The Chargé in Great Britain (Atherton) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 30.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 147, dated July 28, 1932,30 directing me to inform the Foreign Office of the views of the American Government with regard to the taxation of the [Page 30]private incomes of American Consular officers in Great Britain and to express the hope that an exemption would be accorded to American officers with respect to income derived from sources outside Great Britain.
The substance of this instruction was conveyed to the Foreign Office by an official note as well as orally in the course of a conversation which a member of the Embassy staff had with the responsible officer in the Foreign Office on September 12, 1932. I now have the honor to enclose a copy of a note, dated March 11, 1933, which has been received from the Foreign Office.
It will be noted that the British Government expresses its inability to grant “foreign consular officers wider exemption than the Act (Finance Act, 1930) accords to them where income tax is concerned”.
The argument that American Consular officers should be accorded exemption on the basis of reciprocity has apparently had no weight with the British Government; for in a private letter which I have received from the responsible officer in the Foreign Office statement was made that “we cannot claim for our consuls in the United States privileges which we are unable to concede to your consuls in this country”.
I do not feel that the negotiations on this particular matter are at an end, nor do I believe that all possible arguments in favor of granting exemption have been exhausted. It is my impression that discussions can be protracted for some considerable period of time, at the end of which the British authorities might be disposed to take a more generous view. If it should meet with the Department’s approval, I shall give the Foreign Office to understand that this Government does not consider the matter to be closed and desires to continue the discussions.
- Not printed.↩