893.102 H/496: Telegram

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

33. Department’s instruction 675 of November 7, 1927.94

Following telegram received from Harbin:

“January 30, 5 p.m. Referring to my despatch No. 4350 dated December 10,95 regarding municipal taxes at Harbin. The Department is requested to instruct by telegraph this office whether contributions in lieu of taxes should be made by Americans through the Consulate or direct to the municipal authorities.”

Transmit following reply to Harbin:

“Your January 30, 5 p.m. It is noted from your report that payments of municipal taxes are made to the Chinese authorities direct by two important American concerns and by all other extraterritorial foreigners except the Japanese. The Department perceives no cogent reason why American citizens in general should not follow this practice and accordingly the Department desires that payments through the consulate should be discontinued. You should offer advice to American citizens as set forth in the Department’s instruction to the Legation of June 2, 1927,96 but should use all necessary and appropriate means to ensure the equitable treatment of American interests and the extraterritorial immunities of American citizens.

The Department does not consider it advisable at this time to raise the question of participation by American citizens in the municipal government nor to enter into any commitment with the Chinese authorities as to the principle involved in their taxation by such authorities. The continuance of the Department’s present attitude in the matter will largely depend on the treatment received by American interests.”