(Working Paper Circulated by the Secretariat)
And Lithuania of the other part,
Desirous of giving effect to the decision of the four first-mentioned Powers taken at the Conference of their Ambassadors at Paris on February 16th, 1923, and accepted by Lithuania on March 13th, 1923,
Have to this end appointed their plenipotentiaries, namely…
WHO, having communicated their full powers found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following provisions:
The exact amount of such expenses chargeable to Lithuania, as well as the methods and periods of payment, shall be determined by a commission composed of one representative appointed by the Powers and one by Lithuania. In case such commission cannot reach an agreement, it shall apply to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Committee of the League of Nations to designate an arbitrator.
Such property, with the exception of railways, posts, telegraphs and telephones, customs-houses and property constituting the port and its equipment, shall be transferred by the Lithuanian Government to the authorities of the Memel Territory, subject always to the provisions of Article 7.
An agreement shall be concluded between Lithuania and the authorities of the Memel Territory in regard to the transfer of the property specified in the previous paragraph on the basis of the charges assumed by Lithuania under Article 6 in respect of such property.
The following may opt for Lithuanian nationality, within a period of six months from the date of ratification of the present Convention by Lithuania, on condition that they renounce all other nationality:
(a) all persons over eighteen years of age on the date of ratification of the present Convention by Lithuania, if they were born in the Territory and have resided therein for more than ten years;
(b) all persons over eighteen years of age on the date of ratification of the present’ convention by Lithuania who were granted a permanent permit of residence by the Inter-Allied Administration, provided that such persons shall have taken up their residence in, the Territory not later than January let, 1922.
Persons acquiring Lithuanian nationality through the operation of this Article shall ipso facto acquire the status of citizens of Memel.
The duration of this time-limit shall, however, be reduced to six months in the case of persons who were domiciled in the Memel Territory only in their capacity of Government officials and who acquire Lithuanian nationality in consequence. of such domicile.
The term “Government officials”, within the meaning of the previous paragraph, shall be taken to mean officials who were regarded as such by the German legislation and who are under the direct authority either of the Lithuanian Government or of the Directorate of the Memel Territory provided for in Annex I (unmittelbare Staatsbeamte).
Persons exercising the above right of option must transfer their domicile to Germany within the succeeding two years.
They Shall be free to retain the immovable property which they possess in the Territory and may export their movable property of all “kinds. They shall be exempted from all export duties or taxes in this respect.
The procedure adopted by the Council of the League of Nations for dealing with petitions concerning the protection of minorities shall be ipso facto applicable to petitions concerning the protection of minorities in the Memel Territory.
In the event of any difference of opinion in regard to questions of law or of fact concerning these provisions between the Lithuanian Government and any of the Principal Allied Powers members of the Council of the League of Nations, such difference shall be regarded as a dispute of an international character under the terms of Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Lithuanian Government agrees that all disputes of this kind shall, if the other Party so requests, be referred to the Permanent Court of International Justice. There shall be no appeal from the Permanent Court’s decision, which shall have the force and value of a decision rendered in virtue of Article 13 of the Covenant.
It shall be registered with the Secretariat of the League of Nations as soon as it has been ratified by Lithuania.
In faith weherof, the undersigned have signed the present Convention.
Done at Paris, on May 8th, 1924, in a single copy, which will remain deposited in the archives of the French Republic, and of which authenticated copies will be transmitted to each of the signatory Powers and to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
Recalling the resolution unanimously adopted by the Constituent Assembly of Lithuania on November 11th, 1921;
In accord with the Decision of the Conference of Ambassadors of February 16th, 1923, to which the Lithuanian Government adhered on March 13th, 1923;
And having, by the Convention signed at Paris on May 8th, 1924, by the representatives of the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan of the one part, and the representative of Lithuania of the other part, agreed to grant to the Memel Territory the status of an autonomous unit;
The Republic of Lithuania enacts the following Statute:
1° organization and administration of communes and district;
2° public worship;
3° public education;
4° public, relief and health, including veterinary regulations;
5° social welfare and labour legislation;
6° local railways, except those belonging to the Lithuanian State, roads, local public works.
7° regulation of the sojourn of foreigners in conformity with the laws of Lithuania;
8° police, subject to the provisions of Articles 20 and 21;
9° civil legislation (including proprietary rights) and criminal; agrarian, forestry and commercial legislation (including weights and measures), it being understood that all operations effected by the credit and the insurance institutions and the exchanges shall be subject to the general law of the Republic, regulations governing organizations, officially representing the economic interests of the Territory;
10° the acquisition of rights of citizenship, subject to the provisions of Article 8;
11° organization of the judicial system, subject to the provisions of Articles 21 to 24;
12° direct and indirect taxes levied in the Territory, with the exception of customs duties, excise duties, commodity taxes and monopolies on alcohol, tobacco and similar articles of luxury;
13° administration of public property belonging to the Memel Territory;
14° regulation on Memel Territory of timber-floating and navigation on the rivers, other than the Niemen, and the canals within the Memel Territory, subject to agreement with the Lithuanian authorities in case such watercourses are utilizable outside the Memel Territory for timber-floating;
15.° registration of trading vessels in accordance with the laws of Lithuania.
