693.003/858: Telegram

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

864. 1. Following from the American consul at Shanghai:

“December 7, 4 p.m. Last evening the Secretary of the Minister for Foreign Affairs requested that an unsealed envelope and accompanying package be forwarded to the American Minister. The translation of the letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Minister reads as follows:

Excellency: With reference to the import tariff in force at present, I have the honor to state that China has been using the system of uniform rate for more than eighty years. With the present change in conditions, such a system has become inapplicable for a long time and is furthermore inconsistent with the principle on which the existing system of taxation in all other countries is based. With a view to adapting itself to the altered conditions and to readjusting the system of taxation, the Nationalist Government has issued special instructions to the competent functionaries to certify a suitable import tariff which, as announced by express mandate,84 will come into force on the first day of February 1929.’”

2. I am endeavoring to secure unofficially a copy of the new tariff. Should I be successful is it not desirable that I cable some particulars to the Department?

3. I am making no comment in regard to the above pending receipt of copy of new tariff.

[Page 394]

4. Consul at Shanghai has been requested to telegraph Department immediately principal items as soon as copy of new tariff is available.

  1. For schedules of the customs import tariff promulgated Dec. 7, 1928, by the Nationalist Government, see The China Year Book, 1929–30, pp. 238 ff.