Great Britain: Foreign Policy and the Span of Empire, 1689-1971: A Documentary History - Vol. 3

By Joel H. Wiener | Go to book overview

THE SOUTH AFRICAN QUESTION

Bloemfontein Convention between Great Britain and the Orange River
Territory Recognizing the Independence of the
Latter, 23 February 1854*

Art. I

Her Majesty’s Special Commissioner, in entering into a Convention for finally transferring the Government of the Orange River Territory to the representatives delegated by the inhabitants to receive it, guarantees, on the part of Her Majesty’s Government, the future independence of that country and its government; and that, after the necessary preliminary arrangements for making over the same between Her Majesty’s Special Commissioner and the said representatives shall have been completed, the inhabitants of the country shall then be free. And that this independence shall, without unnecessary delay, be confirmed and ratified by an instrument, promulgated in such form and substance as Her Majesty may approve, finally freeing them from their allegiance to the British Crown, and declaring them to all intents and purposes a free and independent people, and their Government to be treated and considered thenceforth a free and independent Government.


Art. II

The British Government has no alliance whatever with any native chiefs or tribes to the northward of the Orange River, with the exception of the Griqua Chief, Captain Adam Kok; and Her Majesty’s Government has no wish or intention to enter hereafter into any Treaties which may be injurious or prejudicial to the interests of the Orange River Government.


Art. Ill

With regard to the Treaty existing between the British Government and the Chief Captain Adam Kok, some modification of it is indispensable. Contrary to the provisions of that Treaty, the sale of lands in the inalienable territory has been of frequent occurrence, and the principal object of the Treaty thus disregarded. Her Majesty’s Government therefore intends to remove all restrictions preventing Griquas from selling their lands; and measures are in progress for the purpose of affording every facility for such transactions,—the Chief Adam Kok having, for himself, concurred in and sanctioned the same. And with regard to those further alterations arising out of the proposed revision of relations with Captain Adam Kok, in consequence of the aforesaid sales of land having from time to time been effected in the inalienable territory, contrary to

* British and Foreign State Papers, LVI, 331–33.

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