Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. CARR. The bill leaves men already in the service exactly where they are, except that where they deserve reclassification at the higher rates of compensation as provided by this bill, of course they will be so classified, provided their service records for efficiency warrant it; if their service records do not warrant classification as high as provided by this bill, the bill authorizes the President to make such other reclassification as he may see fit. That is in section 6. That section says that before the date on yhich this act goes into effect the Secretary of State shall recommend to the President the names of those secretaries in the Diplomatic Service, consuls general, consuls, and vice consuls, who for reasons of demonstrated efficiency are entitled to be recommissioned as foreign service officers of the respective classes specified in this act, and the names of those officers who, through failure to demonstrate or maintain the requisite degree of efficiency, should be recommissioned to classes lower than those specified or otherwise treated as exceptions within the discretion of the President.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Rogers, will you take the chair? I have a hearing before the Flood Control Committee which I must attend.

Mr. LINTHICUM. In reference to these examinations, how are the appointments to be made, in the same way that the Civil Service Commission recommends the appointment of the three highest, and selections from that, or how are they made?

Mr. CARR. I should say that that would depend upon the regulations issued by the President. This bill, as I see it, does not purport to lay down specific directions as to exactly the order in which appointments should be made. I can tell you what is done now, and that may be fairly taken to indicate the probable practice under this bill. After the examination, after the ratings are agreed upon, the names are put on the eligible list in the order of the ratings. That is, the names of the men with the highest ratings head the list. In drawing men for appointment we 'draw the highest man first, and so on down, making the choice dependent entirely upon the standing of the men on the list, the standing which they have attained in the examination. If, for example, there should be two men with the same standing, the same rating, we would take first the man from the State that had the least representation.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Are you not required to give the States pro rata representation ?

Mr. CARR. We are required to give the States pro rata representation as between men of equal merit. Equal merit means men who have passed the examination with the same rating. If they have, then the State that has the least representation gets the first appointment as between those two men.

Mr. LINTHICUM. There is no requirement under this bill to follow the lines that you have followed in selecting men with the highest average, is there?

Mr. CARR. Not in this bill, but it is directly implied by section 6, which lays down the principle there that the classification and promotions shall be for efficiency. When you lay down that principle, then you at once have to consider the question of relative efficiency, of which of two men is the more efficient. Then you are bound to take the men with the highest ratings. You can not logically apply the act in any other way.

Mr. LINTHICUM. I do not see how you are bound, if you remember that the administration laid down a principle that first-class postmasters should be examined and that they were going to appoint them on merit or efficiency. The postmaster in Baltimore got the highest average in efficiency and everything else and yet the lowest man, though a very good man, was appointed, for political reasons. Would not that same thing apply under this bill?

Mr. CARR. All I can say as to that is that we have the accumulated practice now of something like 16 years in the consular service and 13 years in the diplomatic service. The course of our procedure under the rules laid down first by a Republican President, carried on by another Republican President, and carried on through two administrations without change by a Democratic President, and now again carried on by another Republican President, has been consistently upward, more perfect each year, more nearly toward an absolute rule of taking first the highest man without exception, and so going down the list as they do with the ordinary clerical force in the civil service. In respect to the consular service, our policy reached its highest degree of consistency in the second half of the last administration, when it became an invariable rule that the men should be taken off the eligible list in the order of their standing.

Mr. LINTHICUM. I recognize that you have been following that out; but it looked to me as if this section 6 might reorganize and uproot the whole pro

cedure, because any man can be classed there as not efficient and thrown out entirely; and my point is whether you can not under that section 6 upset the whole present system.

Mr. CARR. No. You can not upset the whole present system. You gentlemen in the House and Senate would not permit the whole present system to be upset.

Mr. TEMPLE. I understand that the questions referred to the discretion given to the President in the phrase in section 5, “under such rules and regulations as the President may prescribe," authorized in section 5 under the rearrangement and reclassification made by the President.

Does that give the President any more discretion than he has under existing law?

Mr. CARR. No. The President has discretion under existing law to make any appointment he pleases and to make any exception to the regulations he has laid down to limit his own appointments that he chooses to make.

Mr. TEMPLE. So there would be no more danger of upsetting the present system if this should pass than if nothing should pass ?

