893.841 Surtax/3: Telegram

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

280. Your 711, July 9, 4 p.m. If the American shipping companies desire to take the course suggested in first paragraph of above [Page 436] message, you are authorized to do so. If, on the other hand, American companies prefer to pay the surtax under protest, do not think this Government should order them not to do so. There is no objection, of course, to protesting against tonnage dues collected in violation of treaty but if United States insists that the shipping companies shall only pay taxes provided by the treaty, we assume an obligation to protect them against any excess taxes even to the extent of using military or naval forces which we notified in No. 61, February 15, 4 P.M.89 this Government is not prepared to do.

  1. Ante, p. 382.