893.841 Surtax/8: Telegram

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

751. Department’s 283, July 12, 3 p.m.91

Following from American consul at Shanghai:

“July 21, 4 p.m.

Local representatives of American shipping interests met with me July 13 to discuss surtax on tonnage. They proposed that the first American vessel to arrive in Shanghai with tonnage dues to pay should tender dues at the treaty rate, accompanying the tender with a letter from the consul general to the Customs protesting against the levy of the surtax on American tonnage and objecting to its payment by American citizens. This vessel will probably be the Patrick Henry, Shipping Board vessel, due Shanghai, July 28. I have agreed to this plan but have no confidence in its success. If it fails, shipping interests will meet again with me to consider payment under protest. Am in close touch with American shipping interests and American Chamber of Commerce. The Dollar Line has been instructed by its home office to follow my advice.
No American vessels have paid the surtax, as all arrivals since July 11th have unexpired tonnage dues certificates.”
I am replying as follows:

“July 22, 3 p.m. The attitude which you have taken as reported in your July 21, 4 p.m., is approved. You should of course bear constantly in mind the Department’s instructions with regard to the question of protests as conveyed to you in the Legation’s [apparent omission].”92

Reference to the Department’s instructions relates to paragraph 4 of the Department’s telegram cited above.

  1. Ante, p. 397.
  2. The Department’s telegram No. 280, July 9, to the Minister in China (ante, p. 435) was repeated by the Minister in telegram No. 84, July 11 (not printed), to the consul general at Shanghai. See telegram No. 801, Aug. 10, from the Minister in China, p. 447.