The Counselor of Embassy in China ( Jones ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 4—4:07 a. m.]
1991. Re Shanghai telegram 3495, August 26,76 repeated Nanking only. British Embassy advise that their ConGen Shanghai paid taxes on ConGen without prior consultation Embassy and that FonOff can object only on basis former practice in China and not on grounds comity since British municipal taxes appear to be collected from foreign consulates and even embassies. Nevertheless British Embassy still desires that consulates in China resist payment similar direct taxes.
Embassy has received house tax bills for two rented and three government-owned premises. Bills returned promptly to tax office, one group August 1 and second group August 17, with explanation premises owned by people of US and held for their benefit by US Government; and in case rented property that landlord bound under lease pay all taxes and further that under international law foreign government relieved from payment taxes this description. Nothing further heard to date in respect these properties and no new bills for neighboring properties received. While other missions have declared their intention resist taxation government-owned premises, British say they consider it politic to pay house tax on rented premises in order avoid appearance complete uncooperativeness. In all cases assessments extremely trifling; US cents 25 to 150 for 2-month period.
Sent Department; repeated Shanghai 1082, Hankow 73. Department pass Peiping 356.