The Ambassador in Germany (Houghton) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:40 a.m.]
[Paraphrase.] I am transmitting herewith, at the urgent request of the Foreign Office, the substance of a note verbale dated September 5. The Hamburg-American Line is also interested in having Department informed by telegraph. [End paraphrase.]
“Commonwealth [Reich] Minister of Commerce [Finance] has instructed the financial authorities, in case of commercial companies whose seat and place of directing are in the United States of America, not to subject to the corporation tax the income which comes exclusively from the operation of ships and not to demand a corporation-tax declaration as to the above-mentioned from the North American companies which maintain in Germany a branch office, and other place of operation, or a permanent representative.80 This instruction was issued on condition of reciprocity on the part of the United States and under the reservation that it may be recalled at any time.
The said Minister has furthermore declared his readiness to grant the favored treatment accorded to North American shipping companies also to citizens (individual persons) of the United States of America who carry on shipping traffic to Germany, if the Government of the United States grants reciprocity in the same degree.”
German Foreign Office requests Embassy also to obtain a statement as to the attitude of the United States Government towards the question of exemption from taxation of the above-described individual persons.