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Table showing retirement pay of British consular service compared with pro
posed retirement pay of United States.
1 None accruing in this grade.
In the British service the pension is based upon salary and emoluments at time of retirement or on average for last three years if there has been a change within that period. It begins upon completion of 10 years' service, and increases by an annual increment of one-eightieth until the completion of 40 years' service, or until retirement. This applies to all officers who have entered service since September 20, 1909. All
officers appointed before that date receive ten-sixtieths of their retirement pay for the first 10 years' service and onesixtieth for each year thereafter until completion of 40 years or until retirement.
In the British service retirement is voluntary at 60 and compulsory at 65 unless Government wishes to continue an officer in service longer, in which case it may continue him by intervals until he is 70 years of age.
At present, because of conditions resulting from the war, an additional allowance to those mentioned in the above table, which are fixed, is granted Officers at a number of posts. This additional allowance is not pensionable as are those which are fixed. As an illustration, the consul general at New York, whose salary is £1,350 or $6,569.77, has a total allowance of £4,000 or $19,466, making his total compensation $26,035.71. Of the allowance only the fixed sum of £550 or $2,676.57 is included in the officer's total pensionable salary and emoluments amounting to $9,246.34.
Included in the posts to which special allowances of considerable importance are now made are Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Petrograd, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Galveston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland, and San Francisco. Smaller additional allowances than those at the posts mentioned are also granted át many others.
Pay and retirement pay of United States Army and United States Navy officers.
Mr. TEMPLE. Showing a comparison with the 58 and 42 basis.
Mr. COLE. It is 50-50 as a general proposition, the Government half and the employees half.
Mr. CARR. That is about what it works out at. For a number of years the employees will pay practically the entire expense.
Mr. COLE. At the present time you will have a lot of men in the service a long time who contribute nothing.
Mr. CARR. Exactly. We would have to retire about 35 men at once. Mr. Stewart tells me the actual number is 30, who would be retired because of having reacher the age of retirement, and that would make the first year of operation the most expensive year that we would have. That arises from the fact that many years ago there were a large number of men taken into the service at a rather advanced age.
The CHAIRMAN. Your retirement' age is 65, under the bill?
The CHAIRMAN. One of the surprising things is the small cost of these retirements.
Mr. COLE. Will there be any discretion for the foreign service to retain men beyond the age of 65, or is it compulsory?
Mr. CARR. There is a provision in the Lehlbach bill, which is made applicable to this bill, giving discretion to the head of the department to extend for two years at a time the date of retirement.
Mr. MOORES. For not to exceed 10 years.
Mr. MOORES. Does the language of this bill make that provision applicable to this measure?
Mr. CARR. We have sought to apply the provisions of that bill to the foreign service, changing the retiring age from 70 to 65, and also changing the percentage of contribution from 242 to 5 per cent, and, of course, the resulting rate of retirement pay. In other respects, we have sought to place the retirement of the foreign service entirely under the provisions of the Lehlbach bill, subject to the modifications in respect to retiring age, rate of contribution and rate of retirement pay.
Mr. ROGERS. I should like to ask, with reference to Mr. Cole's suggestion that the Government practice in retirement measures is a basis of equal contribution, if the analogy of the retirement contemplated in this foreign service bill is not that of the Army and Navy officer retirement, rather than of the civil-service retirement? Is it not also the fact that there is no contribution exacted of Army and Navy officers in order that they may enjoy their retirement privileges ?
Mr. MOORES. That is also true of judicial officers retired.
Mr. ROGERS. In other words, I think the foreign service officer is really a national defense officer who is serving in a far country where his conditions. away from home and business and often even from his family, are very much akin fundamentally, in the heroism that he must at tinies display, to those under which Army and Navy officers serve.
Mr. COCKRAN. Heroism which he often has displayed.
Mr. CARR. I am very glad you made that remark, because it gives me an opportunity to express my own personal opinion upon a point in regard to which I entertain strong views. I have never been able to convince myself that there was any material difference in the right of a foreign-service officer to retirement pay, irrespective of contributions from him, and the right of an Army or Navy officer to retirement pay in like circumstances. Perhaps we could not trace so clear an analogy between the Army officer and the foreign-service officer, but we can trace a very clear analogy between the foreign-service officer and the Navy officer. Leaving out of the question actual war, which fortunately occurs very seldom and we hope will occur with less frequency in the future, a Navy officer during most of his career really undergoes perhaps fewer hardships and is subjected to fewer dangers that the foreign-service officer. That is particularly true in respect to the large class of foreign-service officers, consular officers and diplomatic officers, who serve in tropical posts. A Navy officer cruising about the world has at all times the benefit of the best physicians and the best preventive measures that Government funds can give him, but a foreign-service officer enjoys no such advantages. He takes up his duties at some place on the west coast of Africa or in Central or South America or the West Indies or the Dutch East Indies or elsewhere in tropical and unhealthy regions and has to live there and do the best he can, depend upon native physicians, often ipon native modes of living, and take his chances with life. The Navy officer will not even put his vessel into such a port without the assurance from the resident consul that the port is sufficiently healthy to involve no danger to the health of the officers and crew. The consuls are regularly supplying information in regard to the healthfulness of ports which vessels of the Navy may be called upon to visit. Yet the Navy retires its officers at threefourths pay, and the foreign-service officer, if he reaches the age of retirement or if ability to do his work ceases, is thrown out with no provision made for him. I do not think it is fair. We ought to be at least as generous to that body of men upon whom we depend from year to year to keep open the channels of peaceful and friendly relations as we are to the body of men who once in a long while are called upon to fight our battles.
