The Tobacco Merchants Association of the United States to the Secretary of State
[Received May 9.]
My Dear Sir: On behalf of the tobacco industry, including tobacco growers, manufacturers, dealers and exporters, we most earnestly petition your Honor to take all needful steps to secure the abrogation of the decree or legislation recently passed or promulgated by the local authorities of the Province of Chekiang, China, levying an ad valorem tax of 20% on cigarettes.
It is our genuine conviction that the imposition of such tax, by any of the provinces of China, constitutes a distinct violation of the treaties and understandings with the Peking Government, and we respectfully submit that this is not only a matter of concern to American tobacco growers and exporters, but also to all other industries interested in Chinese markets, for, if this action of the Chekiang authorities should be permitted to stand unchallenged, similar situations affecting many of the American industries are [Page 582] likely to follow, not only in Chekiang but in the other provinces of China as well.
It is to be noted that this tax is levied in treaty ports, as well as in other parts of the province.
We beg leave, therefore, to register our earnest protest against this unauthorized tax levy and sincerely trust that you may deem it proper to take this matter up with the Chinese Government with a view to securing the repeal of this tax measure.
With grateful appreciation of the consideration we are sure you will give this matter, we are