The Chargé in Great Britain ( Atherton ) to the Secretary of State

No. 3123

Sir: I have the honor to bring to the attention of the Department some correspondence which has been exchanged between this Embassy and the Consulate General and between the Embassy and the Foreign Office on the subject of customs and taxation privileges for United States consular officers in Great Britain.

The first enclosure is a copy of a letter from Mr. L. C. Pinkerton, the American Consul in Charge of the American Consulate General in London, dated September 18, 1928,35 in which the Embassy is asked to obtain a ruling from the Foreign Office for distribution to the consular officers in Great Britain on the question of customs courtesies on personal and other effects of consular officers coming to England the first time. With this letter was enclosed a copy of a communication addressed by Robert P. Skinner, the American Consul General, to the Honorable Frank B. Kellogg, American Ambassador, on September 29, 1924, on this general subject.35

Upon receipt of this communication the Third Secretary of the Embassy was sent to the Foreign Office to discuss informally the question with the official in charge of such matters at the Foreign Office. The Secretary left with Mr. Warner, the gentleman in question, a memorandum on this subject, dated September 19, 1928, as a basis for discussion.35 A copy of Mr. Skinner’s letter of September 29, 1924, was also furnished to Mr. Warner.

The Embassy is now in receipt of an informal communication dated October 11, 1928, from the Foreign Office,35 commenting on the Third Secretary’s memorandum and explaining in detail the Foreign Office’s views on this question.

It will be observed that the British practice does not coincide with the American practice as regards customs privileges, et cetera, in [Page 44] that they are not extended to vice consuls. Inasmuch as it is the understanding of the Embassy that such questions are based on reciprocity, the views of the Foreign Office, as outlined in its communication of October 11, 1928, are being brought to the attention of the Department.

I have [etc.]

Ray Atherton
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