File No. 8602/6–10.
The Secretary of State to Chargé Fletcher.
Washington , February 12, 1908 .
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 801, of December 26 last, and to inform you in reply that the department approves the attitude maintained by the legation in respect to the imposition of taxes on American kerosene oil at Nanking and Shun Te Fu in addition to those prescribed by treaty.
In view of the fact, as stated in your dispatch, that the principal question involved in the Nanking case is whether the duty-free area of an open port includes the whole area of the port or simply that section of the city comprising the international settlement; the department believes that you could avail of this opportunity again to impress upon the Chinese the settled conviction of this Government that a port which, under the treaties, has been declared open to international residents and foreign trade, is opened in its entirety.
As bearing on the subject under consideration there is inclosed herewith for your information a copy of the department’s instruction to the consul general at Shanghai as to the attitude which he is to assume in connection with the attempt of the Chinese authorities to levy likin duties within the harbor limits of Shanghai.
I am, etc.,
- Not printed.↩