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Latvia Refuses to Sign Minorities Accord

July 27, 1923
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At the last meeting of the League of Nations Council here, Dr. Walter, the Latvian representative made a declaration on the subject of the protection of Minorities in Latvia. The discussions between Latvia and the League of Nations have been going on for the last one and a half years.

Notwithstanding the obligations which Latvia assumed on September 14, 1921, in regard to the recommendations of the first League of Nations Assembly held on December 15, 1920, for the protection of the minorities in the Baltic countries, Latvia categorically refused to sign the declaration prepared by the Brazilian representative on the League of Nations, M. Da Gama, which was submitted to her on September 20, 1922, at the twenty-first session of the Council.

The question has figured on the agendas of all successive meetings and now has been settled only by means of a compromise.

The League withdrew its demand for the preparation of a special declaration to decide definitely what rights are to be safeguarded. It also agreed that the discussions on the subject should be declared as concluded.

On the other hand, Latvia agreed that the League of Nations shall have the right to reopen the discussions if the position of the minorities in Latvia is not in accordance with the general principles contained in various Minority agreements.

Latvia recognizes the right of the League to deal with complaints addressed to it by the minority nationalities and sets out the procedure to be adopted in such cases. Latvia also agrees to the demand of the League to submit to it all materials which will be requested and recognizes finally the right of both parties to submit differences of opinion to the Permanent International Court.

The League of Nations has given its consent to Dr. Walter’s declaration on condition that the Latvian Government ratifies it before the next session of the Council of the League.

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