The Chargé in China ( Mayer ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 30—5:55 a.m.]
440. My 419, September 20, 5 p.m.49
1. Following from American consul general at Canton:
“September 27, 10 a.m. Your September 22, 5 p.m., received the 25th. New tax is to apply to all imports and exports. Collections will be made by Chinese officials appointed by this Government. Funds will be deposited in the Central Bank of Canton and used for paying off strikers. [Paraphrase.] Cantonese authorities do not contemplate that Maritime Customs will have anything to do with the tax collection other than furnish memoranda for purposes of valuation, but Hayley Bell urges that the powers, if they cannot prevent the tax, should insist that the collection and distribution of the tax be through the Customs. In this I concur fully in spite of fact that the funds would be turned over to Canton Government. A despatch follows. [End paraphrase.]”
2. I am waiting further information from Canton and from MacMurray50 before commenting on this telegram and in general on the tax situation at Canton.