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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 profession as the years go on. The Government to-day is getting the benefit of better professional service from both the diplomatic and consular officers by reason of their broader, more varied experience, and their constant, industrious application to the work involved in protecting and advancing the interests of the Government.
Mr. COCKRAN. Would you exclude them from professional work of any kind? Mr. CARR. Yes, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. What would you consider professional work on the part of a secretary or consul? Their work is practically clerical work.
Mr. CARR. No. If it were clerical work I would not be before you to-day advocating this bill or these salaries. What I want to see it what, I take it, we all want to see in the foreign service
Mr. COCKRAN. That is efficiency.
Mr. CARR. The highest intelligence and the highest character that we can bring into our consular and diplomatic offices, because it is through high intelligence, through acute intellect, clear insight into the motives of men, forecasting of movements in foreign politics, and of changes in economic conditions abroad that we shall be able to protect our own interests and be of real service to the rest of the world.
Mr. COCKRAN. It goes without saying that we want higher intelligence.
Mr. CARR. We want to obtain for this work the highest intelligence this country possess, and even with that there will be too many times when we shall lack proper guidance and adequate information.
Mr. COCKRAN. It goes without saying that we want the highest intelligence in any occupation or employment, whatever it may be. My question was, If you had any statistics or any information which shows that this method of appointment, which has naw been in vogue for some 10 years
Mr. CARR (interposing). Since 1906.
Mr. COCKRAN. If you have anything that will show that, I will be glad to have it. We will not have any discussion of the fact that we want in any occupation, whatever it may be, the very highest form of intelligence and the highest efficiency. My inquiry is directed to the point of whether this change in the system of appointment has worked a change n the improvement of the service and, if so, in what particular?
Mr. CARR. I do not know whether I can tell you in more definite form. Mr. COOPER. Can you do this? The method was adopted on a certain date? Mr. CARR. Yes, sir.
Mr. COOPER. Prior to that, there was a certain amount of business done by consuls and various ministers, and done with a certain amount of intelligence. Immediately after this new method was adopted, the question was whether from that time there was a decided improvement that might be fairly attributed to it?
Mr. CARR. I can not produce proof of that by laying any papers or any data before you at the present time.
Mr. COOPER. We will take your statement.
Mr. CARR. I can give you my view, and I have been in the service 30 years, 25 of which have been devoted more particularly to this branch of the work. I know of my own knowledge what the change has been. I know of my
own knowledge how the reports of consuls have been improved over what they were. I know to my own knowledge, for instance, how greatly the professional or technical proficiency of the men has improved over that of the old days. I know how much the average of excellence has increased over that of the old days. I know how much the spirit of service has changed from that of the old days. I know a great many men, for example, who are devoting themselves day and night to the service of the Government and placing that duty above every other consideration, when in the old days there were dozens of them pursuing their private interests rather than the Gov. ernment interests, who used the office of secretary or of consul merely as a convenience enabling them to draw a salary and live abroad for their own pleasure. Those are some of the improvements.
Mr. COCKRAN. Those are very important. If you know those of your own knowledge, that is very important and a valuable contribution to the inquiry, just what I was trying to get.
Mr. CARR. I might say, if you were to summon here representatives of chambers of commerce, representatives of large business houses who have had contact with consuls, I think you would get unmistakable evidence of their opinions of the very great improvement that has taken place.
Mr. COCKRAN. Do you think the reports are better from the consular officers and more complete under this system than before?
Mr. CARR. There is not a shadow of a doubt of it. I am sending every month to the Department of Commerce approximately 2,000 reports from our consuls in regard to trade conditions abroad which are being made use of, and most of them receive a great deal of commendation. That is just one phase of our work. During the war, without the more highly trained and experienced men we should have made a sad spectacle of carrying our foreign relations. Without the so-called professional consul and the professional diplomatic secretaries, we should have made a sad spectacle of ourselves in the complicated business which the war cast upon us, business which a man, however able, who is lacking experience and technical knowledge can not take up and carry on with anything like the efficiency of a man who has had long training in the work. It is precisely the same sort of thing as a lawyer attempting to go into court and argue a complicated case, who had not had the requisite experience to qualify him for that task.
Mr. COCKRAN. It all turns out whether special training is necessary in that case, the same as with any professional man, and you have now indicated some evidence that it is. I am very glad to hear it.
Mr. CARR. Every government which is a competitor of this Government for a share of the commerce of the world, or who has vital interests involved in the political adjustments of the world, has preceded us in the organization and professionalization of its foreign service. The other great governments have gone further even than we have.
Mr. COCKRAN. They have maintained it almost ever since they had a foreign service, but we have done extraordinary things in this country and do extraordinary things by methods distinctly our own, and I am prejudiced against any efforts to change a system which has been the envy of the world. We have had our particular experience. We are now discussing the method. We have had it in actual operation, and my question was to find out whether you, in charge of this machinery, had any tangible evidence of benefits arising from a change in the method of appointment?