Mr. CARR. No. It was thought possible that Congress itself might think it was desirable that it express itself in favor of the President exercising some discretion in case there should be men in the service, for example, who should not be put permanently in the service.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Under the present system you have been advancing and things have been going on satisfactorily, but when you come to reorganization of the whole thing, the question is whether that does not open the doors to the elimination of certain men and placing other men in.

Mr. TEMPLE. The door is open now.
Mr. CARR. Yes.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Reorganization would open the doors wide to making changes, whatever changes you might think it proper to make.

Mr. CARR. There is no one who has any thought of a reorganization which shall permit to enter into it any political or personal or social or other kind of preferential treatment of the men.

Mr. COCKRAN, How can you answer for that, for the thoughts and notions that will come into the heads of people on a measure like this?

Mr. CARR. I can only answer in response that I have conferred with people who would have to do with putting this bill into operation, including the Secretary of State, and I know there has never come up a thought or a suspicion that they should want to do anything except make the best possible use under this bill of the human material they have, and offer opportunity for better material to come forward hereafter to enter this foreign service.

Mr. COLE. You spoke about apportionment among the States. How do you do that?

Mr. CARR. The rules under which men are now admitted to examination and appointment after examination to both branches of the service provide that where the merits of the men are equal the appointment, as between two men, should go to the States that has the least representation.

Mr. COLE. Representation according to population, or what?

Mr. CARR. According to population. Where, for instance, you have two. men who receive a rating of 82, the man who comes from the State that has the least representation in the Consular or Diplomatic Service, according to population, would get the first appointment.

Mr. CONNALLY. The objection that Mr. Linthicum pointed out is one of the most striking merits the bill has, in my view. I want to ask about one clause here in section 6, to certify the officer “who through failure to demonstrate or maintain the requisite degree of efficiency, should be recommissioned to classes lower than those specified or otherwise treated as exceptions within the discretion of the President." Do you mean by that to eliminate them, if necessary?

Mr. CARR. I should imagine that that would be the sort of thing which Congress would want done. If there should be any man in the service who were inefficient and had not maintained the proper standard, I think that probably Congress would not want automatically to legislate those men into permanent positions to be retired on pay at the end of their 35 years' service.

Mr. LINTHICUM. The President has power to eliminate anybody he wants to at the present time. That is the law already.

Mr. CARR. The President has complete power over the diplomatic and consular officers.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Neither this law nor any law of Congress can bind him.

Mr. COCKRAN. Mr. Linthicum says that no law can bind him. Is that your understanding?

Mr. Care. It is my understanding that the Constitution gives the President the sole right by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to appoint all ambassadors, public ministers and consuls, and that no law passed by the two houses of Congress can limit the power of the President in that respect.

Mr. LINTHICUM. Then he has the power to eliminate any man he thinks inefficient and may do it.

Mr. CARR. He has the power to do it and he does do it.
Mr. LINTHICUM. Certainly.

Mr. CARR. The difference between the power under this provision and the power which he already possesses is that this bill relates to a new class of officers which is sought to be established, the foreign service officer, so-called, who shall have a commission and whose appointment and entry into the service and promotion, can be regulated by an act of Congress, so that a pro-. vision like this is desirable. Congress would have the discretion, and the power to legislate in regard to such officers of the Government. The Constitution provides for that. There their right is supreme. But with reference to consuls, diplomatic secretaries, or ministers you have not the right under the Constitution to tie the President's hands. This bill is devoted, first of all, to foreign service officers, a grade of officers duly classified with graduated salaries who can be also commissioned consular officers or diplomatic officers. Why? Because by creating that body of officers and appropriating salaries for them rather than for diplomatic and consular officers you obtain a unified and flexible foreign service. You can regulate the promotions, regulate the entry into the service, regulate the salary scale. Now, if the President should select men from that group of foreign service officers for appointment as consul, or for appointment as secretary, as he unquestionably will do, if you give him the power to do it, then you will have men who can pursue their profession of foreign service officers in either branch of the service or both branches of the servce. If in one branch, the Consular Service, a man should develop special political discernment or other ability perculiarly useful in the Diplomatic Service, he could be changed over into that service without difficulty, because the same salary scale would apply to each service. The men in both branches would be foreign service officers. They would be the same sort of officers basically and classified alike. By-and-by when the officer who has been transferred into the Diplomatic Service and there develops such qualities as might make it in the interest of the Government to send him to some semidiplomatic post like Ottawa, Calcutta, Capetown or elsewhere where there are consular and diplomatic duties to be performed, the President might retransfer him to the consular branch of the service again to serve there for a time. Suppose we take another man of outstanding ability, who would enter the service under this new arrangement. He would come in as a foreign service officer. He would select, let us say, the Consular Service as his regular career.

