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Mr. LINTHICUM. And his invitations.
Mr. CARR. And his invitations. The consul general in London takes his status there as a consular officer, not as a foreign service officer, because a foreign service officer is not know in international law or to international intercourse.
Mr. CONNALLY. Is not that true, also, that all of our other laws and customs and usages here in this respect are that way?
Mr. CARR. Certainly.
Mr. CONNALLY. In view of that, would it be wise to change the designation? Could you not frame up some kind of name for this corps that would continue this idea of consular and diplomatic services so as not to come in conflict with all our laws and usages?
Mr. CARR. This does not come into conflict with any law or usage. This simply states, in section 4, that any foreign service officer appointed as such and drawing his salary under this unified salary scale shall, when he exercises functions, exercise them under his commission as a diplomatic secretary or diplomatic officer or under his commission as a consular officer. So there is no change there whatsoever, and further on in the bill is a provision also which adapts this bill to the existing statutory law that you have in regard to diplomatic and consular officers.
Mr. LINTHICUM. I think Mr. Cockran brought up the question last time under a similar bill, that a man might be a consular officer in a certain place and be transferred to another place, and he raised the question whether the Senate ought to have something to say whether a man should be designated to any particular place or not.
Mr. COCKRAN. That is as to those ministers who represent us at certain places, ministers and ambassadors.
Mr. LINTHICUM. But this would provide that a consul could be transferred to a diplomatic post.
Mr. COCKRAN. But not to be a minister. He could not be transferred to be a minister under this law.
Mr. CARR. This bill does not relate to the office of minister.
Mr. LINTHICUM. This bill would not affect the situation that he mentioned then.
Mr. CARR. No. There is only one place in this bill that relates to the office of minister, and that is where it authorizes the President to take a foreign service officer and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate make him a diplomatic agent, chargés d'affaires, or minister resident without affecting his salary status as a foreign service officer.
Mr. COCKRAN. Take him out for a special service?
Mr. ROGERS. In an effort to sum up what you have been saying in response to questions, is this true, that this bill does not and can not limit the appointive powers of the President, or the scope of his powers, with respect to assigning consuls and secretaries?
Mr. CARR. No.
Mr. ROGERS. All that may be done under the Constitution and under existing laws, and all that this bill purports to do, as I understand it, is to modify the practice in that regard rather than the right in that regard. In other words, whatever the Executive power has been, there has not in fact and in practice been in the past such an interchangeability between the two sides of the foreign serivce as students of the subject believe would be beneficial to the service and to the country. And the expectation is that this bill, if enacted, would give that interchangeability in practice which is theoretically possible already.
Mr. CARR. It would give that interchangeability in practice which is actually possible already but is difficult to exercise because of the lack of any uniform salary applicable to both services and the authority of Congress to change a man back and forth with facility. The Executive can actually take a man, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, out of the consular or diplomatic service and put him into either service, if the Senate consents.
The CHAIRMAN. In what position would this bill place Japanese and Chinese interpreters?
Mr. COCKRAN. Ours to them or theirs to us?
Mr. CARR. This bill does not cover any special employment of that sort. If those men are members of the regular Consular Service or Diplomatic Service, of course, they would retain that status. If they were outside appointees, they would not retain that exact status. What I mean is this: Take a specific instance, we have now in China, as Chinese secretary, Mr. Peck, who is a member of the Consular Service. He is a member of a certain class of the Consular Service. He would be automatically incorporated into this, of course. He would be detailed to Peking for that purpose. But any man' who was not a member of the regular Consular Service would take such a position as Congress would give him by way of appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. Could Doctor Peck under this bill be transferred into the Diplomatic Service, or Balentine at Tokio?
Mr. CARR. He could become a foreign service officer in this service, but he would be assigned either to the Consular or Diplomatic Service, wherever he might be needed. If one is needed at Peking or Tokio, that is presumably where he would go.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you not think, in view of the importance of the duties to be performed, that they should be part of the Diplomatic Service?
Mr. CARR. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. I will say to the committee that these two interpreters practically transact all of the business before those Governments.
Mr. CARR. They are not citizens?
Mr. CARR. They began many years ago as student interpreters and have risen by merit to their present positions.
Mr. COOPER. They are white inen?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peck was born in China, the son of a missionary. I have been very much impressed with the importance of the duties performed, and I would like to see them in the Diplomatic Service. I think it would give them more prestige, if there is any way of doing it.
Mr. CARR. This bill would offer a better career than even now to men who would perfect themselves in the knowledge of those countries and the languages of those countries. It would give them a broader career than they have now in respect to compensation and opportunities.
The CHAIRMAN. For the benefit of the committee, if any question arises with the Chinese or Japanese Governments, the matter has to be handled by the interpreter, acting, of course, for the ambassador or minister.
Mr. CARR. That is perfectly true, and any man who goes to Peking or Tokyo as ambassador and who has not there trustworthy and very capable agents, such as the Chinese or Japanese secretary, would find his usefulness cut 50 per cent at least, if not more. They are the most necessary members of the missions.
Mr. COOPER. I notice in section 14 that the bill provides that any minister could be sent here to the Department of State for three years.
Mr. CARR. The law now is that any consular officer or any diplomatic officer below the grade of minister may be assigned in the Department of State.
