Declaration Between the United Kingdom and France Respecting Egypt and Morocco, Together with the Secret Articles Signed at the Same Time
Signed at London, April 8, 1904.
His Britannic Majesty's Government declare that they have no intention of altering the
political status of Egypt.
The Government of the French Republic, for their part, declare that they will not obstruct
the action of Great Britain in that country by asking that a limit of time be fixed for the British
occupation or in any other manner, and that they give their assent to the draft Khedivial decree
annexed to the present arrangement, containing the guarantees considered necessary for the
protection of the interests of the Egyptian bondholders, on the condition that, after its
promulgation, it cannot be modified in any way without the consent of the Powers signatory of
the Convention of London of 1885.
It is agreed that the post of Director-General of Antiquities in Egypt shall continue, as in
the past, to be entrusted to a French savant.
The French schools in Egypt shall continue to enjoy the same liberty as in the past.
The Government of the French Republic declare that they have no intention of altering the
political status of Morocco.
His Britannic Majesty's government, for their part, recognize that it appertains to France,
more particularly as a Power whose dominions are coterminous for a great distance with those of
Morocco, to preserve order in that country, and to provide assistance for the purpose of all
administrative, economic, financial, and military reforms which it may require.
that they will not obstruct the action taken by France for this purpose, provided that such action
shall leave intact the rights which Great Britain, in virtue of treaties, conventions, and usage,
enjoys in Morocco, including the right of coasting trade between the port of Morocco, enjoyed by
British vessels since 1901.
His Britannic Majesty's Government, for their part, will respect the rights which France, in
virtue of treaties, conventions, and usage, enjoys in Egypt, including the right of coasting trade
between Egyptian ports accorded to French vessels.
The two governments, being equally attached to the principle of commercial liberty both in
Egypt and Morocco, declare that they will not, in those countries, countenance any inequality
either in the imposition of customs duties or other taxes, or of railway transport charges.
The trade of both nations with Morocco and with Egypt shall enjoy the same treatment in
transit through the French and British possessions in Africa. An agreement between the two
governments shall settle the conditions of such transit and shall determine the points of entry.
This mutual engagement shall be binding for a period of thirty years. Unless this
stipulation is expressly denounced at least one year in advance, the period shall he extended for
five years at a time.
Nevertheless, the Government of the French Republic reserve to themselves in Morocco,
and His Britannic Majesty's Government reserve to themselves in Egypt, the right to see that the
concessions for roads, railways, ports, &c., are only granted on such conditions as will maintain
intact the authority of the state over these great undertakings of public interest.
His Britannic Majesty's Government declare that they will use their influence in order that
the French officials in the Egyptian service may not be placed under conditions less advantageous
than those applying to the British officials in the same service.
The Government of the French Republic, for their part, would make no objection to the
application of analogous conditions to British officials now in the Moorish service.
In order to ensure the free passage of the Suez Canal, His Britannic Majesty's Government
declare that they adhere to the stipulations of the treaty of the 29th October, 1888, and that they
agree to their being put in force. The free passage of the canal being thus guaranteed, the
execution of the last sentence of paragraph 1 as well as of paragraph 2 of Article 8 of that treaty
will remain in abeyance.
In order to secure the free passage of the Straits [sic] of Gibraltar, the two governments
agree not to permit the erection of any fortifications or strategic works on that portion of the
coast of Morocco comprised between, but not including, Melilla and the heights which command
the right bank of the river Sebou.
This condition does not, however, apply to the places at present in the occupation of
Spain on the Moorish coast of the Mediterranean.
The two governments, inspired by their feeling of sincere friendship for Spain, take into
special consideration the interests which that country derives from her geographical position and
from her territorial possessions on the Moorish coast of the Mediterranean. In regard to these
interests the French Government will come to an understanding with the Spanish Government.
The agreement which may be come to on the subject between France and Spain shall be
communicated to His Britannic Majesty's Government.
The two governments agree to afford to one another their diplomatic support, in order to
obtain the execution of the clauses of the present declaration regarding Egypt and Morocco.
In witness whereof his excellency the Ambassador of the French Republic at the Court of
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British
Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, and His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs, duly authorized for that purpose, have signed the present declaration and have
affixed thereto their seals.
Done at London, in duplicate, the 8th day of April, 1904.
( L. S. ) LANSDOWNE.
( L. S. ) PAUL CAMBON.
In the event of either government finding themselves constrained, by the force of
circumstances, to modify their policy in respect to Egypt or Morocco, the engagements which
they have undertaken towards each other by Articles 4, 6, and 7 of the declaration of to-day's date
would remain intact.
His Britannic Majesty's Government have no present intention of proposing to the Powers
any changes in the system of the Capitulations, or in the judicial organization of Egypt.
In the event of their considering it desirable to introduce in Egypt reforms tending to
assimilate the Egyptian legislative system to that in force in other civilized countries, the
Government of the French Republic will not refuse to entertain any such proposals, on the
understanding that His Britannic Majesty's Government will agree to entertain the suggestions
that the Government of the French Republic may have to make to them with a view of introducing
similar reforms in Morocco.
The two governments agree that a certain extent of Moorish territory adjacent to Melilla,
Ceuta, and other pr‚sides should, whenever the Sultan ceases to exercise authority over it, come
within the sphere of influence of Spain, and that the administration of the coast of Melilla , as far
as, but not including, the heights on the right bank of the Sebou shall be entrusted to Spain.
Nevertheless, Spain would previously have to give her formal assent to the provisions of
Articles 4 and of the declaration of to-day's date, and undertake to carry them out.
She would also have to undertake not to alienate the whole, or a part, of the territories
placed under her authority or in her sphere of influence.
If Spain, when invited to assent to the provisions of the preceding article, should think
proper to decline, the arrangement between France and Great Britain, as embodied in the
declaration of to-day's date, would be none the less at once applicable.
Should the consent of the other Powers to the draft decree mentioned in Article 1 of the
declaration of to-day's date not be obtainable, the Government of the French Republic will not
oppose the repayment at par of the guaranteed, privileged, and unified debts after the 15th July,
Done at London, in duplicate, the 8th day of April, 1904.
(L S.) LANSDOWNE.
(L. S.) PAUL CAMBON.
Great Britain Treaty Series, No. 24, 1911. -
This declaration, without the secret articles, is published in the SUPPLEMENT (Vol. I, p. 6)
Reprinted "for ready reference in connection with the secret articles now made public." in
American Journal of International Law vol 16, 1912, 26ff
(The text of the draft Khedivial decree referred to in Article 1 of the main treaty is in
Parliamentary Papers "Treaty series, No. 6 (1905)." (Cd. 2384.))
Contributed by C. R. Pennell, University of Melbourne, email@example.com