Mr. CARR. I do not think there is any comparison at all between the service under the kind of organization now existing and that proposed by this bill and the service under the kind of organization in existence prior to 1906. The superiority of the so-called professional service is very great.
Mr. COLE. What are the ages for examination ?
Mr. CARR. For examination for the Consular Service the age limit is 21 to 50; for the diplomatic service, 21 to 35.
Mr. MOORES. What, if any, of the larger universities have special courses of preparation for the Diplomatic and Consular Service? Are there any?
Mr. CARR. Yes. George Washington University and Georgetown University have very elaborate courses; also the American university has excellent
New York University has a course; Columbia gives a number of special courses leading to preparation for the foreign service; Harvard offers excellent courses; Yale formerly did—I do not know how extensive their
course now is; the University of California offers an elaborate course; and I think the University of Illinois and, perhaps, Northwestern University and Michigan do some work along that line. The University of Pennsylvania has offered work for foreign-service training for years, as has also Princeton. I think there are others. I do not happen to remember them at the moment. but the principal universities of the country give courses of study fitting men for the foreign service.
Mr. ROGERS. There was some discussion yesterday by Secretary Hughes as to the practical means of providing incomes for ambassadors, ministers, and secretaries. As to the Consular Service. is it possible for a man to represent his country with dignity, especially if he is married and has a child or two, on the salary scale which is now prevailing unless he has private means?
Mr. COCKRAN. Do you mean the scale now prevailing or the one proposed ? Mr. ROGERS. The one now prevailing.
Mr. CARR. It is being done in most places. It could be done better if the men had either private means or higher salaries.
Mr. ROGERS. You do not consider in appointing consuls, as perhaps you do in appointing a secretary, whether he has private means?
Mr. CARR. No; I do not. There is no money qualification whatever for admission to the Consular Service or in appointing men to the Consular Service. There ought not to be for either service. Such a qualification at once narrow's the range of selection and inevitably results in the United States being reprcsented abroad by men representative of the wealthy and exclusive social circles. The Government will gain enormously by paying sufficient compensation to make intellectual and personal fitness the primary qualification for admission to the foreign service.
Mr. COCKRAN. The President designates them for examination. How does he designate them, draw them out of a bag? They are recommended, are they not?
Mr. CARR. The designation in the name of the President is actually made by one of the assistant secretaries of State, upon personal examination of the application, and the papers attached to the application.
Mr. COCKRAN. Suppose “ AB," a young man of 20 or 21 years of age, wishes to enter the service. He knows nobody, has no particular political friends, but has a very high order of intelligence. How would he set about getting into the service?
Mr. CARR. He would put in his application. The application requires that he shall present along with it, I think, five letters from people who know him, telling what sort of a person he is, what he has done, etc. The application would be examined. Suppose it should appear from the application that he has had, let us say, only public-school education; the form of expression and the handwriting show quite clearly that he is not such a man as could pass such an examination as we give. It is a hardship to that man to let him come up for examination. Therefore he is not designated. Let us take another man that we know nothing about, but it shows that he has got a good education, expresses himself well in his anplication, appears to be well fitted mentally. We designate him without any question regardless of whether he appears to be a Democrat, Republican, or Populist.
Mr. COCKRAN. Would it hurt him any if he had a letter from the chairman of this committee?
Mr. CARR. It would not hurt him.
Mr. COCKRAN. Or from somebody else prominent in public affairs. It really gets back very much to the old situation, except that you have the test of examination. That is a very good thing.
Mr. ROGERS. There is the fact that 88 out of 100 were rejected at the last examination.
Mr. COCKRAN. That should benefit the efficiency of the service.
(Thereupon, at 12 o'clock noon, the committee adjourned to meet again at 10 o'clock a. m., Wednesday, December 12, 1922.)
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, Wednesday, December 13, 1922. The committee this day met, Hon. Stephen G. Porter, chairman, presiding. The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order.
STATEMENT OF MR. WILBUR J. CARR, DIRECTOR OF THE CONSU
LAR SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE-Resumed.
Mr. CARR. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, yesterday I stopped with section 5 of the bill, which deals with the question of examinations for appointment as foreign-service officers. I would like now to take up section 6.
Mr. ROGERS. Before you begin with section 6, your discussion yesterday was confined in the main to an analysis of the practice in consular examinations. As I understand it, the practices of the department are substantially identical in the case of examinations for secretary.
Mr. CARR. Yes, it is identical with one exception, and that is that the character of the examination for the Diplomatic Service is slightly different from that of the Consular, owing to differences in duties required of diplomatic officers.
Mr. ROGERS. Have you any impression as to how numerous the applicants for positions have been on the secretarial side of the department?
Mr. CARR. They have not been very numerous. That is to say, there is no great demand to get into the Diplomatic Service. I have not the statistics before me. I shall be glad to insert in the record the number of candidates who were admitted to the examinations and the number who were successful in the examinations. But there is quite a difference in the number who applied for the Diplomatic Service and the number who applied for the Consular Service.
