The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 14.]
Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith, in the French text and in English translation, copy of a Dahir dated May 28th, 1927,2 provisionally increasing the pilotage dues at the port of Casablanca by 20 per cent.
The Department’s assent to the application of the original tariff to American vessels, was notified to the French Resident-General at Rabat, in pursuance to Department’s Instruction No. 185 of September 22, 1920, (File No. 881.84/–).2
The present increase was put into force without any previous notification to this Diplomatic Agency from the French Authorities, and it was collected from American vessels notwithstanding the protest of the steamship agents.
It was only after I had brought these circumstances to the attention of the French Resident-General and recalled that my Government’s assent was necessary before the increased taxes could be legally levied on American ships, that Mr. Steeg’s Diplomatic Cabinet formulated the necessary request for such assent.
There is no objection to the increase in question, but the Department may deem it advisable, for the maintenance of principle, to make the application of the increased dues to American vessels, conditional upon the refund of the additional amounts levied on American vessels prior to the notification of the Department’s sanction thereto especially as, in the present instance, the local Authorities and port concessionnaires have disputed the applicability of American treaty rights in the premises.
I have [etc.]