893.512/545: Telegram

The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

132. Following from American consulate, Foochow:

“February 10, 10 a.m. By the authority of commanding officer, Chinese Navy, the local superintendent, Customs has established surtax bureau. Surtax is collected simultaneously with the regular import [Page 382] duty by the Customs bank which places receipts for both duties on the import document and will not return the document unless both are paid. This is all being done without the consent of Commissioner of Customs who says that he has officially no knowledge of it. Surtax collections are paid over to the Chinese Navy. It is probable Nationalist authorities will retaliate by setting up their own surtax bureau in addition to the various existing agencies such as the local likin which amounts to approximately five percent by itself on all goods imported. Have you any instructions?”