667.003/104: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the High Commissioner at Constantinople ( Bristol )

13. Your 51, February 12, 5 p.m.17 American Minister at Athens was informed by cable on February 16 regarding the situation and was instructed as follows: “Bring this matter appropriately to attention of Greek Government at once and state that this Government is not aware of any right of the Greek Government to impose upon imports at Smyrna duties or taxes other than the Turkish tariff in force prior to the war and that the reported interference with the business of the Standard Oil Company on account of refusal to pay consumption taxes appears to have been without legal justification. Request that Greek authorities at Smyrna be instructed to remove prohibition imposed upon this American firm’s legitimate activities and henceforth to permit entry of American imports without imposing on them consumption taxes in derogation of the rights of the Government of the United States under treaty stipulations.”

If the Standard Oil Company on its own responsibility should deem it indispensable from the standpoint of business expediency to make the payments under protest you should not raise objection.18

Inform Horton of foregoing.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The Department informed the Standard Oil Company of the instructions sent to Athens and Constantinople.