The Secretary of State to the Minister in Latvia (Coleman)
Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your despatch No. 3739, dated May 3, 1926, and transmits herewith a draft of a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights, for submission to the Government of Latvia. The enclosed draft is based upon the counterdraft submitted to you by the Latvian Foreign Office under date of February 15, 1924, and transmitted to the Department with your despatch No. 1803 of February 18, 1924, which in turn was based [Page 158] upon the draft which you submitted to the Government of Latvia pursuant to instruction No. 62 of August 21, 1923.2 …
The Department desires that you now renew the treaty negotiations with the Latvian Government and bring to its attention the views of this Government in regard to the provisions of the Latvian counterdraft, and the provisions of the enclosed new draft as they are hereinafter presented. The memoranda of the negotiations of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Eights concluded by the United States and Estonia, December 23, 1925,3 transmitted to the Legation with Despatch No. 326 of January 22, 1926,4 may be helpful to you in the course of the negotiations.
The draft which you submitted to the Government of Latvia in September 1923 was drawn before the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Eights of December 8, 1923, was concluded by the United States and Germany.5 With a few minor exceptions it was identical with the draft on which the negotiations with Germany were begun.6 In the process of the negotiations between the United States and Germany a number of questions arose which resulted in minor changes in the text of articles which also are in the draft which you submitted to the Latvian Government. The articles as thus revised were adopted not only in the Treaty with Germany but also in treaties of the same type concluded by the United States with Hungary, June 24, 1925 (Treaty Series No. 748),7 Estonia, December 23, 1925 (Treaty Series No. 736), and Salvador, February 22, 1926.8 (The text of the Treaty with Salvador, ratifications of which have not yet been exchanged,9 is printed in the Congressional Record of May 28, 1926, pages 10241 and following.) As this Government attaches great importance to uniformity in the treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Eights which it is negotiating, the articles referred to are included in the enclosed draft in the revised form. The points of difference between each Article in its original form and in the revised form are hereinafter referred to in the regular order of the Articles of the draft. This Government is hopeful that these minor changes will be acceptable to the Latvian Government.
Preamble. The title of the Treaty, as stated in the Preamble of the new draft is “Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Eights.” The advantage of having the title indicate that consular [Page 159] rights are covered by the treaty is obvious. This title is used in the Treaties with Germany, Hungary, Estonia and Salvador.
Article I. Right to enter, engage in business, etc. Before the Department indicates finally whether it will accept the amendment made by Latvia to the first paragraph of Article I whereby the provision, “by submitting themselves to all local laws and regulations duly established” is placed near the beginning of the paragraph after the words “The nationals of each of the High Contracting Parties shall be permitted” instead of at the end of the paragraph where it was in this Government’s original draft, the Department would like to be informed as to the change in meaning which Latvia considers would be given to the paragraph by the adoption of the proposed change in the position of the provision. Inasmuch as the paragraph in the form in which it was first submitted to Latvia by this Government is now in force in several treaties of the United States (Germany, Hungary), this Government greatly prefers not to accept the change proposed by Latvia. If, however, Latvia considers that the proposed amendment effects a change in the meaning of the provision which is important and which it desires to impart to the provision, the Department on receiving information in regard thereto will be glad to give further consideration to the matter. The paragraph in its original form is included in the enclosed draft. Your attention is also invited at this point to the new paragraph at the end of Article I of the new draft, excepting from the provisions of the Treaty the immigration laws of both countries, which is hereinafter further considered.
The second paragraph of Article I as contained in the United States draft and in the Latvian draft, is as follows:
|united states draft||latvian draft|
|The nationals of either High Contracting Party within the territories of the other shall not be subjected to the payment of any internal charges or taxes higher than those that are exacted of and paid by its nationals.||The nationals of either High Contracting Party within the territories of the other shall not be subject in respect of their persons or property, or in respect of their commerce or industry, to any taxes, whether general or local, or to imposts or obligations of any kind whatever, other or greater than those which are or may be imposed upon nationals of the other, or nationals of the most favored nation.|
This paragraph of the original draft related only to internal taxes and was designed to place the nationals of each country in the other on a basis not inferior to that of nationals of the country in respect of such taxation. It is not clear to this Government what is added to [Page 160] the provision by the words “or to imposts or obligations of any kind whatever” which are contained in the Latvian draft and the Department can not authorize you to accept them unless it has a definite explanation of their purport.
