611.60 p 31/18a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Latvia (Coleman)

39. Your despatch No. 2782, April 16.8 Department hopes in the near future to be able to reopen negotiations with Latvia for long-term general treaty of commerce and consular rights.

Since, however, it is likely that considerable time would elapse before treaty could be consummated and ratified, the Department is very desirous of effecting temporary arrangement through medium of modus vivendi.

Referring to Department’s 53, November 15, 1924, 5 p.m.,9 please make the following changes in text transmitted in Department’s No. 42, August 23, 1924, 2 p.m. In the paragraph following the preamble marked 1 omit first 17 words and insert “That in respect of import and export duties and all other duties and.”

Should any question arise in regard to omission of reference to navigation dues you may explain that under the laws of the United States the President is authorized to suspend discriminatory tonnage and light dues on foreign vessels, thus placing them on the same basis as national vessels when he is satisfied that the foreign country in question imposes no discriminatory dues on American vessels or their cargoes. As national treatment is thus authorized by statutory law it is deemed inadvisable to insert in an executive agreement with another country provision for most-favored-nation treatment. You may style the modus vivendi “provisional agreement” in accordance with your No. 151, September 20, 1924, instead of “procès verbale.”

Unless you perceive objection, endeavor to arrange for signature modus vivendi modified as above stated as soon as possible. Keep Department fully informed.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the Foreign Minister desired to enter into a treaty of commerce and friendship with the United States.
  2. Not printed.