The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Greece ( Goold )
Sir: Reference is made to the Legation’s despatch No. 606 of July 22, 1926, indicating that the Greek Government has not exempted career consular officers from the provisions of the Forced Loan Decree of January 24, 1926, and transmitting to the Department the text of the Legation’s note No. 75 to the Greek Foreign Office.
The Legation apparently misread paragraph 3 of the Department’s instruction No. 328 of July 2, 1926. The intent of this paragraph was that you should base representations for the exemption of American consular officers of career from the Forced Loan on Article II of the Consular Convention only if career consular officers of another State had been granted exemption. The alternative provided, in the event the Greek Government had not accorded exemption to career consular officers of another State, was to claim exemption for American consular officers of career under Article 3 of the Consular Convention, which exempts such officials from direct taxes.
As it does not appear from your despatch No. 606 that any consular officers of career in Greece have been exempted from the provisions of the Forced Loan Decree, the reference to Article 2 of the Consular Convention in your note No. 75 to the Greek Foreign Office would not seem to be pertinent.
This reference to Article 2 of the Consular Convention may give the Greek Foreign Office an opportunity to make an unsatisfactory reply to the Legation’s note and you are therefore instructed, in the event a reply has not been received from the Greek Foreign Office before this instruction reaches you, to supplement your note No. 75 by oral representations, emphasizing the application of Article 3 of the Consular Convention and referring to the principle now generally contained in consular conventions that foreign consular officers are subject to no public service, taxes, imposts and contributions in the country of their residence provided they derive no income from commercial pursuits in that country and do not own real property therein.
Should the Greek Government make a point of the administrative difficulties which would result from exempting career consular officers from the Forced Loan you should point out that the number of such officers in Greece is so small as to render this point of negligible importance. You report that the Greek Government is applying the provisions of the Forced Loan Decree to all foreigners in Greece without discrimination. It would therefore seem that there exists no legal basis upon which this Government might insist upon the exemption of its nationals residing in Greece from the provisions of the Forced Loan Decree. You should keep the Department fully [Page 390] informed of any developments in the application of this decree, especially in so far as foreign residents of Greece are concerned.
I am [etc.]