1904, Tibet - Britain

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CONVENTION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND TIBET, 1904

(Signed at Lhasa, 7th September 1904.)

            Whereas doubts and difficulties have arisen as to the meaning and validity of the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1890, and the Trade Regulations of 1893, and as to the liabilities of the Tibetan Government under these Agreements; and Whereas recent occurrences have tended towards a disturbance of the relations of friendship and good understanding which have existed between the British Government and the Government of Tibet; and Whereas it is desirable to restore peace and amicable relations, and to resolve and determine the doubts and difficulties as aforesaid, the said Governments have resolved to conclude a Convention with these objects, and the following Articles have been agreed upon by Colonel F.E. Younghusband, C.I.E., in virtue of full powers vested in him by His Britannic Majesty’s Government and on behalf of that said Government, and Lo-Sang Gyal-Tsen, the Ga-den Ti-Rimpoche, and the representatives of the Council, of the three monasteries, Se-ra, Dre-pung and Ga-den, and of the ecclesiastical and lay officials of the National Assembly on behalf of the Government of Tibet.

 

I.

            The Government of Tibet engages to respect the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1890 and to recognise the frontier between Sikkim and Tibet, as defined in Article I of the said Convention, and to erect boundary pillars accordingly.

II.

            The Tibetan Government undertakes to open forthwith trade marts to which all British and Tibetan subjects shall have free right of access at Gyantse and Gartok, as well as at Yatung.

            The Regulations applicable to the trade mart at Yatung, under the Anglo-Chinese Agreement of 1893, shall, subject to such amendments as may hereafter be agreed upon by common consent between the British and Tibetan Governments, apply to the marts above mentioned.

            In addition to establishing trade marts at the places mentioned, the Tibetan Government undertakes to place no restrictions on the trade by existing routes, and to consider the question of establishing fresh trade marts under similar conditions if development of trade requires it.

III.

            The question of the amendment of the Regulations of 1893 is reserved for separate consideration, and the Tibetan Government undertakes to appoint fully authorised delegates to negotiate with representatives of the British Government as to the details of the amendments required.

IV.

            The Tibetan Government undertakes to levy no dues of any kind other than those provided for in the tariff to be mutually agreed upon.

V.

            The Tibetan Government undertakes to keep the roads to Gyantse and Gartok from the frontier clear of all obstruction and in a state of repair suited to the needs of the trade, and to establish at Yatung, Gyantse, and Gartok, and at each of the other trade marts that may hereafter be established, a Tibetan Agent who shall receive from the British Agent appointed to watch over British trade at the marts in question any letter which the latter may desire to send to the Tibetan or to the Chinese authorities.  The Tibetan Agent shall also be responsible for the due delivery of such communications and for the transmission of replies.

VI.

            As an indemnity to the British government for the expense incurred in the despatch of armed troops to Lhasa to exact reparation for breaches of Treaty obligations, and for the insults offered to and attacks upon the British Commissioner and his following and escort, the Tibetan Government engages to pay a sum of pounds five hundred thousand — equivalent to rupees seventy-five lakhs — to the British Government.

            The indemnity shall be payable at such place as the British Government may from time to time, after due notice, indicate, whether in Tibet or in the British districts of Darjeeling or Jalpaiguri, in seventy-five annual instalments of rupees one lakh each on the 1st January in each year, beginning from the 1st January 1906.

VII.

            As security for the payment of the abovementioned indemnity, and for the fulfilment of the provisions relative to trade marts specified in Articles II, III, IV and V, the British Government shall continue to occupy the Chumbi Valley until the indemnity has been paid and until the trade marts have been effectively opened for  three years, whichever date may be the later.

VIII.

            The Tibetan Government agrees to raze all forts and fortifications and remove all armaments which might impede the course of free communication between the British frontier and the towns of Gyantse and Lhasa.

IX.

