HC Deb 09 June 1815 vol 31 cc707-12
Lord Castlereagh

presented, by command of the Prince Regent, a copy of the following

CONVENTION between Great Britain and the United Netherlands; signed at London, 13th August, 1814.

In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity,

The United Provinces of the Netherlands, under the favour of Divine Providence, having been restored to their independence, and having been placed by the loyalty of the Dutch people and the achievements of the Allied Powers, under the government of the illustrious House of Orange: and his Britannic Majesty being desirous of entering into such arrangements with the Prince Sovereign of the United Netherlands, concerning the colonies of the said United Netherlands, which have been conquered by his Majesty's arms during the late war, as may conduce to the prosperity of the said State, and may afford a lasting testimony of his Majesty's friendship and attachment to the family of Orange, and to the Dutch nation: the said High Contracting Parties, equally animated by those sentiments of cordial good-will and attachment to each other, have nominated for their plenipotentiaries: namely, his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the right honourable Robert Stewart, viscount Castlereagh, one of his said Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, a Member of Parliament, Colonel of the Londonderry regiment of Militia, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, and his principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, &c.; and his royal highness the Prince of Orange-Nassau, Prince Sovereign of the United Netherlands, his excellency Henry Fagel, his Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at the Court of his Britannic Majesty:—who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed to the following articles:—

Art. I. His Britannic Majesty engages to restore to the Prince Sovereign of the United Netherlands, within the term which shall be hereafter fixed, the colonies, factories, and establishments which were possessed by Holland at the commencement of the late war, viz. on the 1st of January, 1803, in the seas and on-the continents of America, Africa, and Asia; with the exception of the Cape of Good Hope and the settlements of Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice, of which possessions the High Contracting Parties reserve to themselves the right to dispose by a supplementary convention, hereafter to be negociated according to their mutual interests; and especially with reference to the provisions contained in the 6th and 9th Articles of the Treaty of Peace signed between his Britannic Majesty and his Most Christian Majesty on the 3Olh of May, 1814.

Art. 2. His Britannic Majesty agrees to cede in full sovereignty the island of Banca, in the Eastern Seas, to the Prince Sovereign of the Netherlands, in exchange for the settlement of Cochin and its dependencies on the coast of Malabar, which is to remain in full sovereignty to his Britannic Majesty.

Art. 3. The places and forts in the colonies and settlements, which by virtue of the two preceding Articles are to be ceded and exchanged by the two High Contracting Parties, shall be given up in the state in which they may be at the moment of the signature of the present Convention.

Art. 4. His Britannic Majesty guarantees to the subjects of his royal highness the Prince Sovereign of the United Netherlands, the same facilities, privileges, and protection, with respect to commerce and the security of their property and persons within the limits of the British sovereignty on the continent of India, as are now or shall be granted to the most favoured nations.

His royal highness the Prince Sovereign, on his part, having nothing more at heart than the perpetual duration of peace between the Crown of England and the United Netherlands, and wishing to do his utmost to avoid any thing which might affect their mutual good understanding, engages not to erect any fortifications in the establishments which are to be restored to him within the limits of the British sovereignty upon the continent of India, and only to place in those establishments the number of troops necessary for the maintenance of the police.

Art. 5. Those colonies, factories, and establishments which are to be ceded to his royal highness the Sovereign Prince of the United Netherlands by his Britannic Majesty, in the seas or on the continent of America, shall be given up within three months, and those which are beyond the Cape of Good Hope within the six months which follow the ratification of the present Convention.

Art. 6. The High Contracting Parties, desirous to bury in entire oblivion the dissentions which have agitated Europe, declare and promise, that no individual of whatever rank or condition he may be, in the countries rrstored and ceded by the present Treaty, shall be prosecuted, disturbed or molested in his person or property, under any pretext whatever, either on account of his conduct or political opinions, his attachment either to any of the contracting parties, or to any government which has ceased to exist, or for any other reason except for debts contracted towards individuals, or acts posterior to the date of the present Treaty.

Art. 7. The native inhabitants and aliens of whatever nation or condition they may be, in those countries which are to change Sovereigns, as well in virtue of the present Convention as of subsequent arrangements to which it may give rise, shall be allowed a period of six years, reckoning from the exchange of the ratifications, for the purpose of disposing of their property, if they think fit, whether it be acquired before or during the late war, and of retiring to whatever country they may choose.

Art. 8. The Prince Sovereign of the United Netherlands, anxious to co-operate, in the most effectual manner with his majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, so as to bring about the total abolition of the Trade in. Slaves on the coast of Africa, and having spontaneously issued a Decree on the 15th of June, 1814, wherein it is enjoined, that no ships or vessels whatever, destined for the Trade in Slaves, be cleared out or equipped in any of the harbours or places of his dominions, nor admitted to the forts or possessions on the coast of Guinea, and that no inhabitants of that country shall be sold or exposed as slaves—does moreover hereby engage to prohibit all his subjects, in the most effectual manner, and by the most solemn laws, from taking any share whatsoever in such, inhuman traffic.

Art. 9. The present Convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be duly exchanged at London within three weeks from the date hereof, or sooner if possible.

In witness whereof, we the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, in virtue of our respective full powers, have signed the present Convention, and have affixed thereto the seals of our arms.

Done at London, the 13th day of August 1814.

  2. c711
  4. c712