While the other new phrases in the Latvian draft are unobjectionable to this Government, it would be glad if the Latvian Government would accept the paragraph in its original form, inserting however, the words “other or” from the Latvian draft, before “higher”, thus making the paragraph identical with the corresponding provisions in the Treaty of 1923 between the United States and Germany, the Treaty of 1925 between the United States and Hungary and the Treaty of 1925 between the United States and Estonia. In this form it is included in the enclosed draft. If, however, the Latvian Government is strongly opposed to accepting the paragraph in the form in which it is included in the new draft, you are authorized to accept the counterdraft proposed by that Government, provided the phrase “or to imposts or obligations of any kind whatever”, is struck out. As thus revised the paragraph would read:
“The nationals of either High Contracting Party within the territories of the other shall not be subject in respect of their persons or property, or in respect of their commerce or industry, to any taxes, whether general or local, other or higher than those which are or may be imposed upon nationals of the other or nationals of the most favored nation”.
If the Latvian Government insists on including the words “or to imposts or obligations of any kind whatever” in the paragraph, this Government would be willing to give further consideration to the proposal, if it is furnished with information in regard to the kinds of “imposts” and “obligations” which are intended to be covered. This Government considers, however, that the paragraph as included in its enclosed draft meets the requirements of a treaty provision in regard to the taxation of nationals.
In the enclosed draft the following new paragraph is included at the end of Article I:
“Nothing contained in this treaty shall be construed to affect existing statutes of either of the High Contracting Parties in relation to the immigration of aliens or the right of either of the High Contracting Parties to enact such statutes.”
The Senate of the United States in giving its advice and consent to the ratification of the treaty signed with Germany on December 8, 1923, made a reservation in the above words which was accepted by Germany.10 From the point of view of this Government the views [Page 161] thus expressed by the Senate must be recognized in all treaties concluded by the United States containing provisions relating to the right of aliens to enter the United States. This provision was accepted by Hungary, Salvador, and Estonia in the treaties recently signed by the United States with those countries.
Article II. Right of recovery in case of injury or death. In Article II the draft of the Latvian Government contains what is believed to be a typographical error in the clause reading “shall regardless to their alienage”, and you will point out that it is understood that this Article will be accepted as it appears in this Government’s original draft.11
Article III. Respect for dwellings and other premises. In the enclosed draft the first sentence of Article III of the original draft has been amended so as to read:
“The dwellings, warehouses, manufactories, shops and other places of business, and all premises thereto appertaining of the nationals of each of the High Contracting Parties in the territories of the other, used for any purposes set forth in Article I, shall be respected.”
You will observe that the modification of the sentence involves the adding of “other places of business” to the provision and the placing of the phrase “and all premises thereto appertaining” nearer to the words to which they logically relate than they were in the original draft. In this form the provision was adopted in the treaties signed by the United States with Germany, Hungary, Estonia and Salvador.
Article IV. Rights of ownership and succession to real and personal property. In the enclosed draft the words “whether resident or non-resident” have been inserted in the first paragraph of Article IV of the original draft, which relates to real property, after the words “High Contracting Party” (tenth line of original draft, fifth line of Latvian draft). These words are included at this place in Article IV of the treaties signed by the United States with Germany, Hungary, Estonia and Salvador. The words “whether resident or non-resident” appear in the corresponding position in the second paragraph of Article IV of the original draft submitted to Latvia, as well as of the enclosed draft. Expressing them in the first paragraph has the advantage of giving uniformity of language in the two paragraphs where difference might give rise to a question whether a difference of meaning was intended.
This Government agrees that the words “to be” shall be replaced by “may be” in the phrase “this term to be reasonably prolonged”, the word “which” then being substituted for “this”.[Page 162]
The second paragraph of Article IV as contained in the United States draft and the Latvian draft is as follows:
|united states draft||latvian draft|
|Nationals of either High Contracting Party may have full power to dispose of their personal property of every kind within the territories of the other, by testament, donation, or otherwise, and their heirs, legatees and donees, of whatsoever nationality, whether resident or non-resident, shall succeed to such personal property, and may take possession thereof, either by themselves or by others acting for them, and retain or dispose of the same at their pleasure subject to the payment of such duties or charges only as the nationals of the High Contracting Party within whose territories such property may be or belong shall be liable to pay in like cases.||Nationals of either High Contracting Party may have full power to dispose of their personal property of every kind within the territories of the other, by testament, donation or otherwise; they shall be at full liberty to hold and possess at their pleasure therein said property subject to the payment of such duties and charges only as the nationals of the High Contracting Party within whose territories such property may be or belong shall be liable to pay in like cases.|
This Government does not perceive why this paragraph of its draft is unsatisfactory to the Latvian Government. As you pointed out in your despatch No. 1803 of February 18, 1924, the paragraph proposed by the Government of Latvia does not appear to guarantee to the heirs, legatees and donees of personal property, the same rights that are possessed by the original owner. The latter does not expressly recognize a right of succession to personal property such as is contained in the American draft. If such right of succession be implied from the language of the Latvian draft it is clear that under that language it would be afforded in each country only to nationals of the other Party to the treaty and would not extend to nationals of other countries, whereas under the United States draft it would extend to “heirs, legatees and donees, of whatsoever nationality, whether resident or non-resident”. The right of equality of taxation in regard to the holding and possession of personal property which would be accorded by the provisions of the Latvian counterdraft is assured by the second paragraph of Article I whereas the right of equality in regard to taxation would under the language of the paragraph of the United States draft here under consideration, extend also to the disposition of personal property. This Government hopes, therefore, that the Government of Latvia will agree to the restoration of the second paragraph of Article IV of this Government’s original draft. This Government considers that the provision contained therein assuring rights of succession to personal property is essential, [Page 163] whereas the rights which would be accorded by the Latvian counterdraft either are inferior to those which would be accorded by the United States draft or are such as are accorded elsewhere in the draft under negotiation.
