860P.512 Residence/22

The Chargé in Latvia (Sussdorff) to the Secretary of State

No. 6960

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Instruction No. 671, of September 24, 1929,6 directing the Legation to take up the matter of the sojourn tax on American citizens in Latvia again with the Latvian Government and to point out the fact that the Latvian law of March 2 [7], 1927, in the second paragraph, provides specifically that the amount of the tax is based on reciprocity. In compliance with the Department’s instruction, the Legation addressed a Note to the Latvian Foreign Office on October 18, 1929, in this sense, a copy of which is enclosed herewith for the Department’s information.7 I had already presented this argument orally to the Latvian Foreign Office on several occasions, as well as the argument that American citizens in Latvia are entitled to an exemption from the sojourn tax on the basis of the United States-Latvian Commercial Treaty.8 The Foreign Office replied orally that it also felt that the American citizens in Latvia were entitled to exemption from the sojourn tax on the basis of reciprocity, but that it was unable to convert the Latvian Ministry of the Interior to its views, although it had used its best endeavors in that direction, and would continue to do so.

On March 3, 1930, I addressed a further Note to the Latvian Foreign Office7 urgently requesting a favorable solution of the above question and also took the matter up informally with the Latvian Minister of the Interior. I am now glad to report that Mr. Birsneeks, Chief of the Administrative Section of the Latvian Foreign Office informed me today that the Ministry of the Interior has advised the Foreign Office orally that it agrees to the abolition of the sojourn tax on American citizens in Latvia. Mr. Birsneeks stated that he hoped that the Foreign Office would be able to inform me officially to that effect in a few days.

I have [etc.]

Louis Sussdorff, Jr.
  1. Ibid., p. 272.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Treaty of friendship, commerce and consular rights, signed April 20, 1928, Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. iii, p. 208.
  4. Not printed.