Mr. COOPER. Below the grade of minister?
Mr. CARR. Below the grade of minister, for the simple reason that it was not thought at the time tbat law was put into operation that it would be necessary ever to have a minister in the State Department. We could not get along or run the State Department to-day without foreign service men assigned to it, consular and diplomatic officers. Now, the assignment of a minister may conceivably be a very advantageous thing to it on special occasion. I remember when, during the last administration, the Secretary of State sent for Mr. Fletcher, then at Mexico City, owing to the difficulty they were having down there, and had Mr. Fletcher come to the department. He spent some time in helpin the Secretary with the Mexican situation. A similar situation may conceivably arise again, and this language is merely changed in that regard to the extent of permitting the assignment of ministers in case of necessity.
Mr. COOPER. When we would bring back from a foreign country a minister, would not that sever diplomatic relations with that country?
Mr. CARR. No.
Mr. COOPER. For instance, would we have a minister to one of the continental European countries in any proper sense of the word, and have him here in the State Department, 3,500 miles from the scene of his duties?
Mr. CARR. In the same way, sir, that a minister may take a leave of absence and may still be minister to Switzerland, but may be back in this country temporarily.
Mr. COOPER. That does not meet what seems to me to be the objection to section 14. He could be brought back here as minister and have that title, and, I suppose, the emoluments of a minister, 4,000 or 10,000 miles from the country to which he has been assigned for three years or longer, it might be four years.
Mr. CARR. Under the section as drafted, I would say that would be possible. I do not mean to say there would be any probability of it.
Mr. COOPER. I am not talking about probabilities. It would expressly provide that a man could be brought back from a country, no matter how remote, and kept in the State Department as minister and draw the salary of a minister for four years, three years and an extension of one year. Now, is that the right thing to do? You virtually sever diplomatic relations. We have no minister in that country. We have nobody on the theater of operations. Back here in the State Department any one of the minor officials could do that and not be called minister and draw the salary of a minister.
Mr. CARR. I have not any special interest in whether you authorize bringing back a minister on assignment to the State Department or not. I do not claim to be especially interested in that. My interest exended to the secretarial class, to the consular class. There I think that is highly desirable.
Mr. ROGERS. Suppose, Mr. Carr, that we, as a protest, withdraw our minister from a country without breaking relations. The legation staff will continue in the foreign capital. Under the present law, has the Department of State the right to utilize that minister in the department for a period exceeding 60 days?
Mr. CARR. No. It has not the right to assign him to the department on any general duty nor can it utilize his services at all if the minister should happen not to have reached his post. Now, we had the case of Mr. Fletcher, of which Mr. Rogers reminds me by his question. He had been transferred from Chile to Mexico. Developments occurred which prevented him from going to his post in Mexico because of a governmental upheaval there. Yet there were circumstances connected with our relations with Mexico which made it necessary to keep him at hand and conduct as much as possible of the work relating to Mexico here and handle as many as possible of the Mexican questions here in Washington, until he could actually go to his post. That consumed a certain
length of time. Under the present law the ambassador could not get any salary : because under the present law he must have reached his post before he could
be ordered back here on salary even for consultation. Do I make myself clear on that?
Mr. COCKRAN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Take the case of Mr. Fletcher, recalled from Mexico, stationed at the department, practically in charge of Mexican affairs. As a matter of fact, he was very valuable to the department on account of his intimate knowledge of Mexican conditions.
Mr. CARR. He would not have been there for any other reason. He was there because it was absolutely necessary to the Secretary of State that he should be there.
The CHAIRMAN. It was highly advisable to have him there.
The CHAIRMAN. Take the case of our ambassador to Japan during Mr. Wilson's administration. He was sent to Vladivostok on a special mission for six months.
Mr. CARR. All the way to Omsk at a time when that was temporarily the seat of the Kolchak Government. He was sent by the President all the way across Siberia, to Omsk, to make a personal investigation upon which to determine the policy of this Government.
The CHAIRMAN. In the average case where we would draw on an ambassador or minister, it is very important to retain him in the State Department to get the benefit of his experience and advice.
Mr. CARR. There are occasions when it is highly important that that should be done. Of course, it is done by every other foreign Government. We are probably the only Government that does not do that on occasion. There is no provision now for bringing ambassadors and ministers back except for consultation in connection with the duties of his particular post or on leave of absence.
Mr. COCKRAN. For how long can he get a leave of absence?
Mr. CARR. If a man has reached his post of duty be can be ordered back for consultation with reference to the duties of that post. It is rarely ever done. If he has not reached his post, if he is being transferred between one post and another and has not reached his new post, then, however badly he may be needed here, his salary stops if he should be ordered here.
Mr. MOORE. Can you read into the record the provision of the existing law with reference to the matter covered by section 14? I wish to find out exactly what the existing law is, and how it is modified by section 14,
Mr. CARR. The act of February 5, 1915, section 2, reads as follows:
“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 desirable. 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 resulting 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. COOPER. In substance, the same thing.
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.
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 classes 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 certin kind of experience. So it would be in the interest of better administration, 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 diplomatie 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. COCKRAN. If you go in and verify a power of attorney before a consul, does the fee go to the Government?
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.