Article V. Freedom of Worship. Note has been made of the amendment suggested by the Government of Latvia to Article V, namely that the phrase “on compliance with the laws and regulations of the respective country” be inserted after the words “as herein above provided, may”.
This Government believes that the rights of freedom of worship provided for by the Article should not be restricted by law. It therefore looks with disfavor upon the amendment made in the Latvian draft. This Government believes that the restriction “provided their teachings or practices are not contrary to public morals” which is contained in its original draft or the enlarged form of that restriction contained in the Treaty of the United States with Estonia, namely “provided their teachings or practices are not contrary to public order or public morals” affords the means for the exercise of all the control that it is necessary for either Government to exercise over the right of freedom of worship. The form of the Article as contained in the Treaty with Estonia is adopted in the draft enclosed herewith.
Article VII. Importations, exportations, most favored nation clause, etc. You are instructed to bring to the attention of the Latvian Foreign Office the fact that the fifth paragraph of Article VII has been enlarged so as to apply to exportations as well as importations. The changes in the paragraph are indicated by underlining:12
“All articles which are, or may be, legally imported from foreign countries into ports of the United States, or are, or may be legally exported therefrom in vessels of the United States, may likewise be imported into those ports, or exported therefrom in Latvian vessels, without being liable to any other or higher duties or charges whatsoever than if such articles were imported or exported in vessels of the United States; and, reciprocally, all articles which are or may be legally imported from foreign countries into the ports of Latvia or are or may be legally exported therefrom in Latvian vessels may likewise be imported into these ports or exported therefrom in vessels of the United States without being liable to any other or higher duties or charges whatsoever than if such articles were imported or exported in Latvian vessels.”
This Government is hopeful that the Government of Latvia will accept this enlargement of the paragraph as contained in this Government’s original draft. The revised form of the paragraph was adopted in the treaties with Estonia and Salvador.
The corresponding provision in the Treaty with Germany was made terminable on ninety days’ notice at the expiration of one year [Page 164] from the date of the coming into force of the treaty as a consequence of a condition on which the Senate of the United States gave its advice and consent to the ratification of that treaty. In the view of this Government the paragraph in similar treaties with other countries must be terminable on the same conditions. Provision to this effect was made by an exchange of notes signed in connection with the treaty with Hungary and in Article XXIX of the treaty with Estonia and Article XXVIII of the treaty with Salvador. Provision therefor is made in the third paragraph of Article XXX of the enclosed draft.
Your attention is invited to the sixth paragraph of Article VII of the enclosed draft, which did not appear in the original draft submitted to Latvia, and which is as follows:
“In the same manner there shall be perfect reciprocal equality in relation to the flags of the two countries with regard to bounties, drawbacks, and other privileges of this nature of whatever denomination which may be allowed in the territories of each of the High Contracting Parties, on goods imported or exported in national vessels so that such bounties, drawbacks and other privileges shall also and in like manner be allowed on goods imported or exported in vessels of the other country”.
This paragraph was suggested by one of the foreign Governments with which the United States was engaged in the negotiation of a treaty similar to the treaty with Germany. As similar provisions are contained in a number of the older treaties to which the United States is a party, this Government decided to adopt the suggestion. It desires to include the above paragraph in the treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Eights which it shall sign henceforth with maritime countries. As the suggestion was not made until after the treaty with Germany was signed, the provision is not contained in that treaty. It is, however, contained in the treaty signed with Salvador. The paragraph is made terminable on the same conditions as the preceding paragraph.
Article VIII. Internal taxes, transit duties, drawbacks and bounties. In the enclosed draft the words “internal taxes” have been inserted in Article VIII of the original draft immediately before the words “transit duties”. The Article as thus amended is included in the treaties signed with Germany, Hungary, Salvador and Estonia.
