THE PHILIPPINE CLAIM TO SABAH AND
The competing translations
In maintaining that the 1878 Grant was one of lease, the Philippines relies on a translation of that instrument by Professor Harold Conklin of Yale University22 which differs from the translation to be found in Maxwell and Gibson’s compilation.28 It may be useful here to compare relevant portions of both translations with differences italicized.
GRANT BY THE SULTAN OF A PERMANENT LEASE COVERING HIS LANDS AND TERRITORIES ON THE ISLAND OF BORNEO. Dated January 22, 1978.
We . . . do hereby desire to lease, of our own free will and satisfaction, to Gustavus Baron de Overbeck of Hongkong and to Alfred Dent, Esquire, of London, who act as representatives of a British Company, together with their heirs, associates, successors and assigns, forever and until the end of time, all rights and powers which we possess over all [the said] territories. . .
In consideration of this (territorial?) lease, the honourable Gustavus Baron’ de Overbeck and Alfred Dent, Esquire, promise to pay . . . five thousand dollars annually. . .
The above-mentioned territories are from today truly leased [to Overbeck and Dent, their successors etc.] for as long as they choose or desire to, use them; but the rights and powers hereby leased shall not be transferred to another nation, or a company of other nationality, without the consent of their Majesties’ Government.
. . .
. . .
. . .
GRANT BY SULTAN OF SULU OF TERRITORIES AND LANDS ON THE MAINLAND OF THE ISLAND OF BORNEO: Dated 22nd January, 1878.
We . . . hereby .grant and cede of our own free and sovereign will to Gustavus Baron de Overbeck of Hongkong and Alfred Dent, Esquire, of London, as representatives of a British Company co-jointly their heirs, associates and successors and assigns forever and in perpetuity all the rights and powers belonging to .us over .all [the said] territories. . .
In consideration of. this grant the said Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent promise to pay as compensation . . . five thousand dollars per annum.
The said territories are hereby declared vested in [Overbeck and Dent, their successors etc.] for as long as they choose or desire to hold them. Provided however that the rights and privileges conferred by this grant shall never be transferred to any other nation or company of foreign nationality without the sanction of Her Brittanic Majesty’s Government first being obtained.
. . .
. . .
22. See footnote 9.
HeinOnline — 10 Malaya L. Rev. 311 1968
*Note: This document was not printed in the Official Gazette.
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