The Chargé in Greece ( Goold ) to the Secretary of State

No. 606

Sir: Adverting to your instruction No. 328 of July 2, 1926, relative to the forced loan of January, 1926, it would appear that there has been a misapprehension as to the meaning of the communication addressed to the Spanish Minister as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps by the Foreign Office in its note numbered 3571 of February 17th. The language used in the third paragraph of this note is to the effect that the question of the exemption of consuls of career is covered, or taken care of, or governed, by verbal note numbered 2991 of January 30th. Mr. Laughlin received a note from the Foreign Office numbered 4976 of February 17th, in identical language with that addressed to the Spanish Minister.

Although it seemed clear enough to me that consuls of career had been omitted from the number of those entitled to exemption in Foreign Office note numbered 2991 of January 30th, nevertheless on June 9th I addressed a verbal note to the Foreign Minister asking the specific question as to whether the provisions of the law (Forced Loan Decree of January 24, 1926) applied to the cash on hand of consuls of career or whether, on the other hand, these gentlemen were exempt from the operation of the law. On the 14th of June, the Foreign Office addressed the following reply:28

“In reply to your note verbale No. 61 of the 9th of this month the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has the honor to inform the Legation of the United States of America that consuls of career do not enjoy diplomatic prerogatives and cannot be exempted from the recent loan of 1926.

Moreover, the exemptions from that loan contained in note No. 2991 of this Ministry are precise: …29 only the official personnel of diplomatic missions in Greece are exempted, as well as the cash boxes of foreign legations and consulates in respect to the Government funds therein.”

I have therefore made the protest which you directed me to make in paragraph three of your instruction and have the honor to enclose a copy of it.

There has been no discrimination between the nationals of the various foreign countries in the execution of the law. The Greek [Page 388] Government is desperately in need of money and is applying the loan to all foreigners. In this connection I have the honor to refer you to my despatch numbered 604 of July 16th.30

With reference to action taken by the Legation on behalf of American companies interested, I have the honor to state that on the 25th of January and 22nd of February, respectively, Mr. Laughlin reserved all American rights, informing the Hellenic Government in the first mentioned communication that pending instructions from you, he would “be unable to admit the application of such a measure to citizens of the United States of America.” He duly referred the matter to you in his despatches numbered 498 of January 29th30 and 521 of February 25th, respectively, and asked for your instructions.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mr. Consul Fernald of Saloniki had cut drachmas in the amount of 6,137.50. He told me the other day that he had sold these cut portions but I do not know what he got for them. A certain John Makato claims to have lost the sum of 2625 drachmas by virtue of the cutting of the drachmas he had on hand at the time the decree became operative.

I have [etc.]

H. S. Goold

The American Chargé ( Goold ) to the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Roufos )

F. O. No. 75

Your Excellency: Adverting to your note numbered 17605 of June 14th last in which you state that consuls of career are not exempt from the provisions of the decree of January, 1926, levying a forced loan, I have the honor to inform you that I am directed by the Secretary of State to make protest on behalf of the Government of the United States against the application of the decree to American consular officers of career.

I have the honor to invite your Excellency’s attention to the provisions of articles two and three of the Consular Convention between our two countries, concluded November 19th/December 2nd, 1902, and to state that my Government bases its protest in general on the language of those two articles and in particular on the provision by which consular officers of career are exempted from the payment of all direct taxes.

I embrace [etc.]

H. S. Goold
  1. The original of this quotation is in French; the translation has been supplied by the editor.
  2. Omission appears in the original despatch.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.