The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake)

No. 625

Sir: The Department refers to your despatch No. 587 of January 28, 1931, and previous despatches, concerning the Dahir of June 20, 1930, providing for new and increased consumption taxes in the French Zone of Morocco.

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Objection to the Dahir of June 20 rested on the fact that the tax on soya bean oil was discriminatory and that the tax on frozen meats operated as a protective measure. The modified Dahir of December 28, 1930, removes the oil discrimination in that other oils, except olive oil, are taxed in the same amount and reduces the tax on frozen meats. The reduction of this latter tax does not, of course, remove the objection that it is protective. The Department cannot therefore give its assent to the Dahir and should the authorities submit the Dahir to you you should so inform the Resident-General. It is felt that objection should rest on the protective feature of the tax on frozen meat, leaving out of consideration the possible element of discrimination in the tax on oils. An objection based on this latter question might lead to the raising of the question of just what oils are similar to each other and competitive with each other.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.