The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain ( Hammond )

No. 544

Sir: The Department refers to your despatch No. 1031 of September 20, 1928, concerning the exemption of American consular officers in Spain from taxation on their automobiles and notes that the Spanish Foreign Office has refused the Embassy’s request in the premises on the ground that certain American States, notably: Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, as well as the Philippine Islands and Porto Rico, refuse a like exemption to Spanish consular officers.

You are instructed to bring this case again to the attention of the Spanish authorities concerned and to inform them that according to information received from the War Department, Spanish consular officers in the Philippine Islands and Porto Rico are exempt from taxation on automobiles owned by them. The Department has also been informed by the Governor of Pennsylvania that the Motor Vehicle Code of that State exempts consular representatives from the payment of fees for the registration of motor vehicles owned and operated by them and that the Department of Highways of the State of Pennsylvania will be glad to exempt such persons from the payment of registration fees if they will furnish the authorities concerned with satisfactory evidence that they are entitled to exemption under an existing treaty. The Department has no record of any Spanish consular officers in Wisconsin, Indiana or Minnesota, these States apparently being within the consular jurisdiction of the Spanish Consul at Chicago, Mr. Antonio de la Cruz Marin. However, the Department communicated with the Governors of these States and copies of their replies are transmitted herewith,36 from which you will observe that in the event that the Spanish Government should station Spanish consular officers in these States they would be exempt from taxation on their automobiles.

In view of the foregoing you will request the Spanish authorities concerned to give the necessary instructions in order that American consular officers in Spain may be exempt from taxation on automobiles owned by them and you will advise the Department as to the result of your representations in this matter.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. Not printed.