« PreviousContinue »
cerned about it. You may ask why, and this is discussed in the very next section.
21. The anomaly just recited comes about because in the United States, Canadian Federal Trade Commissioners—employees of the Department of Trade and Commerce-are designated consuls or vice consuls. By virtue of such designation, the Federal Trade Commissioners are accorded the exemption provided in section 3(a) of the Foreign Agents Registration Act which reads as follows:
“SEC. 3. The requirements of section 2(a)”—the requirements of section 2(a), and section 2(a) is the necessity to register-hereof shall not apply to the following agents of foreign principals :
“(a) A duly accredited diplomatic or consular officer of a foreign government who is so recognized by the Department of State, while said officer is engaged exclusively in activities which are recognized by the Department of State as being within the scope of the functions of such officer.”
These Federal officials who enjoy exemption from the provisions of the Foreign Agents Registration Act because of their “diplomatic or consular officer” status are—notwithstanding their consular designation-primarily trade commissioners and, as has been pointed out, perform functions not essentially different from the functions of the provincial trade commissioners.
Mr. Willis. Could not the problem be solved by Canada designating the provincial representatives as consuls?
Mr. FRAWLEY. It could, sir. But then we are in the well-known divided jurisdiction in Canada, and, of course, there is divided jurisdiction in the United States, but under the British North America Act, which is Canada's Constitution, the Provinces have legislative powers, and so has Canada, and anything at all in connection with external affairs, you might call it, consular officers and all of that, those people must be Federal. Alberta has no consuls anywhere. We are just a Province.
Mr. Poff. If I may suggest, some States send employees abroad to promote a particular interest of that State, and if the United States were to name them as consuls it would be pretty much equivalent to Canada naming one of the members of the trade commission of a Province as consul; would it not?
Mr. FRAWLEY. Yes. Of course, I just couldn't comprehend a provincial officer being a consul or vice consul, anything of that sort. You see, it is a very simple distinction. The Federal people come in on an A-1 diplomatic classification, visa classification A-1, and the provincial A-2, and between A-1 and A-2 there is a world of difference.
Mr. WILLIS. Just as a matter of information, and without suggesting it as a possibility, would it be solved if section 3(a) were amended by putting a comma after “diplomatic” and put the word “provincial” in?
Mr. FRAWLEY. Yes. Perhaps even before the “diplomatic,” because diplomatic connotes a Federal status, you see. Alberta is not a foreign country. I don't want to get into what you might call strictly legal argument, but when you get looking at it very closely, in section 1(a), the basic section, the term “foreign principal” includes the government of a foreign country. Now, Alberta is not a foreign country to the United States. Canada is, not Alberta.
Mr. WILLIS. I know, but the sentence would read this way, wherever you put the word "provincial”—“A duly accredited provincial diplomatic or consular officer of a foreign government."
Mr. FRAWLEY. Mr. Chairman, I think that would be an ideal solution if something of that sort could be done. I think we would be very happy.
Mr. Willis. I don't know how this language would fit any other government in the world except Canada, but it is something that would obviously solve your problem.
Mr. FRAWLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. Willis. I am trying to solve your problem, if I can, without doing away with the statute or impairing the good relations that exist between Canada and the United States. The question is, Would that involve some other countries in the world? I don't know.
Mr. FRAWLEY. What you say, sir, just follows up everything I have been told in my discussions with the administration in Washington, and that is this statute was never intended to apply to provincial offices, but it does. Take us out.
Mr. WILLIS. I would not want to be understood as saying that the thing to do would be simply to exempt Canada because that would raise a lot of questions—what about all of our other good neighbors in the Western Hemisphere? But perhaps the statute could still remain as is and satisfy Canada and, I suppose, other similarly situated by inserting the word "provincial.”
Mr. FRAWLEY. But Canada, you see, sir, is virtually exempt now by virtue of the words I read, by virtue of the status of Federal Trade Commissioners.
Mr. Willis. That is general language, though. That applies to all countries on earth="duly accredited diplomatic or consular officers of a foreign government
Mr. FRAWLEY. That is right.
