The Consul at Baghdad ( Randolph ) to the Secretary of State

No. 548

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my report dated September 26, 1927,78 entitled: Abrogation of Capitulations in Iraq Replaced by Anglo-Iraq Judicial Agreement, and also to the general question of American Capitulatory Rights in this country and to report as follows:

Until recently, as a result of verbal negotiations and arrangements made before my arrival in Bagdad—some five years ago (no written records on file), the American Consul at Bagdad has not been considered amenable to the Iraq stamp tax which requires, among other things, the canceling of a two anna (about 5 cent) stamp on each bank check drawn or ordinary receipt given.

Some weeks ago the Bagdad branch of the Imperial Bank of Persia refused to cash a draft drawn payable to the order of the “American Consul” unless bearing a canceled Iraq stamp for two annas as required by the stamp law, explaining that their examination of the stamp law had failed to reveal any provision exempting Consuls from compliance with the law’s provisions. I took the question up informally with C. Empson, Esquire, Consular Secretary to His Excellency the High Commissioner for Iraq, who later informed me unofficially that the High Commissioner had stated that he canceled a stamp on each of his checks and that the American and other Consuls should do likewise. Mr. Empson added that his reply was unofficial but that if I took up the matter officially I would undoubtedly get the same reply.

To-day I am informed by the Ottoman Bank that the banks in Bagdad have been circularized by the High Commission informing them that foreign Consuls are to cancel the usual stamp on checks drawn.

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I have [etc.]

John Randolph
  1. Not printed.