            The Government of Tibet engages that, without the previous consent of the British government —

(a)  No portion of Tibetan territory shall be ceded, sold, leased, mortgaged or otherwise given for occupation to any Foreign Power;

(b)  No such Power shall be permitted to intervene in Tibetan affairs;

(c)  No Representatives or Agents of any Foreign Power shall be admitted to Tibet;

(d)  No concessions for railways, roads, telegraphs, mining or other rights shall be granted to any Foreign Power, or to the subject of any Foreign Power.  In the event of consent to such concessions being granted, similar or equivalent concessions shall be granted to the British government;

(e)  No Tibetan revenues, whether in kind or in cash, shall be pledged or assigned to any Foreign Power, or to the subject of any Foreign Power.

X.

            In witness whereof the negotiators have signed the same, and affixed thereunto the seals of their arms.

            Done in quintuplicate at Lhasa, this 7th day of September in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and four, corresponding with the Tibetan date, the 27th day of the seventh month of the Wood Dragon year.

Tibet Frontier 

Seal of                   F.E. YOUNGHUSBAND,           Seal of the Dalai
British                                 Col.,                        Lama, affixed
Commissioner.            British Commissioner            by the Ga-den
                                                                       Ti-Rimpoche.

                    Commission.

 

Seal of Council.

 

Seal of the                   Seal of                   Seal of
   Dre-pung                    Se-ra                    Ga-den
     Monastery.                Monastery.                Monastery.

 

Seal of National
Assembly.

 

 

            In proceeding to the signature of the Convention, dated this day, the representatives of Great Britain and Tibet declare that the English text shall be binding.

Tibet Frontier 

Seal of                   F.E. YOUNGHUSBAND,           Seal of the Dalai
British                                 Col.,                        Lama, affixed
Commissioner.            British Commissioner            by the Ga-den
                                                                       Ti-Rimpoche.

                    Commission.

 

Seal of Council.

 

Seal of the                   Seal of                   Seal of
   Dre-pung                    Se-ra                    Ga-den
     Monastery.                Monastery.                Monastery.

 

Seal of National
Assembly.

 

 

AMPTHILL,

 Viceroy and Governor-General of India.

 

                  This Convention was ratified by the Viceroy and Governor-General of India in Council at Simla on the eleventh day of November, A.D. one thousand nine hundred and four.

S.M. FRASER,

                                                  Secretary to the Government of India,
                                                                 
Foreign Department.

 

 

 

Declaration signed by His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor-General of India
and appended to the Ratified Convention of 7th September 1904.

 

 

            His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, having ratified the Convention which was concluded at Lhasa on 7th September 1904 by Colonel Younghusband, C.I.E., British Commissioner for Tibet Frontier Matters, on behalf of His Britannic Majesty’s Government, and by Lo-Sang Gyal-Tsen, the Ga-den Ti-Rimpoche, and the representatives of the Council, of the three monasteries Se-ra, Dre-pung, and Ga-den, and of the ecclesiastical and lay officials of the National Assembly, on behalf of the Government of Tibet, is pleased to direct as an act of grace that the sum of money which the Tibetan Government have bound themselves under the terms of Article VI of the said Convention to pay to His Majesty’s Government as an indemnity for the expenses incurred by the latter in connexion with the despatch of armed forces to Lhasa be reduced from Rs. 75,00,000 to Rs. 25,00,000; and to declare that the British occupation of the Chumbi Valley shall cease after the due payment of three annual instalments of the said indemnity as fixed by the said Article, provided, however, that the trade marts as stipulated in Article II of the Convention shall have been effectively opened for three years as provided in Article VI of the Convention, and that, in the meantime, the Tibetans shall have faithfully complied with the terms of the said Convention in all other respects.

 

AMPTHILL,

                                                  Viceroy and Governor-General of India.

 

 

                  This declaration was signed by the Viceroy and Governor-General of India in Council at Simla on the eleventh day of November, A.D. one thousand nine hundred and four.

S.M. FRASER,

                                                  Secretary to the Government of India,
                                                                 
Foreign Department.