The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Bingham)

No. 58

Sir: The Department encloses a copy of a despatch dated July 11, 1933, received from the American Consul General at Glasgow, Scotland,36 concerning the taxes on automobiles operated by American consular officers at Glasgow. As pointed out by the Consul General, British consular officers in the United States are generally exempted from the payment of such taxes except in the State of New York. The authorities of that State have held that the sums paid for automobile license plates are a chargé for a service rendered in the maintenance of highways, bridges, et cetera, and does not constitute a tax on the consular officers.

You are requested to take up this matter informally with the British authorities with a view to ascertaining whether an exemption is granted to any foreign consular officers stationed in Great Britain and whether exemption will be granted to American consular officers from taxes on their automobiles on a reciprocal basis. In so far as the inability of this Government to obtain exemption for British consular officers in New York is concerned, you may, if this question is raised, refer to the much higher rate of tax in Great Britain and the large number of British consular officers stationed in the United States who are exempt from taxes as their offices are outside of New York.

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You will also request the Consulate General at London to obtain information and prepare a list of all American consular officers in the United Kingdom having automobiles with the amount of tax paid thereon annually.

A full report with regard to this matter is desired.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Wilbur J. Carr
  1. Not printed.