The Ambassador in Germany ( Dodd ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 4.]
Sir: With reference to despatch No. 951 of June 20, 1934, on this subject,16 I have the honor to inform the Department that the tax expert of the Foreign Office, Dr. Dehl, now having returned from annual leave, the matter of the protection of American shipping companies [Page 501] from the imposition of the trade tax (Gewerbesteuer) was discussed with him on August 14, 1934, and a memorandum left, copy of which is enclosed.
During the course of the conversation with Dr. Dehl, it was emphasized that whereas in Germany, for example, the city of Berlin could impose such taxes independently of the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry, the Federal Government alone could impose such taxes in the United States, and attention was again called to the last two paragraphs of the legal opinion sent as enclosure No. 6 with despatch No. 507 of February 6, 1934, a copy of which is in the possession of the Foreign Office.
Dr. Dehl acceded to the Embassy’s request, that he would take up the matter with the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Economics in accordance with paragraph (c) of the copy of the memorandum enclosed and furnish the Embassy an answer in writing as to whether the Finance Ministry could issue the necessary instructions under the existing arrangement to free American shipping companies from the trade tax, and if this should prove impossible, he would secure the views of the competent Ministry as to the possibility of reaching an understanding for a further exchange of notes on the lines specified by the Department. Upon the receipt of the Foreign Office reply, this will be transmitted promptly for the Department’s consideration with the called for suggestions from the Embassy.