The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Consul General at at Tientsin (Gauss)31

Sir: I beg leave to advert to your despatch of November 29, 1927, enclosing copy of a communication addressed to you as Senior Consul by the Chairman of the Tientsin General Chamber of Commerce32 regarding the consumption tax on luxuries which at that time it was believed would be put into effect in Peking on December 1, 1927.

While the original intention of the Ministry of Finance to impose this tax has so far been successfully postponed by the resistance of the Chinese business classes, it is apprehended that the matter has not been dropped. If and when, therefore, the imposition of this tax again appears likely, it is my intention to take the matter up with my colleagues in the hope that joint or similar protests may be made. This action may possibly so far strengthen the Chinese commercial opposition as to enable it to prevent the tax. Towards the same end, you are authorized to make local protest, either singly or jointly, with your consular colleagues, whenever such a course [Page 495] appears to you as wise. You will, of course, inform the Legation of any such action when taken.

I am [etc.]

[File copy not signed]
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in China, without covering despatch; received April 18.
  2. Neither despatch nor enclosure printed.