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

No. 4542

Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegram No. 19, of May 16, 3 p.m., and my telegram No. 43, of June 2, 4 p.m., 1927, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a note, dated June 1, 1927, from the Latvian Foreign Office, in answer to the points raised in the Department’s telegram under reference.

The Department will observe that the Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs states in his note of June 1st that he is authorized to propose to the United States Government a text similar to that of the treaty of commerce and navigation between Latvia and Great Britain.35 In this connection, however, I informed Dr. Albats, Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office, verbally that I was certain that my Government could not accept anything less than “national treatment”. Dr. Albats informed me that there had been a difference of opinion amongst the Latvian Government bodies, which are charged with considering [Page 192] treaties, concerning this matter. Two of the three Latvian commissions had perceived no objections to acceding to the United States point of view, but a third had raised difficulties. Mr. Albats promised to take the matter up again with the Latvian commissions with a view to obtaining a reply that would enable the Foreign Office to comply with the desire of the United States Government.

I have [etc.]

F. W. B. Coleman

The Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Cielens ) to the American Minister ( Coleman )

No. 652

Excellency: With reference to Your Excellency’s Note of the 20th May 1927,36 relating to the Draft of Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights between Latvia and the United States of America, I am glad to note that the proposals of the Latvian Government in regard to the Preamble, Article 13 and Article 27 are agreeable to Your Excellency’s Government.

In respect of the first two paragraphs of Article 1 of the draft, I am authorized to propose to Your Excellency’s Government a text similar to that of the treaty of commerce and navigation between Latvia and Great Britain as follows:

“The citizens of each of the two Contracting Parties shall have liberty freely to come, with their ships and cargoes to all places and ports in the territories of the other, to which citizens of that Party are, or may be, permitted to come, and shall enjoy the same rights, privileges, liberties, favors, immunities and exemptions in matters of commerce and navigation as are or may be enjoyed by citizens of that Party.

“The citizens of each of the Contracting Parties 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 citizens of the other, or subjects or citizens of the most favored nation”.

Regarding the last part of paragraph one of Article 7, the Latvian Government, however, is obliged to maintain the inclusion of Exception C.

Regarding the proposed additions in Article 11 this question should be left open until its due consideration by my Government.

The Latvian Government are glad to learn that Your Excellency’s Government have consented to omit the words “of the United States” from Article 15. As regards the insertion of “or transit” [Page 193] in Article 15, the Republic of Latvia is bound in this respect by international conventions which are duly ratified and entered into force, consequently my Government are obliged to maintain the proposed insertion.

The Latvian Government agrees that the question of the mutual recognition of the respective certificates regarding measurement of tonnage be considered apart from the treaty provided the exchange of notes on it takes place before or on the signing of the Treaty.

I avail myself [etc.]

F. Cielens
  1. Signed June 22, 1923; League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xx, p. 395.
  2. Note not printed; it was transmitted in compliance with instructions in telegram No. 19, May 16, 1927.