Article IX. Tonnage duties and other charges on vessels. The Latvian Government added a paragraph to this Article stipulating that each country would recognize the ships’ measurement books carried by vessels of the other that are compiled according to the Moorsom system. The policy of this Government with regard to ships’ certificates issued by foreign Governments is defined by Section 4154 of the Revised Statutes as amended, which provides that the Secretary of Commerce may direct that vessels of a foreign country [Page 165] be deemed to be of the tonnage denoted in their certificates of registry or other national papers when such country has substantially adopted the rules concerning measurement which are applied in the United States. The text of Section 4154 as amended is enclosed as Annex 2. In view of this statutory provision, it is deemed inadvisable to incorporate in a treaty any provision which might seem to limit the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce.
You may mention to the Latvian Government that a like proposal to that made by it was considered during the negotiation of the treaty between the United States and Estonia and that an informal understanding was entered into between the negotiators that the matter would be considered separately. The Secretary of Commerce after an examination of the Estonian regulations has recently ruled that the tonnage noted in the certificate of registry or other national papers of Estonian ships shall be accepted in the United States as the tonnage of the vessels. Copies of the correspondence between the Department and the Estonian Legation were sent to you with instruction No. 386 of October 4, 1926.13 If the Latvian Government desires to enter into a similar arrangement with the United States, apart from the provisions of the treaty, this Government will be glad to give consideration to the matter. In the event the suggestion for such an arrangement be agreeable to the Latvian Government, the Department would be glad to have the matter presented in a separate note. A pamphlet containing the laws and regulations of the United States in regard to the measurement of vessels is enclosed.14
Article XI. Coasting Trade. The Latvian Government asks that the words “and the Republic of Latvia” be inserted at two places in Article XI, namely after “the coasting trade of the United States” and “according to the laws of the United States” respectively, thus exempting the coasting trade of Latvia as well as the coasting trade of the United States from the stipulations of the Article and of the Treaty. These amendments are acceptable to this Government. This Government suggests that the word “respectively” be inserted after the second of the insertions proposed by Latvia. The article thus revised is included in the enclosed draft.
Termination of Fifth and Sixth Paragraphs of Article VII and Articles IX and XI. At this point your attention is particularly called to the provision contained in the third paragraph of Article XXX of the enclosed draft under which the fifth and sixth paragraphs of Article VII and the whole of Articles IX and XI, are made terminable upon ninety days’ notice, at the end of twelve months from the date of exchange of ratifications of the treaty, and thereafter by [Page 166] operation of legislation inconsistent with them, which may be enacted by the United States or Latvia. That provision is the consequence of a reservation made by the Senate of the United States in giving its advice and consent to the ratification of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights, signed by the United States and Germany on December 8, 1923. The reservation and exchange of notes effecting the acceptance thereof by Germany are printed with the Treaty in Treaty Series No. 725. A like reservation was made by exchange of notes in relation to the Treaty with Hungary. (Treaty Series No. 748). The provision as contained in the enclosed draft is included in the treaties with Salvador15 and Estonia (Treaty Series No. 736).
Article XII. Recognition of corporations and their right to engage in business. This Government accepts the amendment proposed by the Government of Latvia to Article XII, namely that the words “and regulations” be inserted at the end of the second paragraph after the words “as expressed in its National, State or Provincial laws”, thus making the right of corporations of one country to establish themselves in the other, etc., dependent upon regulations as well: as laws. It is understood, of course, that regulations will not narrow rights granted by laws unless the power to do so is expressly conferred by law on the authorities issuing the regulations.
Article XIII. Right of nationals to organize corporations. At the end of the first paragraph of Article XIII of the Treaty with Germany. which Article corresponds to Article XIII of the draft, is the following sentence not included in the draft submitted to Latvia by this Government:
“The foregoing stipulations do not apply to the organization of and participation in political associations.”
The above sentence is also included in the treaties signed with Hungary (Article X) and Estonia (Article XIII). It is not included in the treaty signed with Salvador. This Government does not propose it for inclusion in the treaty with Latvia. It desires, however, that you bring the sentence to the attention of the Latvian negotiators, and state to them that, if Latvia considers that such a provision in the treaty would have any value to that country, this Government will be glad to insert it at the end of the first paragraph of Article XIII.
Article XIV. Commercial travelers. It is noted that the Latvian Government omitted Articles XIV and XV of the original United States draft from its counterdraft and made no counter proposal in regard thereto. This Government will raise no objection to such omission provided provision granting most favored nation treatment to commercial travelers be inserted in the treaty. You will therefore [Page 167] propose to the Latvian Government the following Article XIV to take the place of Articles XIV and XV of the original draft.
