The Secretary of State to the Minister in Latvia ( Coleman )
9. Your 3, January 10, 1 p.m. Transit Article. This Government would agree to insertion of following sentence after first sentence of first paragraph of Article 16: “However the measures which either of the High Contracting Parties may be obliged to take in case of emergency affecting the safety or vital interests of the State may, in exceptional cases and for as short a period as possible, involve a deviation from the provisions of this paragraph, it being understood, however, that the principle of freedom of transit must be observed to the utmost possible extent.” Make a separate paragraph of sentence beginning with “Persons and goods”, and ending with “other matter”. Article 16 will then have four paragraphs. For your information (1) it is understood that the exception herein agreed to does not have reference to charges but only to temporary interruptions of transit. (2) The Department considers that this idea is better conveyed by Article 16 as herein amended than by the Latvian proposal.
The question of an exception in regard to State monopolies will be made the subject of a separate telegram.