File No. 811.73/15.
The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador.
Washington, December 16, 1914.
Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 23d ultimo in which, at the request of the Compagnie Française des Câbles Télégraphiques, you present its protest against the taxes imposed by the States of Massachusetts and Connecticut on the land lines of the company from Orleans, Massachusetts, to New York City.
In reply I have the honor to say that, upon acceding to certain conditions considered as proper by the President, the Compagnie Française du Télégraphe de Paris à New York, now the Compagnie Française des Câbles Télégraphiques, was given permission to land its submarine cable at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 1879, provided that the French Government granted reciprocal privileges of landing in France upon the same terms to any company formed by citizens of the United States which may apply for such landing privilege.
The required assurances were received from the French Government and the cable of this French telegraph company was permitted to land at Cape Cod. But, from an investigation of its records, the Department is unable to ascertain that there is any treaty, understanding or agreement between the United States and the French Government, or between the United States and the Compagnie Française des Câbles Télégraphiques that would exempt from taxation the pole lines of this company from its cable landing at Orleans, Massachusetts, to its destination at New York City.