Diplomatic Service entrance examination statistics.
Mr. ROGERS. How do you account for that difference?
Mr. CARR. I should say in the first place the men who apply for the Consular Service have a better career ahead of them, for one thing. They enter at substantially the same rate of compensation, as a man would enter the diplomatic service. They may go on through the various grades of the service and aspire to an $8,000, or, possibly, even a $12,000 consul generalship. On the other hand, the diplomatic officers may certainly aspire only to the $4,000 grade, a secretaryship, with the added designation of counsellor. He can not count certainly upon rising to the position of head of a mission—a minister, for instance, of class 2, $10,000. So that the group of men interested in the diplomatic service is very restricted, restricted both by the compensation offered and the opportunity for advancement which is afforded.
Mr. ROGERS. You would expect that the result of legislation like this would be to broaden very much the range of selection and increase the number of those who would apply?
Mr. CABR. I would expect that this legislation would accomplish this purpose in respect to the Consular Service, that it would retain all the advantages we have now and give the added advantage of retirement pay, and the further advantage of the possibility of being advanced to the grade of minister in the case of consular officers who should possess outstanding qualifications for diplomatic work. Then in the diplomatic service we would retain all that we have now by way of test of fitness for admission and promotion on merit, and we would add the advantages of higher salaries, which would widen the
range of selection by interesting men who can not now, because of lack of sufficient private means aspire to careers in the diplomatic service, although they may have all the other qualities that are desired in that service; that by opening the services to keener competition for admission to it and promotion in it there would be afforded greater opportunity to become head of mission; that is, minister; there would be the certainty of retirement on modest compensation when the retirement age should be reached after 35 years of service. So that we should, under the proposed plan, have the advantages that we have now, plus those offered by better salaries, better opportunity for advancement, and a retirement system for both branches of the service.
Mr. TEMPLE. In order that there might be a record of the fact, I want to ask you about this one provision. Section 5 provides that appointments to the foreign service should be made after examination or by transfer from the Department of State. How are men appointed in the Department of State, in the first place; by examination, or otherwise ?
Mr. CARR. They are now appointed through the ordinary civil-service procedure.
Mr. TEMPLE. By examination ?
Mr. CARR. By examination up to the grade of drafting officer, I think, at $2,500. Beyond that grade they are not appointed by examination; they are appointed subject to civil-service rules, but without examination. Now, I would suggest that this paragraph be amended so as to require a certain amount of service in the State Department. For instance, 10 years' service in the State Department would be equivalent to a certain amount of experience and could be accepted in lieu of examination. I do not care what it is made, so long as this paragraph is amended to place adequate restriction upon making State Department service of a few months, or even a year or so, the means of evading the examination.
Mr. TEMPLE. Something that might make a side-door entrance?
Mr. CARR. Yes; into the Diplomatic and Consular Services. That should be prevented, because it would destroy the very object we are all seeking to attain, that of getting qualified men into service and putting every man on a plane of equality in regard to admission and advancement in the service. So in that respect I would suggest an amendment, whether you say 10 or 5 years' service, or through some other provision, I do not care what it is, so long as it accomplishes the results that I have just mentioned. On the other hand, it is now the rule to accept service in the State Department as the equivalent of the examination, and I think it is very desirable that no change in principle should be made, but that the application of the principle be safeguarded.
Mr. BROWNE. Does the Civil Service Commission correct papers in these examinations for consuls, or does the State Department?
Mr. CARR. The Civil Service Commission examines and reads all of the written papers in these diplomatic and consular examinations. The examining board appointed by the Presid nt for the Diplomatic and Consular Service makes the rating in the oral examination. The average of the two examinations must equal 80 per cent in order that the candidate should attain eligibility. So to that extent the Civil Service Commission examines papers.
Mr. BROWNE. Would the Civil Service Commission really have the knowledge to correct papers and give markings such as desired?
Mr. Carr. They have ample facilities for handling the written examination papers. They are doing that sort of thing all the time and they have an excellent machinery for that purpose. But, on the other hand, where the special knowledge which they do not possess is required is in the oral examination to determine the question of general personal fitness for the foreign service.
The CHAIRMAN. All questions for the written examination are prepared by the Civil Service Commission ?
Mr. CARR. Prepared by the Civil Service Commission, revised by the board appointed by the President, and then printed by the Civil Service Commission, and the written examination actually conducted by the officers of the commission, the chief examiner, or a member of the commission, being also a member of the board appointed by the President to conduct examinations for entrance into the foreign service, so it gives us the use of the commission's machinery instead of requiring the setting up of independent machinery with increased expense for this purpose. It gives the board appointed by the President complete control of the examination for the foreign service and entire control of the personal part of the examination where the special knowledge is required.
Mr. LINTHICUM. How does it affect men already in the service?