I have such a man as that in mind at the moment, who selected the Consular Service and developed later on diplomatic qualities of a very high character. You can not always tell what a man in the service is going to develop into. Let us say this man should develop diplomatic ability of a high order while in the Consular Service. There exists a place in the Diplomatic Service where he can be utilized with great advantage to the Government. Under this bill he can be put into that place. Suppose later a need for that particular kind of a man should develop in a post like Calcutta, Ottawa, Capetown, or Melbourne, where you have consular and diplomatic duties to be performed-and there are a considerable number of such posts. It is perfectly easy under this bill to transfer the man over to the consular side of the service again. It would not destroy the moral of the consular branch of the service any more than it did not destroy the morale of the diplomatic branch when the man was originally taken over from the Consular Service, because from the point of view of salary and classification and promotion he has been a foreign service officer all the time. There is no room for jealousy in a service so adjusted.

Mr. CONNALLY. Suppose he is transferred over to the Diplomatic Service, there may be a new President who wants some one else. Would he automatically revert to the consular branch?

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mr. CARR. The President would transfer him over by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, unless he already had a commission in the Consular Service, when he could do it without the advice and consent of the Senate.

Mr. CONNALLY. How is that?

Mr. CARR. The President would make such disposition of this man as he saw fit always. If the man had come from the Consular Service in the first place, had a consular commission given him with the consent of the Senate, he would be appointed in the Diplomatic Service in the same manner, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, of course. In respect to officers of both branches of the foreign service, which this bill would provide for, a President who should cease to require a particular man's services in the Diplomatic Service could reassign him back.

Mr. CONNALLY. He could do it. If he did not do anything, would he automatically go back into that corps ?

Mr. CARR. Only by express direction of the President.

Mr. COCKRAN. How does that change the existing situation? The President can do that now.

Mr. CARR. It changes the existing system in this way. We have two separate and distinct corps of officers, the Consular Service with its own salary classification, and we have the Diplomatic Service with an entirely different salary classification. You can not take a man from the Consular Service and use him in the Diplomatic Service without demoting him unduly, and you can not take a man from the Diplomatic Service and use him in the Consular Service without unduly promoting him.

Mr. COCKRAN. You could actually change him from one branch to the other if you wished to.

Mr. CARR. We could do so now, but suppose you should take a counselor of embassy and want to use him at Calcutta. He gets $4,000. The consul general at Calcutta gets $8,000.

Mr. COCKRAN. As far as the salaries are concerned. That is the purpose of the bill—to equalize salaries. So far as transfer is concerned, the President can do everything now which the bill authorizes him to do.

Mr. CARR. He can do everything—can appoint a man in either branch of the service.

Mr. COCKRAN. And remove him at his discretion?
Mr. CARR. Yes.

Mr. COCKRAN. In what way does this make a change, except so far as the equalization of salaries, in the existing system?

Mr. Care. Equalization of salaries and by providing the corps of foreign service officers, which would carry salaries for men assigned to either the diplomatic or consular branch of the service; it would break down the wall now existing between the two separate services. You would bring about a community of interest in the two branches of the foreign service. You would improve the morale of the entire service of both branches, I think, enormously by establishing this corps of officers. That Congress has the right to do; it is entirely within its power to do so, and it would improve this whole service more than I can describe to you.

Mr. COCKRAN. It in no way invades the limits or undertakes to limit the power of the President to dispose of these officers as he thinks best?

Mr. CARR. In no sense whatever.

Mr. COCKRAN. Does it give the President the power to circumscribe or exercise the discretion of his successors?

