The American Consul at Tsingtao (Dorsey) to the Chinese Mayor of the Special Municipality of Tsingtao (Ke Ching-en)12

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication—No. 1893 of May 17, 193013—concerning regulations of the Tsingtao Special Municipality Controlling Advertisements.

At the suggestion of the Bureau of Public Works you have forwarded a copy of these regulations to the Consulate with the request that American citizens be notified as to their existence.

In reply, I would state that as certain articles of the Regulations have been framed without due regard to existing rights of American citizens, the Consulate is not in a position to comply with your request.

Article 15 of Chapter 1 of the Regulations submitted provides that “advertisements that promote Chinese goods are taxed 30 per cent [Page 281] less”, that is 30 per cent less than the general scale which applies to foreign wares.

This discrimination in favor of Chinese products is contrary to the Tariff Treaty concluded between China and the United States on July 25, 1928, wherein at Article 1, the Chinese Government solemnly undertook that Americans shall not be compelled under any pretext whatever to pay in China any duties, internal charges or taxes upon their goods other or higher than those paid by goods of the nationals of China.

An attempt to exact a premium on advertising that promotes the sale of American goods in China is merely a pretext whereby an internal charge or tax may be imposed higher than that which affects goods of the nationals of China, and I am constrained to protest vigorously against the regulations which by such pretext so clearly contravene the Treaty referred to above.

Article 52 of the Regulations provides that “any articles of these regulations found to be incomplete shall be amended by the Municipal Council”. It is hoped that your Honorable Council, bearing in mind the recent Treaty entered into in good faith by our respective Governments will not fail to amend the regulations so as to grant that equality of treatment to American goods intended by the Treaty.

I have [etc.]

W. Roderick Dorsey
  1. Copy transmitted to the Minister in China as enclosure to despatch No. 408, June 20, 1930, from the Consul at Tsingtao; the despatch and enclosure were forwarded to the Department by the Legation without covering despatch, and received by the Department on August 28.
  2. Not printed.