Article XIV. Commercial travelers representing manufacturers, merchants and traders domiciled in the territories of either High Contracting Party shall on their entry into and sojourn in the territories of the other Party and on their departure therefrom be accorded the most favored nation treatment in respect of customs and other privileges and of all charges and taxes of whatever denomination applicable to them or to their samples.
If either High Contracting Party require the presentation of an authentic document establishing the identity and authority of a commercial traveler, a signed statement by the concern or concerns represented, certified by a consular officer of the country of destination, shall be accepted as satisfactory.
The first paragraph of the above Article is identical with Article XIV of the Treaty with Estonia. Point out to the Latvian Government that through this most favored nation stipulation Latvian commercial travelers would obtain in the United States all the benefits of Articles XIV and XV of the original draft, as these provisions are now in effect in the treaties of the United States with Germany and a number of other countries. A provision somewhat similar to the second paragraph is contained in the second paragraph of the protocol of the Treaty with Estonia. It is believed that a provision for the establishment of the identity and authority of a commercial traveler is desirable, and the Department of Commerce desires to have the second paragraph inserted in the text of the treaty. No authorities competent to issue such certificates are now established in the United States nor does there seem to be sufficient need at the present time for organizing them. The method set out above whereby the certificates would be furnished without intervention of the authorities of the country from which the traveler proceeded would seem to be satisfactory. In view of the provisions of Article VIII of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Latvia and Great Britain, it is hoped that there will be no objection on the part of the Latvian Government to the acceptance of this paragraph.
Article XV. (Article XIV of Latvian draft). Freedom of transit. With reference to Article XIV of the Latvian Government’s draft, which becomes Article XV of the enclosed draft, this Government accepts the addition of the words “or regulations” at the end of the first sentence of this Article, as proposed by Latvia, thus recognizing as exceptions to the right of transit persons and goods forbidden admission to the country by regulations as well as those forbidden admission by law. This Government regards the two new sentences proposed by the Government of Latvia, to be added to the first paragraph of this Article, as unnecessary. The sentences read as follows:
“It is understood that traffic in transit shall not be subject to any special dues in respect of transit (including entry and exit), except [Page 168] for such dues as are intended solely to defray expenses of supervision and administration entailed by such transit. It is further understood that ordinary charges for the handling of the goods in the ports are not within the scope of this Article and may be levied.”
This Government regards the last paragraph of this Article of the original draft, which is as follows:
“All charges imposed on transport in transit shall be reasonable, having regard to the conditions of the traffic.”
as being sufficient to cover the situation understood to be contemplated by the two additional sentences proposed by Latvia. The article as presented in the draft first submitted to Latvia was agreed to in the treaties of the United States with Germany, Hungary, Estonia and Salvador. The Department desires that you make an earnest effort to have it accepted by Latvia agreeing however, to the addition of the words “or regulations” at the end of the first sentence.
If, however, the Latvian negotiators feel that further provision should be made along this line, you are instructed to inquire whether a provision such as the paragraph numbered three in the protocol accompanying the Treaty with Estonia would not be acceptable to Latvia, if incorporated in a protocol to the treaty. The provision referred to reads as follows:
“The provisions of Article XV do not prevent the High Contracting Parties from levying on traffic in transit dues intended solely to defray expenses of supervision and administration entailed by such transit, the rate of which shall correspond as nearly as possible with the expenses which such dues are intended to cover and shall not be higher than the rates charged on other traffic of the same class on the same routes.”
The language follows closely the language of the Statute attached to the Convention on Freedom of Transit signed at Barcelona, April 20, 1921,16 to which the United States is not a party. You are authorized to agree to such a paragraph in the protocol if that becomes necessary.
Article XVI. (Article XV of the Latvian draft). Exceptions from most favored nation clause. The Latvian Government proposed the following new article as Article XV of its draft:
“As an exception from the general undertaking given by the Latvian Government to accord most favored nation treatment to the commerce of the territories of the United States of America, it is understood that the Government of the United States of America will not claim the benefit of any Customs preferences or other facilities of whatever nature which are or may be granted by Latvia in favor of Russia, Finland, Esthonia, or Lithuania in regard to Russian, Finnish, Esthonian, or Lithuanian goods respectively so long as such preferences [Page 169] or facilities are not extended by Latvia to any other foreign country.”
You are instructed to inform the Latvian negotiators that this Government agrees to include this provision in the Treaty. It appears as Article XVI of the enclosed draft.