Mr. WILLIS (continuing). “which is recognized by the Department of State.”
Mr. FRAWLEY. By virtue of the designation of a trade commissioner as a consul or vice consul—I have a list of them, where they are all over the world—by virtue of that designation, even though they are employees of the Federal Department of Trade and Commerce in Ottawa and their job is primarily trade work and industrial development work, nevertheless, because they are also designated consuls—and I am imputing nothing at all to the Government of Canada for doing it. They have good and sufficient reasons. But because they do it, then we have the anomaly that in Los Angeles over in the office of the Federal Trade Commissioner he can disseminate what is called political propaganda and nothing happens, and we disseminate political propaganda and we are subject to all of the requirements of this statute.
I have one final paragraph. I am just about through. 22. It is submitted that the difference in treatment of the Canadian Government employees, one provincial and the other Federal, both performing substantially similar functions in the matter of trade development is not justifiable. We are certain it was never intended and in our submission should be removed. All of which is respectfully submitted.
And that is the statement of the government of Alberta to the committee. Let me say again I doubly appreciate this.
Mr. POFF. I agree with your last statement that it was never intended and certainly should be removed insofar as the precise situation to the United States and Canada is concerned. I want to reserve judgment on the advisability of accomplishing this desirable goal simply by a one-word amendment. I am not certain what the word “provincial” might mean to somone from Chile or any other nation of the world, though it means something very precise to you and to me in the context of the statement you have made.
Mr. WILLIS. That was my thought. It would fit this situation. I don't know how it would work elsewhere.
Mr. FRAWLEY. I will go away happy if you tell me you are concerned, you will consider it, and whether the chairman's words will suffice, in any event we think a legislative exemption is really what we need.
This statute is very, very broad. Of course, if there could be some interpretation which would accomplish the same thing and exempted us we wouldn't care. It matters not from where the exemption comes, administratively or legislatively. We certainly were very pleased to be invited to testify before you, which is looking toward a legislatve excluson, and I am glad of the manner in which you received what I had to say, and I would like to think you will seriously
I consider this.
Mr. POFF. Is there anything in the bill as it passed the Senate which you regard as inimical to the interests of Canada if it were adopted and became part of the Foreign Agents Registration Act?
Mr. FRAWLEY. As long as you leave the term “political propaganda”
??—and I don't know that the bill makes any very great change in that definition, as long as that definition is there, and let me read it in the original text
The term “political propaganda” includes any oral, visual, graphic, written, pictorial, or other communication or expression by any person which is reasonably adapted to or which the person disseminating the same believes will, or which he intends to, prevail upon, indoctrinate, convert, induce, or in any other way influence a recipient or any section of the public within the United States with reference to the political or public interests, policies, or relations of the government of the foreign country or a foreign political party.
If I wanted to argue the thing from a legal point of view I would question the applicability of that because it is to advance the interests of the people of the United States seeking to advance their plans in Alberta. It gives employment, I won't argue that. It is to the mutual advantage of that U.S. manufacturer.
For instance, the well-known Hughes Tool Co. is established, for making drilling bits. They have gone up into Alberta and taken over a small foundry, or some such place, and they turn it into a branch plant of the Hughes Tool Co. We are happy about that. That is ħow Alberta should expand. How better can she expand by having American plants going there and establishing these branch offices and plants?
I am afraid with leaving that definition of political propaganda, I think that is the crux of it.
This is called dissemination of political propaganda.
Mr. WILLIS. So far as that definition of political propaganda is concerned, it is part of the basic act. You have to have it, in a way. Let us try to solve your situation in a different
way. You have to define political propaganda and the definition has to be broad or you will have no act at all.
Mr. FRAWLEY. That is another avenue. Mr. Willis. Administratively, you perhaps might be exempted. You say "No." You have proven your case with letters.
I am trying legislatively. We will see what can be done. I don't know.
Mr. FRAWLEY. One of the letters did say that. It said “You are aware there can be no exemptions," or something of that sort. That is the administrative point of view.
Mr. TENZER. Do I understand that together with the filing of this literature as you suggest, you are required to file a list of the places to which it is sent, or the persons who receive it?
