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France Portugal Treaty 1886

Correspondence respecting Action of Portugal in Mashonaland and in the Districts of the Shiré and Lake Nyassa

No. 1 Mr. Petre to the Marquis of Salisbury.—(Received July 5.) (Extract.) Lisbon, June 22, 1887.

I HAVE the honour to transmit to your Lordship the text, in French, of the Treaty signed at Paris on the 12th May, 1886.

Inclosure in No. 1. Convention relating to the Delimitation of the French and Portuguese Possessions in West Africa.—Signed at Paris, May 12, 1886

HIS Majesty the King of Portugal and Algarves, and the President of the French Republic, animated by the desire to draw more closely, through good neighbourly relations and perfect harmony, the bonds of friendship which exist between the two countries, have determined to draw up, for this purpose, a special Convention to arrange the delimitation of their respective possessions in West Africa, and have named the following as their Plenipotentiaries;

His Majesty the King of Portugal and Algarves, M. João d’Andrade Corvo, Councillor of State, Vice-President of the Chamber of Peers, Grand Cross of the Order of St. James, Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Republic, &c., and M. Carlos Roma du Bocage, Deputy Captain of Engineers on the Staff, Honorary Aide-de-camp and Military Attaché at the Legation at the Court of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia, Chevalier of the Order of St. James, Officer of the Legion of Honour, &c.;

The President of the French Republic, M. Girard de Rialle, Minister Plenipotentiary, Chief of the Department of the Archives in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and Captain O’Neill, of the Navy, Commander of the Legion of Honour, &c.;

Who, after declaration of their full powers, which were found to be in good and due form, agreed to the following Articles


In Guinea, the frontier which shall separate the Portuguese from the French possessions, will follow, in accordance with the tracing upon Map I, which is annexed to the present Convention.

In the north, a line which, starting from Cape Roxo, will keep as far as the nature of the ground will permit, at an equal distance from the Rivers Casamance (Casamansa) and San Domingo de Cacheu (São Domingos de Cacheu) to the point of intersection of 17° 30' longitude west of Paris with the parallel 12° 40' of north latitude, between this point and the 16° of longitude west of Paris the frontier shall be merged in the parallel 12° 40' of north latitude.

In the east, the frontier will follow the meridian of 16° west from the 12° 40' parallel of north latitude to the 11° 40' parallel north latitude.

In the south, the frontier will follow a line starting from the mouth of the River Cajet, which lies between the Island of Catack (which will belong to Portugal) and the Island of Tristão (which will belong to France), and keeping, as far as the nature of the land permits, at an equal distance between the Rio Componi (Tabati) and the Rio Cassini, then between the northern branch of the Rio Componi (Tabati) and at first the southern branch of the Rio Cassini (tributary of the Kacondo), afterwards the Rio Grande, until it reaches the point where the 16th meridian of west longitude cuts the parallel 11° 40' of north latitude.

Portugal will possess all the islands included between the meridian of Gape Roxo, the coast, and the southern boundary formed by & line following the thalweg of the River Cajet, and afterwards turning towards the south*west across the Passe des Pilots, where it breaches 10° 40' north latitude, and follows it as far as the meridian of Cape Roxo.


His Majesty the King of Portugal and Algarves recognizes the French Protectorate over the territories of Fouta-DJallon, such as it was established by the Treaties concluded in 1881 between the Government of the French Republic and the Almamys of Fouta-Djalion.

The Government of the French Republic, on its side, binds itself not to attempt to exercise influence within the limits assigned to Portuguese Guinea by Article I of the present Convention. They further bind themselves not to modify the treatment which has always been extended to Portuguese subjects by the Almamys of Fouta-Djallon.


In the region of the Congo, the frontier of the Portuguese and French possessions will fellow in accordance with the tracing on Map II, annexed to the present Convention, a line which, starting from the Chamba Point, situated at the confluence of the Loema or Louisa Loango and the Lubinda, will keep, as far as the nature of the land permits, at an equal distance from the two rivers, and-from the northernmost source of the River Luali will follow the crest line which separates the basins of the Ix)ema or Louisa Loango and the Ghiloango as far as 10° 30' of longitude east of Paris, when it is merged in this meridian as far as its meeting with the Chiloango, which at this point serves as the frontier between the Portuguese possessions and the Congo Free State.

Each of the High Contracting Parties binds itself not to raise at Chamba Point any works of a nature to impede navigation. In the estuary comprised between Chamba Point and the sea the thalweg will serve as political line of demarcation between the possessions of the High Contracting Parties.


The Government of the French Republic recognizes the right of His Most Faithful Majesty to exercise his sovereign and civilizing influence in the territories which separate the Portuguese possessions of Angola and Mozambique; reserving rights already acquired by other Powers, and binds itself on its side to abstain from all occupation there.


Portaguese subjects in the French possessions on the West Coast of Africa and French citizens in the Portuguese possessions on the same coast shall be respectively treated on a footing of equality with the citizens and subjects of the other Contracting Power in all matters concerning the protection of life and property. Each of the High Contracting Parties shall enjoy within the said possessions the treatment of the most favoured nation as regards navigation and commerce.


The State domains of each of the High Contracting Powers in the mutually ceded territories shall be the subject of exchanges and compensations.


A Commission will be appointed to determine on the spot the definitive position of the lines of demarcation laid down in Articles I and III of the present Convention, and the members compering it will be selected in the following manner:—

His Most Faithful Majesty and the President of the French Republic will each name two Commissioners.

These Commissioners will meet at the place ultimately decided on by common agreement by the High Contracting Parties, and as soon as possible after the exchange of ratifications of the present Convention.

In case of disagreement, the said Commissioners shall refer the matter to the High Contracting Parties.


The present Convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged as soon as possible at Lisbon.

In faith thereof, the respective Commissioners signed the present Convention and affixed their seals.

Paris, May 12, 1886.