Émile Banning

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A bust of Émile Banning from the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Belgium

Émile Theodore Joseph Hubert Banning (12 October 1836 – 13 July 1898) was a doctor of philosophy and literature and a Belgian senior civil servant who played an important role in the Belgian politics of the 19th century. Émile Banning was a leading negotiator at the Berlin Conference of 1884 and the Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference of 1890 both involving the Congo Free State.


  • The doctrine of state ownership of land established since 1890 is the exact opposite of free trade, the new doctrine is reprehensible, going against both the natural rights of the indigenous people who will be deprived, and the rights of the Imperial powers as determined in the act of Berlin.
  • By the end of 1892, all the King's collaborators during the first and second phases of Belgian work in the Congo had therefore ceased to participate. M. van Eetvelde, who had increasingly isolated himself from them, remained alone in possession of the sovereign's confidence, with the sole program of being the passive instrument of his designs. This third phase of the administration of the state of Congo affected all signs of impending dissolution.

Quotes about Émile Banning[edit]

Quotes addressed to Émile Banning[edit]

  • My dear Mr. Banning, I am returning the 2nd sheet to you. I find this of extreme interest. You would have to read many volumes to acquire the geographical notions that you have so condensed into a few pages. I read this with great charm. You're giving the matter a nice boost. I have no comments to make. I made a small cross at the top of page 28, because I thought it was better to put "revise" instead of "revis" or "undertook" instead of "undertakes." A thousand friendships. (s) Jules Van Praet.

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