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Convention Between Great Britain And The Netherlands

Volume 31: debated on Friday 9 June 1815

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

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.

  • (L. S.) H. FAGEL.

First Additional Article

In order the better to provide for the defence and incorporation of the Belgic provinces with Holland, and also to provide, in conformity to the Ninth Article of the Treaty of Paris, a suitable compensation for the rights ceded by his Swedish Majesty under the said Article, (which compensation, it is understood, in the event of the above re-union, Holland should be liable to furnish in pursuance of the above stipulations); it is hereby agreed between the High Contracting Parties, that his Britannic Majesty shall take upon himself, and engage to defray the following charges:

1st. The payment of one million sterling to Sweden, in satisfaction of the claims aforesaid, and in pursuance of a Convention this day executed with his ] Swedish Majesty's Plenipotentiary to that effect, a Copy of which Convention is annexed to these Additional Articles.

2dly. The advance of two millions sterling, to be applied, in concert with the Prince Sovereign of the Netherlands, in aid of an equal sum to be furnished by him towards augmenting and improving the defences of the Low Countries.

3rdly. To bear, equally with Holland, such further charges as may be agreed upon between the said High Contracting Parties and their Allies, towards the final and satisfactory settlement of the Low Countries in union with Holland, and under the dominion of the House of Orange, not exceeding, in the whole, the sum of three millions, to be defrayed by Great Britain.

In consideration, and in satisfaction of the above engagements, as taken by his Britannic Majesty, the Prince Sovereign of the Netherlands agrees to cede in full Sovereignty to his Britannic Majesty the Cape of Good Hope, and the settlements of Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice, upon the condition nevertheless, that the subjects of the said Sovereign Prince, being proprietors in the said colonies or settlements, shall be at liberty (under such regulations as may hereafter be agreed upon in a Supplementary Convention) to carry on trade between the said settlements and the territories in Europe of the said Sovereign Prince.

It is also agreed between the two High Contracting Parties, that the ships of every kind belonging to Holland, shall have permission to resort freely to the Cape of Good Hope for the purposes of refreshment and repairs, without being liable to other charges than such as British subjects are required to pay.

Second Additional Article

The small district of Bernagore, situated close to Calcutta, being requisite to the due preservation of the peace and police of that city, the Prince of Orange agrees to cede the said district to his Britannic Majesty, upon a payment of such sum annually to his Royal Highness as may be considered, by commissioners to be appointed by the respective Governments, to be just and reasonable, with reference to the profits or revenue usually derived by the Dutch Government from the same.

Third Additional Article

The present Additional Articles shall have the same force and validity as if they were inserted word for word in the Convention signed this day. They shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at the same time and place.

In witness whereof, we the undersigned Plenipotentiaries have signed and affixed to them the seal of our arms.

Done at London, this thirteenth day of August, one thousand eight hundred and fourteen.

  • (L. S.) H. FAGEL.