The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake)

No. 461

Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your despatch No. 255 of January 18, 1928, with respect to the increase of the sugar consumption tax in the flood zone owing to flood disasters in the Province of the Gharb.

The Department notes with some apprehension the repeated oversight, through carelessness or otherwise, on the part of the French Residency-General in not asking for the consent of this Government to the levying of taxes upon American nationals and ressortissants in the French zone of Morocco before giving notice to you that the tax will be effective on the next succeeding day.

You may state to the French Residency-General that the American treaty rights in Morocco exempt American nationals and ressortissants from taxation, except such as has been agreed upon in the applicable treaties or to which this Government has been asked to consent and to which it has assented, and that no new tax may be collected by the Moroccan authorities from American nationals or ressortissants until the consent of this Government has been formally notified to the French Residency-General. You may further state that this Government would not be the less willing to consent to the application of reasonable taxes in the event that the consent of this Government was asked a reasonable time before the promulgation of the dahirs providing for new taxes.

In the present instance, this Government has no objection to the proper authorities in the French zone collecting the increased sugar [Page 344] consumption tax from American nationals and ressortissants, provided that the tax is applied universally and without discrimination to all persons in the French zone of Morocco, from the date on which the assent of this Government is notified to the French Residency-General, it being understood that the jurisdiction of the American Consular Court over American nationals and ressortissants who may be involved in infractions of this new tax law shall remain unimpaired.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.