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Mr. CARR. I would like to say there that I do not suppose anybody had the thought that there was a desire to get any minister or ambassador back here in the State Department on assignment for three or four years. The only reason it appears in that text is that that is the language in existing law as applied to secretaries and consuls and consuls general. I would like to read that now.
Mr. ROGERS. This is the law that you were asking for, Mr. Moore.
“That any such officer (secretary in the Diplomatic Service, consul general, or consul) may be designated for duty in the Department of State without loss of grade, class, or salary, such assignment to be for a period of not more than three years, unless the public interests demand further service, when such assignment may be extended for a period not to exceed one year, and no longer.”
That is the present law.
Mr. COCKRAN. The effect of that is simply that if the department needs him there it could assign him to a particular duty without loss of salary to him.
Mr. CARR. Exactly.
Mr. MOORE. What would you think of the expediency of including ambassadors and ministers with the others ?
Mr. CARR. I think it esirable. I do not mean to say the Government would stop if it were not done, but I think it desirable to give the President and the Secretary of State as much discretion there as possible. We can not look ahead far enough to see the exigencies that are going to arise in the next few years. I have been dealing with these matters a great many years; and yet my imagination was not vivid enough to forecast, in 1914, for example, one hundredth of the things we have gone through in foreign relations since that time or the exigencies that have arisen. None of us can look forward even a few years and predict what demands may be upon those responsible for foreign relations. So that if you feel inclined to do so and feel that you can reasonably do so, I should say that it would be a power very desirable to place in the hands of the President, and I am certain that it would not be abused.
Mr. COCKRAN. In the case that Mr. Cooper put, of failure to appoint a minister and keep him at his post, it never suspends diplomatic relations. Italy did not appoint an ambassador to us from 1892 to 1896, after the riots in New Orleans, after Baron Fava left. When Keiley was rejected as minister to Austria and the Austrian Government refused to have him, a new minister was appointed. We did not break diplomatic relations, however. It is a method of indicating diplomatic coolness.
Mr. Carr. I am indebted to you for reminding me that in intercourse between governments the temporary withdrawal of a head of mission is one of the expedients resorted to to indicate displeasure or coolness when anything may arise on which agreement can not be reached.
Mr. COCKRAN. Of course the Government would not keep a minister away from his post indefinitely, but in such a case, not before paralleled in human experience, suppose a revolution broke out in Germany result.ng in the same condition as in Russia, I should think that it would be the wise course to bring our ambassador, Mr. Houghton, back home to interpret the events in the light of what he had already seen. I think a provision of that kind is worth more than the rest of the bill put together.
Mr. ROGERS. Are we ready to proceed with the next topic?
Mr. CARR. These other sections are for the most part merely for the purpose of adapting the present system, the present legislation, to the corps of foreignservice officers. For example, take section 10, there we have an adaptation to the present requirements of law that consular officers should be bonded, and applying that to the foreign-service officers, and also covering under that diplomatic secretaries, who are now not bonded but in my judgment should be, inasmuch as they handle money and render accounts to the Government and collect fees.
Mr. COOPER. What is the particular difference between this as proposed and the existing law?
Mr. CARR. There is no difference at all, except that it applies the existing law to the foreign-service officers, whereas the existing law is applied to consuls and consuls general only.
Mr. COOPER. It says hereby amended.
Mr. CARR. In section 11 the provision of the present inspection law that requires the inspection of consular officers is applied to the foreign-service officers herein provided for who shall be assigned to the duty of inspection. That, by the way, coupled with section 2 of the bill as I should like to see it amended, would authorize the President to take as many foreign-service officers as Congress may appropriate for above class 4 of foreign-service officers.
Mr. COCKRAN. What section?
Mr. CARR. I am referring now to section 1, on page 2 of the bill, and also to section 11. Section 2 of the bill, I would suggest an amendment by striking out the words in parentheses, lines 1 to 4, which authorizes the assignment of officers of the foreign service, officers of class 3, to the duties of inspection, and attach a proviso that would read something like this, " that as many foreignservice officers above class 5, or class 4, let us say, as may be required for the purpose, and provided annually by Congress upon recommendation of the Secretary of State, may be designated as foreign-service inspectors.”
