Declaration between Great Britain and France with regard to the Kingdom of Siam and other matters

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DECLARATION BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND FRANCE WITH REGARD TO THE KINGDOM OF SIAM AND OTHER MATTERS.

Signed at London, January 15, 1896.

The Undersigned, duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed the following Declaration :—

I. The Governments of Great Britain and France engage to one another that neither of them will, without the consent of the other, in any case, or under any pretext, advance their armed forces into the region which is comprised in the basins of the Petcha Bouri, Meiklong, Menam and Bang Pa Kong (Petriou) Rivers and their respective tributaries, together with the extent of coast from Muong Bang Tapan to Muong Pase, the basins of the rivers on which those two places are situated, and the basins of the other rivers, the estuaries of which are included in that coast ; and including also the territory lying to the north of the basin of the Menam, and situated between the Anglo-Siamese frontier, the Mekong River, and the eastern watershed of the Me Ing. They further engage not to acquire within this region any special privilege or advantage which shall not be enjoyed in common by, or equally open to, Great Britain and France and their nationals and dependents. These stipulations, however, shall not be interpreted as derogating from the special clauses which, in virtue of the Treaty concluded on the 3rd October, 1893, between France and Siam, apply to a zone of 25 kilom. on the right bank of the Mekong and to the navigation of that river.

II. Nothing in this foregoing clause shall hinder any action on which the two Powers may agree, and which they shall think necessary in order to uphold the independence of the Kingdom of Siam. But they engage not to enter into any separate Agreement permitting a third Power to take any action from which they are bound by the present Declaration themselves to abstain.

III. From the mouth of the Nam Huok northwards as far as the Chinese frontier the thalweg of the Mekong shall form the limit of the possessions or spheres of influence of Great Britain and France. It is agreed that the nationals and dependents of each of the two countries shall not exercise any jurisdiction or authority within the possessions or sphere of influence of the other.

The police of the islands in this part of the river which are separated from the British shore by a branch of the river shall, so long as they are thus separated, be intrusted to the French authorities. The fishery shall be open to the inhabitants of both banks.

IV. The two Governments agree that all commercial and other privileges and advantages conceded in the two Chinese provinces of Yünnan and Szechuen either to Great Britain or France, in virtue of their respective Conventions with China of the 1st March, 1894, and the 20th June, 1895, and all privileges and advantages of any nature which may in the future be conceded in these two Chinese provinces, either to Great Britain or France, shall, as far as rests with them, be extended and rendered common to both Powers and to their nationals and dependents, and they engage to use their influence and good offices with the Chinese Government for this purpose.

V. The two Governments agree to name Commissioners delegated by each of them, who shall be charged to fix by mutual agreement, after examination of the titles produced on either side, the most equitable delimitation between the British and French possessions in the region situated to the west of the Lower Niger.

VI. In conformity with the stipulations of Article XL of the General Convention concluded between Great Britain and the Regency of Tunis on the 19th July, 1875, which provides for a revision of that Treaty “in order that the two Contracting Parties may have the opportunity of hereafter treating and agreeing upon such other arrangements as may tend still further to the improvement of their mutual intercourse, and to the advancement of the interests of their respective people,” the two Governments agree at once to commence negotiations for replacing the said General Convention by a new Convention, which shall correspond with the intentions proposed in the Article above referred to.

Done at London, the 15th January, 1896.

(L.S.)SALISBURY.

(L.S.)ALPH. DE COURCEL.

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