By this instrument it was agreed that the terms to be offered to Mehemet Ali having been concerted with the Porte, the signatory powers would unite their forces in order to compel the pasha to accept the settlement.
The first five years of the existence of the state were greatly hampered by the provision of the Berlin Act prohibiting the imposition of any duties on goods imported into the Congo region, but at the Brussels conference, 1890, a declaration was signed by the powers signatory to the Berlin Act, authorizing the imposition of import duties not exceeding to ad valorem, except in the case of spirits, which were to be subject to a higher duty.
By the treaty of Berlin, 13thof July 1878, alike engagement to the six signatory powers was substituted for that to Russia.
Its decision, of ter being communicated to the sovereigns of the powers signatory to the treaty of Berlin, in a series of autograph letters from the emperor Francis Joseph, was made known to Bosnia and Herzegovina in an imperial rescript published on the 7th of October 1908.
" The signatory powers consider it a duty in the event of an acute conflict threatening to break out between two or more of them to remind these latter that the permanent court is open to them.
Firstly, the signatory powers have undertaken to use their best efforts to ensure the pacific settlement of international difficulties.
"be glad to receive any suggestions which the governments of the signatory powers might be disposed to make in reference to this important question, which might perhaps constitute, wholly or in part, the subject of a reference to the tribunal at the Hague."
The seventh article provided that bountied sugars (sucres primes) must be excluded from import into the territories of the signatory powers, by absolute prohibition of entry or by levying thereon a special duty in excess of the amount of the bounties, from which duty sugars coming from the contracting countries, and not bountyfed, must be free.
Thirdly, the signatory powers agree that it shall not be regarded as an unfriendly act if one or more powers, strangers to the dispute, on their own initiative offer their good offices or mediation to the states in disagreement, or even during hostilities, if war has already broken out.
Without consulting the co-signatory powers of the treaty of Berlin, and in deliberate violation of its provisions, the king-emperor issued, on the 13th of October, a decree annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Habsburg Monarchy, and at the same time announcing the withdrawal of the AustroHungarian troops from the sanjak of Novibazar.
Yet to Alexander himself it seemed the only means of placing the "confederation of Europe " on a firm basis of principle and, so far from its being directed against liberty he declared roundly to all the signatory powers that " free constitutions were the logical outcome of its doctrines."
Accordingly, at the beginning of October 1908, the emperor Francis Joseph informed the powers signatory to the treaty of Berlin that the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Dual Monarchy had become necessary, and this decision was formally announced in an imperial rescript dated the 7th of October.