Mr. COCKRAN. Let me get that again. At the top of page 2, after striking out the parentheses.
Mr. ROGERS. After striking out the parentheses in lines 1 to 4. Mr. COCKRAN. Now, I get you; yes. What is the amendment? Mr. CARR. I would add a proviso to the effect " that as many foreign-service officers above class 4 as may be required for the purpose of inspecting and provided for annually for the duties of inspection by Congress upon recommendation of the Secretary of State may be designated as foreign-service inspectors.”
We have at present seven inspectors of consulates provided for by Congress. There is no inspection of the diplomatic branch of the service. There should be an inspection of that as well as of the consular branch of the service. By the adoption of this provision in this bill you would put the Secretary of State in a position to assign such a number of officers as you would annually appropriate for under this section to the work of inspection, the work similar to that now done in inspecting consulates, and also extend it to inspection of diplomatic offices. I think you will agree with me that they ought to have inspection as well as consular offices. I think that is sound administration.
Mr. ROGERS. Is there any inspection now?
Mr. TEMPLE. As it reads after striking out the parentheses the Secretary would be limited to foreign-service officers, class 3.
Mr. CARR. Exactly.
Mr. ROGERS. You propose to allow him to make appointments to the foreign service of inspectors of class 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Mr. CARR. An inspecting officer requires a very special kind of personality and experience, and it is my observation that there ought to be a very wide range of selection in the service. The officers, of course, are all taken from the service, but you can not always find enough men in one class who are especially qualified for that particular duty, which after all is a very difficult duty and requires a certain special kind of personality and a certain kind of experience. So it would be in the interest of better dministration, I am sure, if you should broaden the range of selection in that respect.
Turning again to section 11 on page 7, you will find that that provides “ that the provisions of section 4, act of April 5, 1906, relative to consuls general at large”—they are the inspecting officers of the consular service—“ are hereby made applicable to foreign-service inspectors.”
I would suggest there an amendment in line 4, after the word “relative,” insert so as to read “relative to the powers, duties, and prerogatives of the consuls general at large,” because I take it that this bill does not mean to continue that title but merely to transfer the powers to the men designated as inspectors under this act.
Section 12, page 7, of the bill applies to the men performing the diplomatic duties the same provisions of law that now exist and are applicable to consular officers in respect to the fees collected by them for services. In other words, it puts the diplomatic secretaries on a straight salary basis, as was long ago done in the case of consular officers. There are small fees for notarial work that are now collected and retained by diplomatic secretaries, which amount to very little, but this change would lead to better administration. The present law, which has been the law for many years, confers notarial powers on diplomatic secretaries, and they perform a certain number, though not many, services of that kind, and they may retain the fees.
Mr. ROGERS. Is there any accounting to Washington ?
Mr. ROGERS. A man could build up a flourishing business if he were so inclined.
Mr. CARR. He might if he was so inclined, but I have never seen any evidence of an inclination in that direction.
Mr. LINTHICUM. Have you considered the effect this would have upon appropriations for the Diplomatic and Consular Services ?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir; the first year it would increase the appropriation about $378,000 and the second year about $325,000.
Mr. ROGERS. That includes both salary readjustments and retirements.
Mr. LINTHICUM. I am not complaining about the increase, because I have always thought that the appropriation for the department is smaller than what you ought to have. We have been too parsimonious with the State Department.
Mr. CARR. I think so. I think the country has suffered from it.
Mr. TEMPLE. Sections 8 and 10 of the act of April 5, 1906, relate to the official fees of consular officers and the methods of accounting therefor. That will make it clearer in explaining it on the floor of the House.
Mr. COLE. Under this bill there will be no fees at all in any form whatsoever.
Mr. CARR. There are no perquisites in the way of fees in the Consular Service.
Mr. COCKRAN. Does he not get fees for taking acknowledgments?
Mr. CARR. Yes; but they are not his; they belong to the Government of the United States.