Mr. COCKRAN. Do you not think it possible to incorporate in the bill a provision that the consular officer who lost his life or became incapacitated by reason of his service as an incident to the service should enjoy a pension? Do you not think that Congress would grant that?
Mr. CARR. I do not know. You gentlemen know more about that than I do.
The CHAIRMAN. It has been the policy to make contributions to the family where a man lost his life in the service, amounting to a year's salary.
Mr. COCKRAN. That is very small.
Mr. ROGERS. That has only recently been the practice within the last four or five years.
Mr. COCKRAN. I do not see why a provision should not be added here.
The CHAIRMAN. Referring to section 17, pages 8 and 9 of the bill, where you fix the maximum and minimum annuities, what is the purpose of having maximum and minimum annuities?
Mr. CARR. The lowest period of service after which retirement is possible is 15 years. That, applied to the lowest rate of salary, gives the minimum retirement pay in a class. The maximum period of service, applied to the maximum salary, gives the maximum retirement pay. This bill adopts the several classes contained in the Lehlbach bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Who will determine the amount the employee shall receive?
Mr. CARR. It will be determined by the Secretary of the Interior or the Commissioner of Pensions on the basis of the man's length of service, age, and salary for 10 years next preceding retirement. When he gets to the retirement age the amount of his retired pay is based on the average amount of compensation he has been receiving for the past 10 years and the length of time he had served.
Mr. COCKRAN. That is a question I was about to ask, whether when a man gets $4,800 or $1,800 a year, the amount of retirement pay depends on the length of service?
Mr. CARR. Yes.
Mr. COCKRAN. Does the bill provide for a man getting any pension before the age of 65 years?
Mr. CARR. No; except in case of disability.
Mr. CARR. Yes. In case of disability he can retire after 15 years' service at an age earlier than 65, and he may then get such a proportion of the amount which he would be entitled to at the age of 65 as his average salary for the past 10 years and the length of service would entitle him to.
Mr. ROGERS. I think it would clarify this point if I read a section from the so-called Lehlbach Act of May 22, 1920. That explains what this classification means and on what it is based. My understanding is that there is absolutely on discretion with anybody. It is a pure mathematical matter with two factors, one the man's average salary for 10 years, and the other his length of service, to determine, first, in what class he is, and, second, where within the maximum or minimum of that class he comes in the matter of retirement allowances. Section 2 of the Lehlbach bill reads as follows:
That for the purpose of determining the amount of annuity which retired employees shall receive the following classifications and rates shall be established:
“ Class A shall include all empoyees to whom this act appies who shall have served the United States for a total period of 30 years or more. The annuity to a retired employee in this class shall equal 60 per centum of such employee's average annual basic salary, pay, or compensation from the United States for the 10 years next preceding the date on which he or she shall retire: Provided, That in no case shall an annuity in this class exceed $720 per annum or be less than $360 per annum.”
Then it gives the maximum and minimum.
Mr. ROGERS. Section 2. It further provides, in section 2, that class B shall apply to employees who have served the United States for from 27 to 30 years, and that such class B employees shall receive 54 per cent of their annual salary. Class C applies to all men who have served 24 to 27 years, and the corresponding percentage is 48. Class D applies to men who have
served 21 to 24 years, and the percentage is 42. Class E applies to men who have served the United States from 18 to 21 years, and the percentage is 36. Class F, the last class, includes employees who have served 15 to 18 years, and the percentage is 30.
That summary is from the act of May 22, 1920, chapter 195, section 2. It applies precisely to the situation that we find in section 17 of this bill, except that the maximum and minimum rates vary.
Mr. CARR. That is exactly so. May I also read part of section 6 of the same act, answering a question asked about the circumstances under which extension of a man's service might be made:
Provided, That if within 60 days after the passage of this act or not less than 30 days before the arrival of an employee at the age of retirement, the head of the department, branch, or independent office of the Government in which he or she is employed certifies to the Civil Service Commission that by reason of his or her efficiency and willingness to remain in the civil service of the United States, the continuance of such employee therein would be advantageous to the public service, such employee may be retained for a term not exceeding two years upon approval and certification by the Civil Service Commission, and at the end of two years he or she may, by similar approva and certification, be continued for an additional term not exceeding two years, and so on: Provided further, That at the end of 10 years after this act becomes effective no employee shall be continued in the civil service of the United States beyond the age of retirement defined in section 1 hereof for more than four years."
