The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Denning)

No. 260

Sir: Reference is made to your confidential despatch, number 117, dated March 23, 1923, and to your telegram of April 28, 6 p.m., relating to the collection of a 10 percent consumption tax from American citizens and protégés in the Spanish Zone of Influence in Morocco.

[Page 588]

On April 16, 1923, the Spanish Ambassador in Washington left a memorandum with the State Department,8 expressing the request of the Spanish Government that this Government consent to the collection of the tax in question.

A note has today been addressed to the Spanish Ambassador8 in reply to his memorandum of April 16, 1923, stating that this Government is prepared to consent to the application of this tax at such a time as it is applied alike to the nationals and protégés of all Governments and acquiesced in by the Governments concerned.

In this connection, the Ambassador has been advised that this Department is informed that the British Government has not yet given its consent to the collection of this tax from its nationals and protégés. The note adds that, therefore, until such consent is given by all interested Governments, the Government of the United States expresses the hope that His Majesty’s Government will find it agreeable to instruct its appropriate authorities in Morocco to exempt American citizens and protégés from the payment of this tax and, moreover, to reimburse such citizens and protégés for any amounts which may have been paid heretofore.

You may informally advise your British colleague of this Government’s position in this matter and request him to be good enough to advise you at such a time as his Government consents to the collection of this tax from its nationals and protégés in the Spanish Zone whereupon you are instructed to inform the Department immediately by cable.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips
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