The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 21.]
Sir: I have the honor to transmit to the Department herewith, the French text, together with English translations, of 4 “Dahirs”13 relating to taxation imposed in the Tangier Zone, under the new Tangier Statutes, and which, the “Mendoob,” or Sultan’s Delegate, has requested this Diplomatic Agency to render applicable to American citizens and protégés.
In view of the conditions described in my No. 16 of September 4th, 1925,13 submitting an outline of the general policy, which it would appear appropriate for the United States Government to follow in regard to Tangier, I respectfully suggest that no reply be made, for the present, to the request of the Sultan’s Delegate above referred to.[Page 601]
No complaint has, up to the present date, been presented by American ressortissants, with respect to any attempted collection of the taxes from them.
No endeavor is being made by the Authorities to impose the Stamp Tax on the citizens or protégés, of the United States, of Italy or Portugal, as it is evident that the enforcement of this tax against the ressortissants of these Powers, could only be obtained through the medium of their respective Consular Courts, which cannot, in the absence of the adhesion of their Governments to the Tangier Convention, legally subject their nationals to the taxation.
As regards the other taxes, namely, the consumption taxes on Alcohol and Beer, on Sugar, Tea, Coffee, Spices, and Candles, and the Registration Taxes, the local Administration is in a position to employ, and apparently intends to avail itself of, illegal but effective means of extracting payment. For instance, American importers of commodities subjected to consumption taxes, will apparently not obtain delivery of their goods from the Customs Authorities, without the previous payment of the consumption duties, over and above, the payment of the import duties fixed by the treaties; and, transactions in real estate, involving American purchaser or vendor, would be obstructed until the latter had complied with the requirements of the “Registration” Dahir.
In such cases, where complaints might be lodged at the Diplomatic Agency, it is respectfully suggested, that I be authorized to instruct American citizens and protégés to pay the taxes, under protest, and the Department could consider the advisability of demanding the refund of these illegal taxations, as a prerequisite to its eventual acquiescence in their application to American ressortissants. This suggestion is made, on the assumption that the Department would not desire to pursue a policy of more open resistance to the encroachments of the local authorities, on American treaty rights.
I have [etc.]