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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Italy,   pp. 435-506 PDF (27.1 MB)

Page 501

Department that the Italian Foreign Office has now prepared a mem-
orandum of observations with respect to the draft convention. This
memorandum was accompanied by a model treaty which is the form
usually followed by the Italian Government in similar negotiations.
A translation of the memorandum of observations is enclosed to-
gether with the pertinent articles of the model treaty,60 which in cer-
tain cases have been suggested in substitution for articles of the
American draft.
  In the discussion which took place between a member of the Em-
bassy staff and officials of the Italian Foreign Office concerning the
draft convention and the Italian observations, the latter explained
that the American draft with respect to Articles III and IV relating
to Tax Exemptions and Customs Exemptions would probably give
rise to the greatest difficulty inasmuch as existing legislation in Italy
would not permit any deviation from the recognized policy of accord-
ing certain limited exemptions only to foreign consular officials, and,
moreover, that the Ministry of Finance had been very insistent that
this policy should not be altered. It was, however, pointed out to
them that the American draft, in conformity with all recent Ameri-
can consular conventions, was intended to broaden mutual consular
a'menities, and that there would be little improvement over the exist-
ing treaty should the tax exemptions be restricted to exemptions from
direct taxes and limited to career consular officers and should the
customs privileges be granted only to principal officers at the Con-
sulates. In this case subordinate consular officers and members of
the consular staffs would be subject to approximately the same treat-
nment as all foreigners entering Italy. The Italian officials replied
that they recognized this difficulty and promised to resubmit the
articles to the Ministry of Finance in order to ascertain whether
it might not be possible to find some compromise but admitted that
they were not hopeful of securing consent to any important modifica-
tion in the terms of their alternate proposal.
  It will be noted that the Italian memorandum requests clarifica-
tion of certain phrases in the American draft. Among these is the
phrase "officials who are duly appointed to exercise governmental
functions in the territory of the other High Contracting Party,"
which appears both in Articles III and IV. The Italian officials
point out that it will be necessary to ascertain more specifically to
what officials it is intended the exemptions will apply and, as an ex-
ample, cite the case of the functionary appointed by the Italian Minis-
try of Finance who is at present in New York for the purpose of
purchasing tobacco in behalf of the Government tobacco monopoly.
   Neither printed.

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