893.512/1527: Telegram

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

423. Following telegram has been received from Chefoo.

“August 22, 4 p.m. Referring to the Embassy’s telegram August 12, noon, Bureau of Finance and Bureau of Police are both attempting to collect automobile license taxes from foreigners resulting in double taxation. There is no guarantee that either bureau will use the fees for road repairs. Controversy between the two municipal bureaus has led to a revision entirely of taxation on foreigners which may bring about one central municipal office charged with collecting taxes from foreigners. Pending adoption of definite tax program by municipal authorities and centralization of tax collection I would respectfully suggest Americans be advised to refrain from making voluntary contributions in payment of vehicle license fees and any new municipal taxes. I am awaiting the Embassy’s instructions before taking any action. Sent to Chungking. Repeated to Peiping.”

I have sent the following instructions to Chefoo.

“August 25, noon. Suggestion contained your August 22, 4 p.m., is approved.

Sent to Chefoo. Repeated to Peiping.”