Article XVIII (Article XVII of the Latvian draft). Criminal and civil jurisdiction over consular officers. The first sentence of the first paragraph of Article XVIII of the enclosed draft differs from the corresponding sentence of this Government’s original draft (Article XVII of the Latvian Government’s draft), in that the words “other than misdemeanors” have been inserted after the word “crimes”, and that the words “as a criminal” at the end of the sentence have been struck out. The first paragraph of the Article as thus revised reads as follows:
“Consular officers, nationals of the State by which they are appointed, shall be exempt from arrest except when charged with the commission of offenses locally designated as crimes other than misdemeanors and subjecting the individual guilty thereof to punishment. Such officers shall be exempt from military billetings, and from service of any military or naval, administrative or police character whatsoever.”
In the form above quoted the paragraph is included in the Treaties signed with Germany (Article XVIII), Hungary (Article XV), Salvador (Article XVI), and Estonia (Article XVII). It is believed that it is a clearer and more satisfactory definition than that contained in the original draft submitted by this Government.
Article XX. (Article XIX of the Latvian draft). Privileges of consular officers. The Latvian Government includes as the first paragraph of Article XIX of its draft, the following definition of the term “consular officer”:
“Under the name of Consular officers are regarded the following persons: Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls and Consular Agents.”
From the point of view of this Government it is unnecessary to have a definition of the term consular officer in the treaty. It might at some time become embarrassing to the United States or Latvia to have such a definition in the treaty because the grades of consular officers are subject to change by national laws and grades not mentioned in the treaty might subsequently be created by such law. This Government asks that if a definition of the term “consular officer” be regarded as necessary by the Latvian Government, it be included in a protocol to accompany the treaty, as was done in the Treaty between the United States and Estonia, rather than in the treaty itself. Paragraph 4 of that Protocol is as follows: [Page 170]
“Wherever the term ‘consular officer’ is used in this Treaty it shall be understood to mean Consuls General, Consuls, Vice Consuls and Consular Agents to whom an exequatur or other document of recognition has been issued pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article XVI.”
This Government would be glad if the Latvian Government would accept the definition there given in lieu of the one proposed by it and would agree to put it in the protocol.
Article XXII. (Article XXI of the Latvian draft). Notarial acts by consular officers. The texts of Article XXII of the United States draft and the Article substituted therefor by Latvia are as follows:
|united states draft||latvian draft|
|Consular officers may, in pursuance of the laws of their own country, take, at any appropriate place within their respective districts, the depositions of any occupants of vessels of their own country, or of any national of, or of any person having permanent residence within the territories of, their own country. Such officers may draw up, attest, certify and authenticate unilateral acts, deeds and testamentary dispositions of their countrymen, and also contracts to which a countryman is a party. They may draw up, attest, certify and authenticate written instruments of any kind purporting to express or embody the conveyance or encumbrance of property of any kind within the territory of the State by which such officers are appointed, and unilateral acts, deeds, testamentary dispositions and contracts relating to property situated, or business to be transacted within, the territories of the State by which they are appointed, embracing unilateral acts, deeds, testamentary dispositions or agreements executed solely by nationals of the State within which [Page 171] such officers exercise their functions.||The Consular officers of either of the High Contracting
parties as far as they are entitled by their respective
States, which have appointed them, shall have the right:—
|It is understood that the stipulations embodied in this Article shall not be applicable to the juridical bilateral acts relative to the transference of rights of property or mortgage of the immovable estates, situated in the territories of the State of Consul’s residence.|
|Instruments and documents thus executed and copies and translations thereof, when duly authenticated under his official seal by the consular officer shall be received as evidence in the territories of the contracting parties as original documents or authenticated copies, as the case may be, and shall have the same force and effect as if drawn by and executed before a notary or other public officer duly authorised in the country by which the consular officer was appointed; provided, always that such documents shall have been drawn and executed in conformity to the laws and regulations of the country where they are designed to take effect.||Copies, extracts, and duplicates of acts, drawn up in accordance with the terms of the present Article relating to the Consuls, if by the said consular functionaries duly certified and bearing the seal of the Consulate, shall have in the territories of either of the High Contracting Parties legal power and juridical effect and, like their originals, shall have the same authentical character and the same force as if drawn by and executed before a notary or other public officer duly authorised in the territories of either of the High Contracting Parties, provided: 1) that these acts are drawn up in due form which is foreseen by laws of the State that appoints the Consul; 2) that these copies, extracts, and duplicates, like their originals, duly bear the revenue duties and are registered, and 3) that all formalities, required in these matters, are complied with in the country for which these acts are meant.|
The Latvian Government made no statement of particulars in which the draft of the United States was objectionable or incomplete.[Page 172]
This Government, having previously included this Article in the form in which it was presented in its original draft to Latvia in treaties with a number of countries, earnestly requests in the interest of uniformity in its treaty provisions relating to the subject, that the Latvian Government agree to accept that Article in its original form. If the Latvian negotiators have objections to any of the provisions of this Government’s draft, or consider any of them to be unsatisfactory, this Government will be glad to consider the particulars which may be brought to its attention. In the absence of essential differences between the enumerated powers of consular officers in the respective drafts, this Government is hopeful that the Latvian Government will consider the original Article XXII satisfactory. If on further consideration the Latvian Government insists on the Article drafted by it, this Government will consider any points of difference between the two drafts that may be pointed out to it.
