The Secretary of State to the Minister Resident in Iraq ( Wilson )

No. 36

Sir: Reference is made to the Legation’s despatch no. 1990 of August 28, 1942 concerning the request on the part of certain American citizens residing in Iraq that the Legation intervene in procuring remission of the Iraqi annual residence tax.

It is considered that the fact that this Government does not collect a residence tax from Iraqi nationals in the United States would not constitute a reasonable basis for requesting an exemption of Americans in Iraq from the tax in that country. If there is no discrimination against American citizens in the collection of the tax there would appear to be no reason why these American citizens should not pay the tax as is required of other nationals residing in Iraq. In view of the small amount of the tax in question and of the small number of American citizens involved it appears to be undesirable to request exemption, particularly since there does not appear to be any fundamental objection to the tax. It is considered furthermore that if exemption should be requested such action might be construed as an invitation to the Iraqi Government to request such exemption of Iraqi citizens residing in the United States from the payment of taxes of a character not levied in Iraq. For these reasons it is considered that you should not request the Iraqi Government to exempt American citizens residing in Iraq from payment of the tax in question.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
A. A. Berle, Jr.