The Minister in Latvia (Colemem) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 16.]
Sir: Referring to the Legation’s despatches Nos. 4408 and 4542, of March 21 and June 6, 1927, respectively, concerning the proposed Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights between the United States and Latvia, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a note which I addressed to the Latvian Foreign Office on [Page 194] June 17, 1927,37 together with a copy of a note from the Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs in reply bearing the same date.37 For the completion of the Department’s files, I also venture to enclose herewith a copy of a note which I addressed to the Latvian Foreign Office on May 20, 1927.37 The Latvian Government’s reply to the latter note was transmitted to the Department with my despatch No. 4542 of June 6, 1927.
The Department will note that Article 1 of the proposed treaty now seems to present the greatest difficulties. In compliance with the Department’s telegram No. 19, of May 16, 3 p.m., I informed the Latvian Foreign Office, in my note of May 20, 1927, that the United States Government insisted upon provision for national treatment in the 1st paragraph of Article 1 of the draft. The Department will have observed that, in the Latvian Foreign Office note dated June 1, 1927, which accompanied the Legation’s despatch No. 4542 of June 6, 1927, the Latvian Government proposed to the United States Government a text similar to that of the treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Latvia and Great Britain. I informed the Latvian Foreign Office that I felt sure that my Government would be unable to accept this proposal. I was then informed by a Foreign Office official that the Latvian Government would refer this Article back to the Latvian Government Commissions which are charged with considering treaty matters. I explained to the Foreign Office that the United States Government was especially anxious to retain the principle of uniformity in its treaties. In his note of June 17, 1927, the Latvian Foreign Minister stated that “the Commission is unable to change its attitude vis à vis Article 1 of the Draft, and the proposal contained in the mentioned note could be extended only to accord national treatment in matters of religion. In all other respects most favoured nation treatment is to be stipulated.” Subsequently, the Foreign Office sent me, without a covering note, a new proposal concerning Article I. A copy of this proposal is enclosed herewith. The Department will note that the Latvian proposal makes certain alterations in the Department’s draft of Article I. In paragraph 1, line 4, of the Latvian proposal the word “professional” is omitted; and in lines 5 and 11 “manufacturing” is omitted. The Latvian draft also proposes an alteration in the last paragraph of Article I. The Legation does not believe that the omission of these words will meet with the approval of the Department. The Commercial Attaché and I are of the opinion that it is essential that the word “manufacturing” should be included.
With regard to exception (c) in Article VII of the Draft, the Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs states in his note of June 17, 1927, [Page 195] that his Government regrets that it is unable to accept the United States Government’s suggestion and “maintains the necessity of including state monopolies in the specification of exceptions to the principle of freedom of commerce.”
The Latvian Foreign Minister also states that “similarly, the Commission does not see its way to omitting the reference to the towing service, fishing, and national shipbuilding industries in Article II, bearing in mind that a similar text has been adopted in all Latvian treaties where matters of navigation are being regulated. The omission of the said exceptions could cause difficulties in the interpretation of the principle of national treatment accorded by Latvia in matters of navigation.
The fact that no provisions of the Draft refer to the towing service, fishing, and national shipbuilding industries is in no way sufficient to exempt these from the general clause of national treatment in matters of navigation.”
The Department’s attention is invited to the first paragraph in the Latvian Foreign Minister’s note of June 17, 1927, which reads as follows: “Referring to Your Excellency’s note of July [June] 17th last, I beg to inform Your Excellency that my Government is prepared to accept the proposal contained in the cited note in respect to Article 15 of the Draft of Treaty, stipulating that prohibition of transit may be maintained, if being in conformity with the Convention and Statute of Barcelona. The formula for the respective stipulation will be presented to Your Excellency in due course.” Inasmuch as no formula has been submitted by the Latvian Government, I am inclined to believe that the Latvian Government will acquiesce in the formula proposed by the Department in the last sentence of its telegram No. 21, of June 15, 1927, 2  p.m.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I have [etc.]