Proposed Article. (Article XXIII of Latvian draft). Assistance for recovery of deserting seamen. The Latvian Government proposed a new Article, as follows:
“The Consular officers of each of the High Contracting Parties residing in the territories of the other shall receive from the local authorities such assistance as can by law be given to them for the recovery of deserters from the vessels of their respective country.
“Provided that this stipulation shall not apply to nationals of the High Contracting Party in whose territory the desertion takes place.”
You are instructed to inform the Latvian negotiators that this Government regrets its inability to accept this Article. Point out to the Latvian authorities that Section 16 of the Act of Congress of March 4, 1915, commonly referred to as the “Seamen’s Act”, 38 Stat. 1164, 1184, provides as follows:
“That in the judgment of Congress articles in treaties and conventions of the United States, in so far as they provide for the arrest and imprisonment of officers and seamen deserting or charged with desertion from merchant vessels of the United States in foreign countries, and for the arrest and imprisonment of officers and seamen deserting or charged with desertion from merchant vessels of foreign nations in the United States and the Territories and possessions thereof, and for the cooperation, aid, and protection of competent legal authorities in effecting such arrest or imprisonment and any other treaty provision in conflict with the provisions of this Act, ought to be terminated, and to this end the President be, and he is hereby, requested and directed, within ninety days after the passage of this Act, to give notice to the several Governments, respectively, that so much as hereinbefore described of all such treaties and conventions between the United States and foreign governments will terminate on the expiration of such periods after notices have been given as may be required in such treaties and conventions.”
Treaty provisions in a large number of treaties of the United States were terminated pursuant to the will of Congress as expressed in the [Page 173] above quoted Act. (See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1915, page 6). Obviously the Article proposed by Latvia would conflict with the purpose of the “Seamen’s Act”. This Government would not consent to include such a provision in a Treaty with any country. You will point out, however, that pursuant to the immigration laws of the United States, the immigration authorities endeavor to apprehend all persons who have entered the United States unlawfully, including seamen who have deserted their vessels. Thus you can say to the Latvian negotiators that in practice the matter to which their proposed article relates will, in so far as concerns seamen deserting Latvian vessels in the United States, no doubt be taken care of satisfactorily without resort to a treaty stipulation.
Article XXIX. (Article XXIX of Latvian draft). Definition of territories and nationals. The enclosed draft does not contain the second paragraph of Article XXIX of the original draft submitted to Latvia by this Government and included in Article XXIX of the Latvian Government’s draft. This Government does not desire to include the definition of the term “nationals” embraced in that paragraph in the Treaty. It would appear that cases might arise in which each party to the treaty would deem that the same person owed permanent allegiance to it. The proposed definition would seem to contribute nothing to the solution of such a question when it might arise, and would be unnecessary in other circumstances. The definition does not appear in the treaties of the United States with Germany, Hungary, Estonia or Salvador.
The first paragraph of the Article containing a definition in general terms of the territories to which the Treaty relates is retained in the enclosed draft as Article XXIX.
Article XXX. Ratification and duration. In lieu of Articles XXX and XXXI of this Government’s original draft the Latvian Government proposed the following:
“The present treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Riga as soon as possible. It shall come into force immediately upon ratification, and shall remain in force until the expiration of twelve months from the date on which either of the High Contracting Parties shall have denounced it.”
It is noted that the Latvian draft makes the entire Treaty terminable at the end of one year. You explained that this change was made in view of possible alliances by Latvia with other Baltic States and the formation of a Baltic States Union which would require the revision of all treaties entered into by the various members in order to bring them into accord. In view of the acceptance by this Government of Article XV of the Latvian draft (Article XVI of the enclosed draft), it would appear that this reason would be inoperative. You are instructed, therefore, to endeavor to obtain the acceptance by [Page 174] Latvia of the ten-year period for the duration of the treaty proposed in this Government’s original draft, except in so far as it is necessary to adopt the one-year term in order to make the provisions of the treaty accord with the reservations made by the Senate of the United States in giving its advice and consent to the ratification of the treaty with Germany. Point out that this Government deems it inadvisable that the treaty should be terminable in so short a time as one year, with respect to matters concerning which the parties have a permanent policy, especially in view of the time required for negotiations, ratification by both Governments and exchange of ratifications. Paragraphs 5 and 6 of Article VII and Articles IX and XI relating to shipping contain provisions which the Senate at the time it gave its advice and consent to the ratification of the treaty with Germany considered this Government might desire to make the subject of consideration with a view to legislative action. It is for this reason that they are made terminable at the end of one year.