Mr. FRAWLEY. Broadly, that is so.
Mr. TENZER. Would it satisfy you if you were required only to file them without listing the information unless it was specifically requested?
Mr. FRAWLEY. No; because we still have to label it. We have to put the label on it. Even putting the label on it is unacceptable because it is a label which seeks to disassociate the U.S. Department of Justice from our literature.
Without being facetious, sir, who would ever suggest that the Department of Justice had any interest in “The Alberta Story”?
Mr. TENZER. It looks colorful from where I sit.
Mr. FRAWLEY. We think so. We are a little sorry we have to come down here in any sense complaining, but I am sure we are understood.
Mr. WILLIS. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF QUENTIN HARVELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
THE PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY OF AMERICA Mr. HARVELL. I am Quentin Harvell, executive director of the Public Relations Society of America, located at 845 Third Avenue, New York City.
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, in order to save as much time as possible for the committee the Public Relations Society of America would like permission to file its statement with the members of the committee rather than take the 10 minutes necessary to read it. This is particularly so in view of the fact that our state. ment supports the essential parts of Mr. Dean's statement of this morning and further we support the amendments we understand will be proposed by the chamber of commerce this afternoon.
With your permission we would like to file it.
Mr. Willis. Your statement will be inserted in full at this point. (The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY THE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS ADVISORY COMMITTEE IN
BEHALF OF THE PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY OF AMERICA, BY B. C. Goss, CHAIRMAN
This statement is submitted in behalf of the Public Relations Society of America which represents public relations officials of industrial corporations and other organizations, and public relations counseling firms. The society's membership presently is 4,940, with headquarters at 845 Third Avenue, New York City. This statement was prepared by the government affairs advisory committee of the society, and has been approved by the appropriate officers as an official statement of our position.
Public relations practitioners, members of PRSA, support the basic purpose of the proposed amendments to the Foreign Agents Registration Act as we understand them. We believe the purpose of the amendments to be to insure that persons or firms representing foreign principals concerned with or seeking to influence legislation before Congress, or our domestic governmental policy, register and report on their activities.
Equally important, the amendments should make clear that (a) representation of foreign private businesses not concerned with legislation or our domestic governmental policy; or (b) representation of foreign governments in such purely commercial areas as the promotion of tourism or economic development, not involving legislation or our domestic governmental policy, should be exempt from registration and reporting under the act.
While we support these objectives of the amendments, public relations practitioners, like other persons affected by the law, believe that the amendments could be further perfected to insure that such objectives are, in fact, carried out with greater precision.
In addition, we and PRSA support proposals of others and some that we ourselves are advancing that would simplify enforcement of the act and reduce some of the burdens imposed upon both the Government and registrants without in any way weakening the effectiveness of the law.
SOME SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS
In the first place, we would like to associate ourselves with the amendments we understand are to be proposed by the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. Based on past expressions by the chamber, these amendments are intended to simplify coverage of the statute and more clearly exempt activities of those representing U.S. corporations, with foreign affiliates. We do not believe it was ever the intention of Congress that the law should cover such activities and we strongly suggest consideration of the chamber's amendments. It is difficult to understand why anyone would wish to bring such activities under this statute.
Secondly, we would like to suggest that the use of the words 'foreign agent" in the statute be eliminated and that use of a term such as “representative" be substituted at all places. In most cases the term "representative" much more clearly represents the kind of activities public relations firms and others carry on in behalf of foreign principals. We feel that such activities should not be mislabeled by use of the term “foreign agent," because of possible unfortunate connotations.
Thirdly, we urge that the definition of "political activities” and the associated phrase "political consultant” be restricted more sharply. The purpose of narrowing this definition would be to make sure that commercial activities and the representation of private foreign principals not involving legislation would be clearly exempt under the law.
We suggest that the law should apply only to those who carry on representational work or who issue publicity or communications intended to influence legislation or governmental policy in this country. It should not apply to public relations firms or anyone else hired as consultants and whose activities are limited to giving of advice and reporting on developments.