Mr. COCKRAN. One question about a matter that was discussed yesterday. How many consulates of the United States are there doing business to an extent approaching that of London?
Mr. CARR. I should think there were some five or six or seven.
Mr. CARR. Yes; not the same kind of business, perhaps, but substantially equal in magnitude.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you benefit by this reclassification?
The CHAIRMAN. I think your salary is a disgrace to the Government. I wonder if there is not some way we could fix it up.
Mr. CARR. There is an interest and joy that comes from this work, and from endeavoring to render a service without regard to the amount of money that one may derive from it, that is in itself a rich compensation. We can not all of us think about how much we are being paid, but rather of what the task is before us and what we can put into it.
The CHAIRMAN. You should run for Congress.
Mr. CARR. Have I said now enough about the retirement feature for the moment? If so, I should like to go on and point out that in addition to the change which the new classification would produce break down the existing wall between the Diplomatic and Consular Services; bring the two services together, make them into one; apply precisely the same principles of administration to both branches; make the men feel that they are not superior because they are in the diplomatic service and have the advantage of diplomatic immunities, and make the consular men feel that they are not inferior because they are in the Consular Service and they have not the advantage of diplomatic immunities and can not go to court or do many other things which some people think desirable, but that they may some day aspire not only to transfer to the diplomatic service in a secretarial position, but also may aspire to the grade of minister, which we hope this bill will facilitate-in addition to these advantages the entrance to this service, to the corps of foreign service officers, will be made by legislation, by act of Congress, subject to examination to test the fitness of the candidate. You have seen the examinations tried out since 1906 in reference to the Consular Service, and since 1909 in reference to the diplomatic secretaries. I think everyone will admit that it has brought about a great improvement in the service. It has brought into the service a superior class of men. It has eliminated, as Secretary Hughes said yesterday, political considerations from the selection of the personnel, and it has improved the entire morale and the efficiency of both branches of the service. This proposes that the examination shall be stipulated in the law itself as a condition of entrance into foreign service officer corps.
Mr. COCKRAN. As applied by this bill?
Mr. CARR. No; not the scope; only the fact that admission shall be by examination. The scope would be prescribed by the President, which is, I believe, the sound way to deal with that subject.
Mr. COCKRAN. You speak of this improvement. In what way is that evidenced—by what net result to the general public?
Mr. CARR. The improvement has been this: Before the system of examinations for entry into the service was in existence men were selected without exami. nation, sent to particular posts to continue to serve there until the political party then in power should change. Then, as a rule, the gentlemen were brought home and others were sent out in their places, selected in the same way, to continue at particular posts to which they were sent until again a change of administration occurred, when there was still another sweeping change. There was no service spirit, continuity of service, or accumulated experience. That has all disappeared. A man now goes into the service precisely as into the Army and Navy-except that he does not go to West Point or Annapolis-after an examination to test his personal, mental, and physical fitness, with the implied agreement that he shall go wherever ordered. He may serve one year in France; the next year duty may take him to Germany; and after three years there duty may take him to South America, and so on. He becomes a foreign service soldier, if you please. He is not restricted to any particular country or to any particular locality. He obtains a broad grasp of international affairs, economic conditions, and develops gradually into a much superior officer than would have been possible under the old system.
Mr. COCKRAN. I want to see where the superiority consists. The fact that he is sent through in this method does not establish superiority. It shows a difference in the method of appointment. Can you tell us just in what way the superiority of these officers is established, their superiority in actual service?
Mr. CARR. Their actual work is better performed.
Mr. CARR. By a more accurate and more intelligent performance of their work.
Mr. COCKRAN. That is very important. I would like to get that somewhat in detail, because I myself have the general idea that no men should be allowed in the civil service of any kind for more than a few years. You spoil him and do not improve the service. But that is a matter to be tested by actual experience. What I would like to get from you, if you have any means of furnishing the information, is just to what extent and in what specific ways the service shows an improvement from this method of appointment by examination.
Mr. CARR. It shows an improvement, in the first place, in that the officers possess better knowledge of foreign languages. There are many more men to-day who are able to speak the language of the country to which they go than there were in the old days. Then there is the question of personality. The men now average a higher personality.
Mr. COCKRAN. What do you mean by that, exactly? That is just one of - those phrases which always puzzled me.
Mr. CARR. I mean personality as indicated by culture, education, refinement, high moral character, if you please, a combination which may roughly be called personality, and with it there is a greater professional efficiency, a greater, a more intimate knowledge of the diplomatic and consular functions, and therefore the diplomatic and consular business can be carried with more efficiency than in the old days. There are to-day fewer lapses in personal conduct than in the old days. There is no more of the old difficulty we used to have of men pursuing private business, private law practice in foreign countries, instead of giving their entire time to furthering the interests of the Government itself. There are all of these things and many others I do not think of just at the moment which make the existing service vastly better than the former one.
Mr. TEMPLE. Wide experience.
Mr. CARR. The same sort of condition that you have in the practice of law. A man starts in the practice of law, and if he is a student, a cultured man, applies himself industriously, he becomes a trained and able member of his