The laws of Lithuania may extend the competence of the authorities of the Memel Territory to other matters.
Nothing in this Article shall prevent the legislative bodies of the Republic of Lithuania and the Memel Territory from taking legal dispositions to effect a unification of laws and regulations.
Subject to the provisions of the Lithuanian law on the acquisition of Lithuanian nationality, a law of the Memel Territory shall determine the conditions on which the status of citizen of the Memel Territory may be acquired in future.
For Lithuanian nationals other than citizens of the Memel Territory the conditions on which the said status may be acquired shall be the same as those laid down in Lithuania for the exercise of all public and political rights.
Lithuanian nationals who are not citizens of the Memel Territory shall have in the said Territory all the recognized civil rights enjoyed by the citizens of the Memel Territory.
Laws passed by the Chamber will obligatorily be promulgated by the Governor within a period of one month from the date on which the law has been submitted to him, unless, within this period, he shall have exercised his right of veto under Article 16. This period shall be reduced to fifteen days in the case of laws the promulgation of which has been declared urgent by special vote of the Chamber.
The laws shall be countersigned by the President of the Directorate provided for by Article 17 or his substitute.
Only citizens of the Memel Territory shall be eligible.
The Chamber may also be convoked in extraordinary session by the Governor in agreement with the Directorate.
The closure or adjournment of extraordinary sessions shall be declared by the Governor in agreement with the Directorate.
The Chamber must be convoked by the Governor when at least one-third of its members demand it.
The Chamber may be dissolved by the Governor in agreement with the Directorate. The elections to the new Chamber shall take place within six weeks from the date of dissolution.
The President shall be appointed by the Governor and shall hold office so long as he possesses the confidence of the Chamber of Representatives. The President shall appoint the other members of the Directorate. The Directorate must enjoy the confidence of the Chamber of Representatives and shall resign if the Chamber refuses confidence. If, for any reason, the Governor appoints a President of the Directorate when the Chamber of Representatives is not in session, it shall be convened so as to meet within four weeks after the appointment to hear a statement from the Directorate and vote on the question of confidence.
The members of the Directorate shall have the right of entry both to the Chamber of Representatives and to the Economic Council. They shall have the right to be heard by the Chamber and by the Council when they request it.
The electoral laws shall be drawn up on democratic principles.
The necessary police force for the protection of the port shall be detailed by the Memel authorities for service under the Lithuanian authorities.
The frontier and customs police and the railway police shall be furnished by, and be under the direct authority of, the Lithuanian Republic.
The same shall apply to warrants of arrest delivered by the authorities of the Memel Territory and by the authorities of the Memel Territory and by the authorities of the other parts of Lithuania respectively.
This Court shall comprise a special section for the affairs of the Memel Territory; this section shall be mainly composed of judges drawn from the magistrates of the Memel Territory, and it may hold its sessions in the town of Memel.
The officials and employees in the service of the Lithuanian administration who are citizens of the Memel Territory shall be subject to the same rules and shall enjoy the same privileges as the officials and employees of the other parts of Lithuania.
The Directorate shall not, however, be entitled to retain in the Territory under the above provision any person against whom the Governor adduces proof that he is engaged in political agitation contrary to the interests of Lithuania.
On the expiration of the above-mentioned period, foreign teachers may be engaged by the authorities of the Territory with the consent of the Lithuanian Government.
The right of companies and associations, including religious and charitable organizations, to own property shall be recognized in principle.
The same shall apply to freedom of teaching and the right of opening schools.
In the passports shall be mentioned both the Lithuanian nationality of the bearer and his status as citizen of the Memel Territory.
The percentage thus determined may be revised from time to time by the Lithuanian Government in agreement with the local authorities of the Memel Territory.
The tariffs applied on the Lithuanian railways to passengers and goods coming from or destined for the Memel Territory shall in no case exceed those applied to passengers and goods in respect of any other journey of the same length in another part of the Lithuanian railway system.
Only inhabitants of the Memel Territory over twenty-one years of age may take part in these elections, provided:
1° that, having acquired Lithuanian nationality on the conditions specified in Article 8, paragraph 1, of the Convention referred to in the preamble to this Statute, they do not opt for German nationality before the date of the elections;
2° that at least fifteen days before the elections they opt for Lithuanian nationality on the conditions specified in Article 8, (a) and (b), of the said Convention.
The Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory must pass the bill modifying the statute by a majority representing three-fifths of the votes of all the members.
The modification, after being adopted by the Chamber, must be submitted for the approval of the citizens of the Memel Territory by way of referendum, if not less than one-quarter of all the members of the Chamber or five thousand citizens possessing the franchise for the Chamber so demand within the three months following the adoption of the modification by the Chamber.
If the modification is approved by two-thirds of the citizens participating in the referendum, it shall be submitted without delay, for the approval of the Legislative Assembly of Lithuania. It shall not come into force unless it is approved by the said Assembly within one year from the date of its submission thereto.
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