File 868/1904 Pt 1 'Consular: Exemption of Foreign Consular Officers from Imperial and Municipal Taxation' [186r] (71/113)
The record is made up of 1 item (53 folios). It was created in 19 Aug 1884-18 Apr 1911. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.
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Letter from Law Officers to Foreign Office.
My Lord, 15 th September 1873.
IVe are honoured with your Lordship’s commands, signified in
Mr. Hammond’s letter of the 8th instant, stating that he was directed
t>y your Lordship to transmit to us a correspondence which has taken
place between the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. and the Foreign Office, as to the claims
set up by certain members of the foreign consular body at Bombay for
exemption from payment of municipal and other taxes.
That these claims were disallowed, with the exception of that of the
Turkish Consul, who based his claim for exemption from customs duties
on the 8th Article of the Treaty between Great Britain and Turkey of
5th January 1809.
That a copy of this Treaty was enclosed, from which it would be seen
that the Article in question stipulated that similar privileges and
immunities to those granted to English Consuls resident in the Ottoman
dominions shall be duly afforded to the “ ‘ Shahbenders ’ (Consuls) of
the Sublime Porte ’’who may be appointed at Malta and in the dominions
of His Britannic Majesty.
That although it seemed difficult to suppose that the Article in
question could have been meant by the negotiator to bear the con
struction sought to be put upon it, it was thought better to recommend
that any tax imposed upon the Turkish Consul by the Government of
Bombay should, if objected to, not be enforced.
That the Turkish Consul-General had now further claimed exemption
from municipal rates and taxes under the same Article, alleging that
British Consuls in Turkey are exempt from all taxes, whether
Government or municipal.
That the Indian Government gave in their Despatch on the subject
their reasons for taking exception to this claim, and as the matter was
one of very wide bearing affecting the position of all the Turkish
Consuls in the British dominions, and involving, moreover, the possibility
of claims for reciprocity of treatment on the part of Consuls of other
Powers who have Treaty rights to “ most favoured ” treatment, your
Lordship would be glad to have our opinion on the extent of the
privileges and immunities which might properly be claimed by Turkish
Consuls under the Article of the Treaty in question.
In obedience to your Lordship’s commands, we have the honour to
report that the words “ privileges and immunities ” in Article VIII.
of the Treaty of 5th January 1809 are, in our opinion, open to no other
construction than that contended for by the Turkish Consul at Bombay,
who is entitled to an immunity reciprocal with, or the same as, a
British Consul receives in the Ottoman dominions.
We are unable to agree with the argument that because India was
not in 1809 a part of Her Majesty’s dominions, India now is not within
the words of Article VIII.
However wide or disagreeable the consequences may be, we are of
opinion that the claim of exemption put forward by the Turkish Consul
must be allowed.
We have, &c.,
J. D. Coleridge.
J. Parker Deane.
The Earl Granville, K.G.,
About this item
Part 1 concerns exemption of Foreign Consular officers from Imperial and Municipal Taxation. It contains:
- correspondence regarding the claim of the Consul-General for France at Calcutta to exemption from Municipal taxation;
- privileges to the Persian and Turkish Consuls-Generals in the matter of Imperial customs duty and municipal taxation;
- claim of the Imperial German Consul-General at Calcutta to exemption from the payment of Municipal taxes;
- request of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador that their Consuls in India may be exempted from payment of taxes;
- claim of the United States Consul at Rangoon (Yangon, Myanmar) to exemption from municipal taxation.
The principal correspondents are the Consul-General for France at Calcutta; the Persian Consul-General; the Imperial German Consul-General at Calcutta; the Foreign Department of the Government of India; the Secretary of State for India; the Foreign Office; and the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. . Some of the letters from Consul-General for France at Calcutta are in French.
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- 1 item (53 folios)
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- English and French in Latin script View the complete information for this record
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