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

No. 5237

Sir: Confirming my telegram No. 36, of April 20, 1 p.m., 1928, in which I reported that the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights between the United States and Latvia was signed at the Latvian Foreign Office on April 20, 1928, I have the honor [Page 224] to transmit the United States original of the Treaty and the accompanying Protocol, together with six carbon copies thereof; also one carbon copy of the Latvian original.49

In view of the frail manner in which the United States original is bound, it is being forwarded to the Department under separate cover.

It will be observed that in Article 27 of the enclosed Treaty the High Contracting Parties agree that “personal property imported by consular officers, their families or suites during the incumbency of the officers in office shall be accorded the customs privileges and exemptions accorded to consular officers of the most favored nation.” Under this Article Latvian Consular officers in the United States have “the privilege of entry free of duty of their baggage and all other personal property, whether accompanying the officer to his post or imported at any time during his incumbency thereof.” (See United States-German Treaty of December 8, 1923, Article 27.)

Since Latvia has not up to the present time granted similar privileges to Consular officers of other countries, American consular officers in Latvia, under the terms of this Article, would have the privilege of entry free of duty of only such baggage and other personal property as might accompany them to their post.

In order to remedy this inequality of treatment, I obtained a promise from the Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs during the course of the negotiations that the Latvian Government would make administrative arrangements whereby American Consular Officers in Latvia would receive the same treatment as that to which Latvian Consular Officers in the United States are entitled under the provisions of the Article as it now stands.

For the purpose of making this agreement a matter of record, I addressed a communication to the Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs under date of January 7, 1928, concerning this point. A copy of my communication and of the Foreign Minister’s reply thereto, dated April 16, 1928, is enclosed for the Department’s information.50 The Latvian Foreign Office has requested that these administrative arrangements remain confidential between the two Governments.

I have [etc.]

F. W. B. Coleman
  1. Texts of treaty and protocol printed supra.
  2. Neither printed.