Mr. CARR. No. I will put it this way: Congress has always reserved to itself the right to provide the money for carrying on foreign relations. It has reserved to itself the right to refuse to appropriate the salary of a minister or secretary or counsul throughout the history of the country. This bill does not attempt to cause any relinquishment of that right but to exercise that right in creating the foreign-service officer class and attaching salaries to that class instead of using its power to attach the salary to the individual consul or consul general or diplomatic secretary. If you should pass this bill this afternoon, the President to-morrow morning, with the advice and consent of the Senate, could appoint as many ambassadors and ministers and consuls and secretaries as he pleased outside of this class of foreign-service officers, and you would or would not provide for their compensation as you might think hest. In other words, you have not taken from the President any power that he has now. You have not taken from Congress any power that

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

it has now. You have not adopted any new principle, except that you have provided that the compensation of men in both Diplomatic and Consular Serrices shall be obtained from the salaries you provide for foreign-service officers instead of providing two entirely separate salary scales.

Mr. COCKRAN. There would not be anything under this law, as I understand it, where a man who was to-day counselor at Paris might be transferred to consul general at London under this bill. That is the purpose of the bill.

Mr. CARR. At the present time it could be done.
Mr. COCKRAN. That could occur at the present time?
Mr. CARR. That could be done at the present time.

Mr. COCKRAN. Then this bill does not in any way change the power of the President?

Mr. CARR. It does not change that.
Mr. COCKRAN. He would have to be confirmed ?
Mr. CARR. Yes.
Mr. COCKRAN. Under this bill would a confirmation also be required ?
Mr. CARR. The consul general, you say, at Paris or London ?
Mr. COCKRAN. The counselor at Paris.

Mr. CARR. To be transferred as consul general at London. No; he would not have to be confirmed by the Senate, because the law, as it stands now on the statute books, gives the President the right to transfer any consular officer or any secretary in the Diplomatic Service from post to post in the class to which he is appointed.

Mr. TEMPLE. Mr. Cockran's question was as to the counselor of embassy at Paris—to be transferred.

Mr. CARR. I beg your pardon. At the present time the counselor of embassy in Paris could be transferred as consul general at London, or the reverse, only by a new appointment and confirmation by the Senate. The practical difficulty there lies in this: The counselor of embassy receives $4,000; the consul general receives $12,000. What we are anxious to have is a system devised by which the consul general at London might conceivably be sent over to Paris as counselor of embassy there, or the counselor of embassy in Paris might conceivably be sent over to London as consul general there. That could only be done by standardizing the salaries here as provided by this bill.

Mr. COCKRAN. There is one other question I would like some light on. That is about the discharge of men employed under this system. The President under your regulations now has the absolute right to discharge?

Mr. CARR. Absolute.

Mr. COCKRAN. Under the regulations, would he have the right here under this bill?

Mr. CARR. I beg your pardon?

Mr. COCKRAN. Does the President have the right to remove a man after hearing him, or can he be removed by the stroke of a pen?

Mr. CARR. As a matter of fact, there is no specific regulation as to how a man should be removed. In practice every man practically receives a hearingthat is, has opportunity to present any facts that he might want to present in advance, unless, indeed, there should be a plain case, such as a case of drunkenness, where the knowledge is so complete on the part of the administrative officer as to admit of no defense whatever. Generally speaking, you might say, the principles of good business management and of the Federal civil service law are quite carefully observed. No one has any right to complain, in my experience, of the manner in which he has been removed from the service, and perhaps there has been even more leniency than should be.

Mr. LINTHICUM. In the event of the passage of this bill, you would no longer consider the Diplomatic or Consular Service, but consider it as the foreign service.

Mr. CARR. Consider it as a foreign service so far as the salaries are concerned. Consider it as the foreign service so far as the morale is concerned. Consider it as foreign service from the domestic point of view, with respect to (ompensation and management. Now, when you step outside of the United States the condition is entirely different. There, in order to be of any value, a man must take on the status of either diplomatic officer or of consular officer, because they are the types of officers recognized in international law and by the usage of nations. You can not change that condition by anything you may enact here in Congress. For example, let us say, a man goes as a diplomatic secretary to London.

His name goes on the diplomatic list; he gets his immunities and his powers and his functions because he is a diplomatic secretary, not because he is a foreign service officer.

« PreviousContinue »