The Minister in Sweden (Morehead) to the Secretary of State

No. 630

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 45 of December 16, 5 p.m.,33 inquiring of the Legation whether clerks and other Legation employees of American nationality enjoy the privilege of importing articles for personal use free of duty as well as free entry on arrival and return from leave, and to confirm my telegraphic reply thereto, No. 56 of December 17 noon,33 stating that clerks and other Legation employees not of Swedish nationality enjoy the above privileges.

Reverting to the Legation’s despatch No. 37, dated July 5, 1927, enclosure No. 2,33 the Department will no doubt have observed that under the terms of a Swedish decree which entered into force on July 1, 1927, “the chiefs of mission and every other person belonging to a foreign mission in Sweden will enjoy free entry for the effects which they import from abroad and which are entered [intended?] for the service of the Legation or for their personal use or that of their family”. This privilege, however, is extended only to the non-Swedish personnel of the legations and on a basis of reciprocal treatment.

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While it does not appear, however, that the Foreign Office ever received assurances that the United States would accord reciprocal treatment in this respect, the Swedish authorities have apparently proceeded upon the assumption that reciprocal treatment was in effect and they have in fact extended the privileges enumerated in the decree as well as those set forth in the Department’s telegraphic instruction under reference without question, that is, the privilege of free entry upon arrival and return from leave.

I believe it desirable to state for the Department’s information and as a matter of record that during my incumbency at this post, the Swedish Foreign Office has shown every disposition to extend to all the members of the American Government officials and employees in Sweden the benefits of every courtesy permissible under the law.

Respectfully yours,

John M. Morehead
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