893.5034 Business Tax/93: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in China (Gauss)

377. Your 543, November 28, 10 a.m. in regard to business tax law.

Noting that the French Legation refuses to permit the imposition of this tax on French nationals and that the attitude of the Japanese Legation is unknown, the Department, in view of the fact that enforcement by action in American courts in China of such taxation against American citizens or reference to such American courts of disputes in regard to the tax would require legislation by Congress, is not in position to endorse the British proposal.
For your information but not for communication to Chinese authorities. In the event of a willingness on the part of all other treaty powers to acquiesce in the imposition of the proposed tax on their respective nationals, the Department would be prepared to give consideration to advising American nationals to pay the tax as a voluntary contribution provided the tax were national in scope and the amount and the methods of collection were reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
You are authorized to inform your British colleague informally and confidentially of the foregoing.