Article XXX of this Government’s revised draft is as follows:
“Except as provided in the third paragraph of this Article the present Treaty shall remain in full force for the term of ten years from the date of the exchange of ratifications, on which date it shall begin to take effect in all of its provisions.
“If within one year before the expiration of the aforesaid period of ten years neither High Contracting Party notifies to the other an intention of modifying by change or omission, any of the provisions of any of the articles in this Treaty or of terminating it upon the expiration of the aforesaid period the Treaty shall remain in full force and effect after the aforesaid period and until one year from such a time as either of the High Contracting Parties shall have notified to the other an intention of modifying or terminating the Treaty.
“The fifth and sixth paragraphs of Article VII and Articles IX and XI shall remain in force for twelve months from the date of exchange of ratifications, and if not then terminated on ninety days’ previous notice shall remain in force until either of the High Contracting Parties shall enact legislation inconsistent therewith when the same shall automatically lapse at the end of sixty days from such enactment, and on such lapse each High Contracting Party shall enjoy all the rights which it would have possessed had such paragraphs or articles not been embraced in the Treaty.”
Estonia accepted in Article XXIX of the Treaty of 1925 with the United States the same proposal which this Government herein makes to Latvia.
Provisions relating to ratifications and the exchange of ratifications, such as are contained in Article XXXI of this Government’s original draft should be included in the treaty at the end of the foregoing Article or as a separate Article. Article XXXI of the original draft is, therefore, retained as Article XXXI of the enclosed draft.
There is enclosed a draft of a protocol containing the provision in regard to the levying of dues on traffic in transit to defray expenses of [Page 175] supervision and administration of transit and the definition of “consular officer” referred to above under Articles XV and XX, respectively.
If you are unable to obtain acceptance by the Latvian Government of Articles XV and XX of the enclosed draft because of that Government’s insistence upon the substance of the additions suggested by it to those Articles, you are instructed to endeavor to have the protocol accepted rather than to include the additional provisions in the Articles of the treaty. The provisions of the Protocol are the same mutatis mutandis as those relating to the same subjects contained in the Protocol accompanying the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights with Estonia. This Government considers that both provisions of the Protocol are merely interpretive of the stipulations of the respective Articles as proposed by it and that the provisions of the Articles would have the same effect if no Protocol be signed. You are instructed to bring this view to the attention of the Latvian authorities.
With a view to expediting the completion of the negotiations, the Department will be glad to have you report by telegram in regard to points on which you may desire to have further instructions unless such points are numerous or raise complicated questions.
I am [etc.]
- None printed.↩
- Memorandum of the negotiations not printed; for text of the treaty, see Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. ii, p. 70.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. ii, p. 29.↩
- See ibid., pp. 22 ff.↩
- Ibid., 1925, vol. ii, p. 341.↩
- Ibid., 1926, vol. ii, p. 940.↩
- Ratifications exchanged Sept. 5, 1930.↩
- Senate resolution giving advice and consent to ratification was passed February 10, 1925; see bracketed note, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. ii, p. 45. Germany agreed to the Senate reservations in a note dated May 21, 1925.↩
- The original draft read: “shall regardless of their alienage.”↩
- The underlined passages are indicated by italics.↩
- Instruction not printed; but for notes exchanged with the Estonian Legation, see Foreign Relations, 1926, vol. ii, pp. 89–90.↩
- No pamphlet attached to file copy.↩
- Treaty Series No. 827.↩
- League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. vii, pp. 11, 26.↩
Of the 31 articles of this draft, arts, ii–vi, viii–x, xii, xiv, xvii–xxvi, and xxviii–xxxi are not printed; they were accepted by the Latvian Government in its memorandum dated March 5, 1927, p. 187. For the texts of those articles, see the signed treaty, p. 208.
The first sentence of par. 3 of art. xxx of this draft begins: “The fifth and sixth paragraphs of Article vii and Articles ix and xi shall remain in force.” This sentence as revised in the signed treaty reads: “The sixth and seventh paragraphs of Article vii and Articles x and xii shall remain in force.”↩
- Foreign Relations, 1903, p. 375.↩
- Arts, viii, ix, and x became arts. ix, x, and xi, respectively, and art. xi, when revised, became art. xii of the treaty signed Apr. 20, 1928, p. 208.↩
- Art. xii became art. xiii of the signed treaty.↩
- Art. xiii, when revised, became art. xiv of the signed treaty.↩
- Art. xiv became art. xv of the signed treaty.↩
- Art. xv, when revised, became art. xvi of the signed treaty.↩