Mr. COCKRAN. If you go in and verify a power of attorney before a consul, does the fee go to the Government?
Mr. CARR. He has to account for it under his bond.
Mr. CARR. There are no perquisites in the Consular Service. it is a straight salary proposition, and the men are held strictly accountable under their bonds for every cent collected.
Mr. ROGERS. There are a few consular agents who do.
Mr. COCKRAN. Consular agents are not really officers of the United States, not really citizens, generally foreigners.
Mr. CARR. Oftentimes not citizens, because it is not always possible to get a citizen to take such a position. Their compensation is derived from one-half of the fees they collect, not to exceed $1,000 in one year. There are only a few and we hope to replace them as time goes on by vice consuls of career.
Mr. COCKRAN. Just one moment on that section 14, which I think the most vital of the bill. Is there any reason for specifying the time during which a man can be assigned? Why would it not be better to state that he shall be assigned so long as the public interest required?
Mr. CARR. I would prefer that that time be limited.
Mr. CARR. The reason why is that while there has not been any disposition, so far as I know, to abuse the privilege, my experience in the Government service is that in the interest of proper and efficient administration it is always wise to put a reasonable limitation upon a discretion given an executive department. I would not advocate for a moment unlimited discretion.
Mr. COCKRAN. Not an extended discretion, and I think three years is too long to keep a man under such a designation. I think it ought to be only for the emergency, by declaring that only an emergent public interest should require it. You would get a narrower discretion than this. The fact that three years is made the maximum in this bill would mean a designation for that time.
Mr. CARR. It has not proved so up to date.
Mr. CARR. The fact is that the men who are brought here, except in very few cases, are men possessed of special qualifications, which can not be well duplicated, men who have served much less than three years.
Mr. COOPER. If you need men to be assigned here, why not assign a man under a commission, or whatever you m'ght call it, for a definite period, not to exceed so long. Would you take an ambassador and assign him to the State Depart
ment? Would you not simply withdraw him from his post of duty to meet an emergency?
Mr. CARR. Yes.
Mr. CARR. That is what it does amount to. The word assigned ” was used because that was the technical word used in the law of 1915, wherein it was stated that the President might assign, without the confirmation of the Senate, within the class, from one post to another. It is simply the adoption in this paragraph of that language because that happens to be the phraseology used at that time.
Mr. COOPER. What effect would that have upon an ambassador to assign him to the State Department? Would you not withdraw and keep him there for your convenience? You could probably assign him as ambassador to the State Department in this city ?
Mr. CARR. That is exactly what it would mean ; that he could be brought back just as any consul is brought back, brought back to the State Department so long as needed, assigned there in the sense that he is brought into the place for consultation, and sent back to his post when the need expires.
Mr. COOPER. Would the assignment consist of a period in the discretion of the department, extending as long as the public necessity required it?
Mr. CARR. I would rather not see that done. As I said, I do not care, so far as the ambassador or minister is concerned, I am perfectly agreeable to see them limited to a few months. So far as the consuls general, consuls, and secretaries are concerned, I think that the Secretary of State and our foreign relations would suffer tremendously by the inability of the Secretary to detail a reasonable number of foreign service men in the State Department for considerable periods of time.
Mr. TEMPLE. One limit for ministers and another limit for foreign service officers? Mr. CARR. bave no objection to that.
(Thereupon, at 12 o'clock noon the committee adjourned, to meet again at 10 o'clock a. m., Thursday, December 14, 1922.)
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, Thursday, December 14, 1922. The committee this day met, Hon. John Jacob Rogers presiding.
Mr. ROGERS. I want to print, with the permission of the committee, first a letter which the Secretary of State wrote the President concerning this, general reorganization plan, dated August 22, 1922, with certain papers accompanying the letter, which, I think, will be helpful to the committee; second, a letter which President Harding wrote the chairman of this committee and to the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, concerning the plan; third, a letter which the President wrote to me on September 1; fourth, a letter which the Secretary of State wrote me concerning the bill now before the committee, dated October 13; and, finally, a letter which he wrote to the president of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States in response to a letter from the president of that chamber of commerce on October 27, 1922. There is very little duplication in these letters, and I think it will be of some value to the committee to have the information available in the hearings. (The letters referred to are as follows :)
AUGUST 22, 1922. MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I desire to place before you the accompanying draft of a bill for the reorganization and improvement of the foreign service, which, with your concurrence and support, I am disposed to advocate as a means of strengthening this department and adapting its machinery to the exigencies of post-war conditions in international affairs.
