660p. 1111/7

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

No. 83

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 182, dated April 4, 1933,2 requesting a quarterly report on legislation tending to discriminate against American trade and a survey of the Legation’s activities in protecting American trade.

In the Valdibas Vestnesis No. 282, dated December 14, 1933, the Law Governing The Regulation of Imports was published. A copy of this law and a translation thereof, accompanied the Consulate’s despatch No. 288 of December 10 [16], 1933.3

This law does not, in reality, constitute new legislation but rather a compilation of all import regulations previously issued. As pointed out in the Consulate’s despatch, it does not materially change the situation for importers, nor does its text give a clue as to the effects it might have on American trade with Latvia.

On October 19, 1933, the local representative of the Brockway Motor Truck Corporation of New York informed the Legation that he had been trying without success for some time to obtain permission from the Currency Commission to remit the equivalent of 7033 lats to this company. The Legation approached the Commission informally and expressed the hope that a settlement of this matter would be arranged. The Commission shortly thereafter granted the local firm of Otto Schwartz, which has money due it in the United States, permission to pay to the Brockway Motor Truck Corporation the equivalent of 6000 lats, and at the same time it advised the Riga representative of this company to file an application for the transfer of the balance still due.

In a memorandum from the Consulate dated January 25, 1934,4 the following cases were outlined: [Page 615]

“On October 20, 1933, the Currency Commission was approached on behalf of Moses Hurwitz of 2835 West I Street, Brooklyn, New York, requesting the permission to transmit $1569.40. Permission to remit $300 was granted on October 28, 1933.

“On September 25, 1933, the Currency Commission was approached on behalf of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, with a request to remit $59,983.20. Permit issued in the amount of $5,000.00 on October 4, 1933, and a further remittance of $14,686 is understood to have been authorized on December 22, 1933. The balance is to be settled, if possible, on the basis of having the Singer Company find local merchants with credits in the United States which can be turned over to the Singer Company on such terms as may be agreed upon between the company and the holders of the credits.”

Respectfully yours,

Felix Cole
  1. Ibid., p. 602.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not found in Department files.