393.1153 Texas Co./4: Telegram

The Minister in China ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State

460. Department’s 197, June 14, 3 p.m.

This is the case reported in the Legation’s 374, May 27, 6 p.m. American Consul at Tientsin has telegraphed to Yen Hsi-shan and [Page 282] through local officials in Honan protesting against the imposition of the special kerosene and gasoline tax on cargo in transit and maintaining that under the terms of settlement transit pass issued by the customs [on?] such goods are exempt from all taxation in transit. At the same time he has suggested to the companies that if obliged to pay, payment might be made under protest. Gauss has also protested against any attempt at confiscation of American property.
As authorized by the Department’s 183 [182], June 5, 1 p.m., the Legation on June 7th sent a memorandum to the Diplomatic Bureau of Yen Hsi-shan’s headquarters. A reply dated June 10 states that the memorandum has been referred to Marshal Yen for transmission to those concerned for investigation, action and reply.
Gauss reports that as result of numerous communications addressed to the Commander of the 4th Army group, Sinsiang, Honan, in charge of North Honan Kerosene Tax Bureau, it is admitted that oil cargo under transit pass going through North Honan should not be subject to the tax.

Chinese insist, however, that where cargo is transshipped in North Honan the transshipment should be effected within 7 days. Gauss is making further representations which the Legation is supporting by protest addressed to the Diplomatic Bureau at Peiping against this arbitrary ruling.

For the Minister:
  1. Telegram in two sections.