The proposals contained in this draft are similar in purport to the provisions of a measure (H. R. 17) already pending before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, but on which no action has as yet been taken.
The main purpose is to lay the foundation of a broader service of trained men by removing certain embarrassing limitations in the present organization and giving impetus to the idea of diplomacy as a career. This is thought to be necessary as a means of attracting and holding the type of men capable of measuring up to the new demands.
There are only four important provisions to be considered :
1. The adoption of a new and uniform salary scale with a view to broadening the field of selection by eliminating the necessity for private incomes and permitting the relative merits of candidates to be adjudged on the basis of ability alone.
2. The amalgamation of the diplomatic and consular branches into a single foreign service on an interchangeable basis. This would relieve the limitations of the present consular career and effectually coordinate the political and the economic branches of the service.
3. The granting of representation allowances, which would lessen the demands on the private fortunes of ambassadors and ministers and render it practicable to promote a greater number of trained officers to those positions.
4. The extension of the civil service retirement act, with appropriate modifications, to the foreign service. This has become necessary for maintaining the desired standard of efficiency under the merit system.
Taking up these four points in the order mentioned, it may be further explained that the salaries in both branches of the service, and especially those of diplomatic secretaries, are quite inadequate.
The present range of consular salaries is from $2,000 to $8,000, with two positions at $12,000; that of diplomatic secretaries from $2,500 to $4,000, whereas the proposed new scale would be subdivided into nine classes, ranging from $3,000 to $9,000. Readjustment on this basis would involve a substantial increase in the salaries of diplomatic secretaries and a smaller increase in consular salaries, requiring additional appropriations as compared with those of the current year of $328,500.
By assimilating the positions in the Diplomatic Service with the corresponding positions in the Consular Service on the basis of a common salary scale it would become possible through the use of the title “ foreign service officer" as employed in the bill to establish the two branches on an interchangeable basis and secure the highly desirable advantage, from the standpoint of economy and efficiency, of combined administration.
The principle of providing representation allowances is one which is well established in the practice of other nations and among the important business interests of this country. In relation to the foreign service it is a corollary to the Government ownership of embassy and legation buildings abroad as a means of lightening the burden of personal expense on our ambassadors and ministers. While it is not deemed advisable to request appropriations for this purpose at the present time, I believe it important that statutory provision should be made therefor in order that suitable funds may be provided at a later date and in such proportion as the special exigencies, may require.
Owing to the length of time that the Diplomatic and Consular Services have been on a civil-service basis, there are a number of positions, especially in the Consular Service, being held by officers advanced in years whose retention impairs the efficiency of the service as a whole. It has become urgently necessary to provide for the retirement of these officers, and in view of the fact that both branches of the service are well established on a civil-service basis it appears feasible to bring them under the provisions of the civil service retirement act of May 22, 1920, modified only as to the age of retirement, the rate of contribution, and the rate of annuity. The immediate benefits of such an enactment would be appreciable. In fact, no proposal in connection with the improvement of the foreign service commends itself to my judgment with greater force. The inauguration of the system of retirement upon annuities would entail an initial appropriation of $50,000, but is estimated that no further appropriation would be required until 1936.
All the principal nations have reorganized their foreign services since the war. With the comparatively slight but fundamental changes contained in these proposals, which, in fact, represent nothing more than keeping pace with the rapid growth of the present system, I feel sure that a foundation would be laid for a service which would compare favorably with that of any other nation.
The total additional outlay required for this purpose would be $378,500, of which $328,500 would represent an annual expenditure. This seems to me a small sum when compared with the very substantial improvement in the foreignservice machinery which I am confident would follow the enactment of the