh of Koweit, was tantamount to an assertion of Protectorate, although in the latter case, by a strange anomaly, the Protectorate of Turkey was never formally denied.