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Danzig-Polish Post Office Dispute 1925

The difference in the wording of (b) and (c) further shows that the word “addressees” in (b) refers to the public in general, and not merely to Polish authorities and offices, as in (c). It was evidently contemplated that a special privilege should be extended to Polish authorities and offices outside the port, in that letters and telegrams addressed to them could be delivered at their addresses, while private addressees living outside the port had to call at the post office for their letters and telegrams.

The legal effect of Article 168 has been disputed by the Parties. Poland claims that the article constitutes a pactum de contrahendo which lays down certain principles already agreed upon by the Parties and which imposes upon Danzig an obligation to complete the necessary arrangements for carrying these principles into effect. Danzig, on the other hand, denies that there is any such obligation, and maintains that the list contained in the Article is only a programme for negotiations which either Party is free to enter into or not as she pleases. The Court is not called upon to express an opinion on this question. The important point in this connection is that a comparison of (b) and (c) and the Article shows that the utilization by the public of the service to and from the port was contemplated by the parties.

It should be remarked that the postal rights granted to Poland are, by the terms of the agreements, limited to the port of Danzig, and that she is not entitled, in the absence of special arrangements, to perform any postal operation outside the limits of the port. The mere fact that under Article 168, No. 1 (b) the parties had in view the conclusion of special arrangements for private persons as well as for Polish authorities and offices outside the limits of the port shows that, failing such arrangements, the field of activity of the service is confined to the limits of the port, and that the service is only intended for the use of the public in the port. In actual practice it is, of course, hardly possible to prevent the public outside the port from making use of the service, but in the matter of distribution outside the post office and delivery within it, an effective control can be exercised.

It has been urged on behalf of Danzig that Poland's postal rights in Danzig constitute a grant in derogation of the postal monopoly of Danzig, and that the grant must be strictly construed in favour of Danzig. In the opinion of the Court, the rules as to a strict or liberal construction of treaty stipulations can be applied

Danzig-Polish Post Office Dispute, Seite 33.


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