1921: Trade Agreement Between His Brittanic Majesty's Government and the Government of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic
Whereas it is desirable in the interests both of Russia and of the United Kingdom that peaceful trade and commerce should be resumed forthwith between these countries, and whereas for this purpose it is necessary pending the conclusion of a formal general Peace Treaty between the Governments of these countries by which their economic and political relations shall be regulated in the future that a preliminary Agreement should be arrived at between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Russian Socialist Soviet Republie, hereinafter referred to as the Russian Soviet Government.
The aforesaid parties have accordingly entered into the present Agreement for the resumption of trade and commeree between the countries The present Agreement is subject to the fulfilment of the following conditions, namely: --
(a) That each party refrains from hostile action or undertakings against the other and from conducting outside of its own borders any official propaganda direct or indirect against the institutions of the British Empire or the Russian Soviet Republic respectively, and more particularly that the Russian Soviet Government refrains from any attempt by military or diplomatic or any other form of action or propaganda to encourage any of tbe peoples of Asia in any form of hostile action against British interests or the British Empire, especially in India and in the Independent State of Afghanistan. The British Government gives a similar particular undertaking to the Russian Soviet Government in respect of the countries which formed part of the former Russian Empire and which have now become independent.
(b) That all British subjects in Russia are immediately permitted to return home and that all Russian citizens in Great Britain or other parts of the British Empire who desire to return to Russia are similarly released. It is understood that the term "conducting any official propaganda" includes the giving by either party of assistance or encouragement to any propaganda conducted outside its own borders.
The parties undertake to give forthwith all necessary instructions to their agents and to all persons under their authority to conform to the stipulations undertaken above.
Nothing in this Article shall be construed as overriding the provisions of any general International Convention which is binding on either party by which the trade in any particular article is or may be regulated (as for example, the Opium Convention).
Moreover, the British Government undertakes not to take part in, or to support, measures restricting or hindering, or tending to restrict or hinder, Russian ships from exercising the rights of free navigation of the high seas, straits and navigable waterways, which are enjoyed by ships of other nationalities.
Provided that nothing in this Article shall impair the right of either party to take precautions as are authorised by their respective laws with regard to the admission of aliens into their territories.
The British Government will give the Russian Soviet government any information in their power as to the position of mines which will assist them in clearing passages to the ports and shores of Russia.
The Russian Government, like other nations, will give all information to the International Mine Clearance Committee about the areas they swept and and also what areas still remain dangerous. They will also give all information in their posession about the minefields laid down by the late Russian Governments since the outbreak of war in l914 outside Russian territorial waters in order to assist in their clearance.
Provided that nothing in this section shall be understood to prevent the Russian Government from taking or require them to disclose any measures they may consider necessary for the protection of their ports.
Persons admitted in pursuance of this Article into the territories of either party shall, while sojourning there for purposes of trade, be exempted from all compulsory services, whether civil, naval, military or other, and from any contributions whether pecuniary or in kind imposed as an equivalent for personal service and shall have right of egress.
They shall be at liberty to communicate freely by post, telegraph and wireless telegraphy, and to use telegraph codes under the conditions and subject to the regulations laid down in the International Telegraph Convention of St. Petersburg, 1875 (Lisbon Revision of 1908).
Each party undertakes to account for and to pay all balances due to the other of terminal and transit telegrams and in respect of transit letter mails in accordance provisions of the International Telegraph Convention and Regulations and of the Convention and Regulations of the Universal Postal Union respectively. The above balances when due shall be paid in the currency of either party at the option of the receiving party.
Persons admitted into Russia under this Agreement shall be permitted freely to import commodities (except commodities such as alcoholic liquors of which both the importation and the manufacture are or may be prohibited in Russia) destined solely for their household use or consumption to an amount reasonably required for such purposes.
Official agents shall be at liberty to communicate freely with their own Government and with other official representatives of their Government in other countries by post, by telegraph and wireless telegraphy in cypher and to receive and despatch couriers with sealed bags subject to a limitation of 3 kilograms per week which shall be exempt from examination.
Telegrams and radiotelegrams of official agents shall enjoy any right of priority over private messages that may be generally accorded to messages of the official reprsentatives of foreign Governments in the United Kingdom and Russia respectively.
Russian official agents in the United Kingdom shall enjoy the same privileges in respect of exemption from taxation, central or local, as are accorded to the official representatives of other foreign Governments. British official agents in Russia shall enjoy equivalent privileges which moreover shall in no case be less than those accorded to the official agents of any other country.
The official agents shall he the competent authorities to visa the passports of persons seeking admission in pursuance of the preceeding Article into the territories of the parties.
It will not take steps to obtain any special legislation not applicable to other countries importation into the United Kingdom of precious metals from Russia whether specie (other than British or Allied) or bullion or manufactures or the storing, analysing, refining, melting, mortgaging or disposing thereof in the United Kingdom, and will not requisition such metals.
Both parties agree to protect and not to transfer to any claimants pending the conclusion of the aforesaid Treaty any of the above funds or property whieh may be subject to their control.
Provided also that if as the result of any action in the Courts of the United Kingdom with the attachment or arrest of any gold, funds, securities, property or commodities not being dentifiable [sic] as the exclusive property of a British subject, consigned to the United Kingdom by the Russian Soviet Government or its representatives judgment is delivered by the Court under which such gold, funds, securities, property or commodities are held to be validly attached on account of obligations incurred by the Russian Soviet Government or by any previous Russian Government before the date of the signature of this Agreement, the Russian Soviet Government shall have the right to terminate the Agreement forthwith.
Provided also that in the event of the infringement by either party at any time of the provisions of this Agreement or of the conditions referred to in the Preamble, the other party shall immediately be free from the obligations of the Agreement. Nevertheless it is agreed that before taking any action inconsistent with the Agreement the aggrieved Party shall give the other party a reasonable opportunity of furnishing an explanation or remedying the default.
It is mutually agreed that in any of the events contemplated in the above provisos, the parties will afford all necessary facilities for the winding up in accordance with the principles of the Agreement of any transactions already entered into thereunder, and for the withdrawal and egress from their territories of the nationals of the other party and for the withdrawal of their movable property.
As from the date when six months' notice of termination shall have been given under this Article, the only new transactions which shall be entered into under the Agreement shall be those which can completed within the six months. In all other respects the provisions of the Agreement will remain fully in force up to the date of termination.
This Agreement is drawn up and signed in the English language. But it is agreed that as soon as may be a translation shall be made into the Russian lanaguage and agreed between the Parties. Both texts shall then be considered authentic for all purposes.
Signed at London, this sixteenth day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-one.
R. S. HORNE.
DECLARATION OF RECOGNITION OF CLAIMS
At the moment of signature of the preceding Trade Agreement both parties declare that all claims of either party or of its nationals against the other party in respect of property or rights or in respect of obligations incurred by the existing or former Governments of either country shall be equitably dealt with in the formal general Peace referred to in the Preamble.
In the meantime and without prejudice to the generality of the above stipulation the Russian Soviet Government declares that it recognises in principle that it is liable to pay compensation to private persons who have supplied goods or services to Russia for whieh they have not been paid. The detailed mode of discharging this liability shall be regulated by the Treaty referred to in the Preamble.
The British Government hereby makes a corresponding declaration.
It is clearly understood that the above declarations in no way imply that the claims referred to therein will have preferential treatment in the aforesaid Treaty as compared with any other classes of elaims which are to be dealt with in that Treaty.
Signed at London, this sixteenth day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-one.
R. S. HORNE.