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Primary Documents - Treaty of Bucharest, 7 May 1918: Articles 24-26

Romanian Prime Minister Ion IC Bratianu

Sixth Chapter:
Regulation of Navigation on the Danube

Article 24

With Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, Roumania will conclude a new navigation agreement with regard to the Danube which will settle the legal situation on the Danube from the point where it becomes navigable, by taking into account the stipulations following under a to d and on condition that the provisions under b are equally applicable to all the participants in the Danube agreement.

Negotiations anent the new Danube agreement shall begin at Munich, as soon as possible after the ratification of the peace treaty.

a.  For the course of the river below Braila, inclusive of this harbour, the European Danube Commission will be retained as a permanent institution with its powers, privileges and obligations under the name of "Commission on the Mouth of the Danube":

1. The Commission will henceforth consist only of delegates from the States situated on the Danube or on the European shore of the Black Sea.

2. From Braila downward, the competence of the Commission extends to all branches and mouths of the Danube and to the parts contiguous to the Black Sea; the rules issued by the Corn-mission with regard to the Sulina Arm shall also be applied in like manner to the branches or sub-branches for which hitherto the Commission was not, or was not exclusively competent.

b. Roumania guarantees to the ships of the other contracting parties free circulation on the Roumanian part of the Danube, inclusive of the harbours connected therewith.

Neither on ships and rafts of the contracting parties nor on their cargoes will Roumania levy any dues based upon the fact that they navigate on the river.

Neither will Roumania levy in future on the river any other dues or taxes than those admitted in virtue of the new convention of navigation on the Danube.

c. The Roumanian tax of per cent upon the value of merchandise imported or exported through the harbours of the country, will be abrogated after the going into force of the new convention of navigation on the Danube, and as soon as Roumania shall have determined the taxes, according to the new convention, for the use of public institutions serving for the development of shipping traffic and the movement of merchandise.

This tax will be levied at all events, at the latest, five years after the ratification of the present treaty of peace.  Merchandise and rafts transported in Roumania on the Danube will not be subject to a traffic tax based on the fact that they are being thus transported.

d.  The section of the cataracts and of the Iron Gates to which relate the provisions of Article VI of the Treaty of London of 13 March, 1871, of Article LVII of the Berlin Treaty of 13 July, 1878, comprises the stretch of the river from Moldova to Turn-Severin, over the entire width of the river, from one shore to the other shore, inclusive of all the branches of the river and the islands situated between them.

Accordingly, the obligations relative to the maintenance of navigability over the stretch of the cataracts and the Iron Gates which had been assumed by Austria-Hungary on the basis of stipulations mentioned in paragraph 1 and which Hungary had been charged to carry out, will henceforth apply, even as the special rights accruing therefrom to Hungary to that part of the Danube explicitly specified under paragraph 1.

The border States of this part of the river will afford Hungary all facilities she might ask for in the interest of the works which she has to carry out there.

Article 25

Until the meeting of the Commission on the Mouth of the Danube, Roumania will administer in orderly fashion and preserve from any damage the properties of the European Commission of the Danube which it has in custody.

Immediately after, the signing of the peace treaty, a Commission composed of at least two representatives of each of the contracting parties, will survey the condition of the material in the care of Roumania.  A special agreement will be entered into anent the obligation of Roumania for the immediate tentative return of this material.

Article 26

Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Roumania have the right to keep war-ships on the Danube.  These war-ships may navigate down the stream as far as the sea and up the river as far as the extreme boundary of their own territories; excepting in case of force majeure, they may, however, enter into communication with or anchor at the shore of another State, only with the approval of such State to be secured through the channels of diplomacy.

Each of the Powers represented in the Commission on the Mouth of the Danube has the right to keep two light war-ships, as station ships,.  at the mouths of the Danube.  Such war-ships, without any special authorization, may ascend the Danube as far as Braila.

The war-ships mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 are entitled, within the harbours and waters of the Danube, to all the privileges and advantages of warships.

A "chit" was British slang for a piece of paper.

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Treaty of Bucharest

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