The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Shanghai ( Lockhart )
122. Your 186, February 13, 4 p.m., Shanghai Municipal Government. The Department desires the Ambassador’s and your comment in regard to the feasibility of the establishment of the proposed commission form of government at Shanghai and in addition would appreciate the Ambassador’s and your views in regard to the following questions:
- Would not a suspension of the land regulations probably result in prolonged and difficult negotiations in a necessary effort to arrive at a new grant of carefully defined authority which would furnish a proper basis for the exercise of municipal functions by the government of the International Settlement?
- Do those who propose the commission form of government have in mind definite plans for new forms of taxation? If so, the Department would appreciate receiving detailed information in regard thereto.
- Under the existing form of government, would not the difficulties now encountered in public meetings be ameliorated if the recommendations [Page 827] in regard to possible new taxes should be presented to ratepayers’ meetings by a committee made up of representatives from the various ratepayers’ associations, which committee would give prior consideration to and endeavor to agree upon taxation proposals?
- Would the situation be met by (a) an agreed reallocation of membership in the Council along the lines of the suggested membership in the commission form of government and (b), in case there should be need for a change in the land regulations, adoption of an amendment of the regulations, agreed to by the Chinese Government at Chungking and by the Powers concerned, which would confer upon the Municipal Council broader powers of taxation than the Council now has?
Sent to Shanghai. Repeated to Chungking and Peiping.