693.11241 Manchuria/2: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

244. Reference Department’s instruction No. 1512, November 19, 1934,69 regarding customs free entry into “Manchukuo” of personal effects of consular officers. Mukden Consul General reports that five cases of official supplies for his office are being refused free entry through the “Manchukuo” customs at Dairen.

Dairen Consul says that although some 2 years ago the “Manchukuo” authorities directed that the customs tariff be applied to official as well as personal consular supplies entering Manchuria, the Dairen customs representative has used his discretion and refrained from strict compliance with those instructions until recently when they were reissued with explicit directions for strict compliance.

Ballantine reports that under similar circumstances his British colleague paid the duty under protest and will avail himself of an early opportunity to inform the “Manchukuo” authorities at Hsinching that the imposition of import duties on official supplies of consular fees is at variance with international usage. Ballantine requests authorization to act similarly.

The Legation is of the opinion that he should be authorized to pay the duty but it does not believe that it would be advisable to protest such payment. It believes, however, that Ballantine might appropriately discuss the measure informally upon his next visit to Hsinching.

The Department’s instructions are requested.

For the Minister: