The Minister in Latvia (Coleman) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 13.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Instruction No. 539, of July 10, 1928, inclosing, for exchange, the President’s instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights between the United States and Latvia, signed at Riga on April 20, 1928, and to my telegram No. 64, of July 25, 12 noon, 1928,53 announcing that ratifications were exchanged on July 25, 1928, at 12 o’clock noon. The Latvian instrument of ratification, dated June 29, 1928, and the United States copy of the signed protocol of exchange are enclosed.53
In compliance with the Department’s Instruction referred to above, the Legation withdrew its Note of January 7, 1928, to the Latvian Foreign Office,53 regarding Article 27, and explained orally and by Note, a copy of which is enclosed, the United States Government’s construction of the most-favored-nation clause with respect to consular privileges and immunities and in particular in respect of fiscal concessions to consular officers as conditioned on reciprocity. Mr. Munter, who is in charge of the Foreign Office section which negotiates and assists in the enforcement of commercial treaties accepted the construction placed upon the article by the Department. He requested, however, that the Foreign Office be informed if the American Government construed the most-favored-nation clause in [Page 227] respect of other obligations which it has undertaken in the Treaty as conditioned on reciprocity.
With respect to immunities to be granted American Consular Officers, Mr. Munter stated that the Foreign Office would consult with the appropriate Department of the Latvian Government regarding the advisability of giving assurances in writing that it would accord the privilege of free entry of personal property during their incumbency to Consular Officers of the United States in Latvia The Latvian Government has been granting this privilege to American Consular Officers since the signing of the Treaty, and Mr. Munter stated that notwithstanding the withdrawal of the Legation’s Note of January 7, 1928, it would continue to do so, at least temporarily.
I have [etc.]