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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 might call it, for a definite period, not to exceed so long. Would you take an ambassador and assign him to the State Department? Would you not simply withdraw him from his post of duty to meet an emergency?
Mr. CARR. Yes.
Mr. CARP. 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. I have 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. STATEMENT OF HON. WILBUR J. CARR, DIRECTOR OF THE CONSU
LAR SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE-Resumed. Mr. CARR. Mr. Chairman, I left off yesterday morning, I believe, at section 11. I would like to say further in respect to that section that, in studying it somewhat more fully, I believe that it might be improved if it were amended
on line 5, page 7, after the words "Foreign service inspectors,” by inserting words somewhat like these': “who shall, under the direction of the Secretary of State, inspect the work of the foreign-service officers in both the diplomatic and consular branches of the foreign service.”
That is a little more definite than the section at present. I presume it is the desire of the committee, as I think it would be wise to do, to place all offices of the foreign service, all missions and consulates alike, under the necessity of being inspected periodically.
Mr. COOPER. “ Who shall,” under the direction of whom?
Mr. CARR. Under the direction of the Secretary of State inspect the work of officers in the foreign service in both the diplomatic and consular branches; that is, all officers in the foreign service.
Mr. COOPER. You say officers in the foreign service. There is a distinction made here. Ambassadors and ministers are officers in the foreign service, but are not foreign-service officers under this.
Mr. CARR. That is true. But in the first section of this bill it states that hereafter the Diplomatic and Consular Service shall be known as the foreign service.
Mr. COOPER. That includes the ambassadors and ministers.
Mr. COOPER. Do you want these inspectors to inspect ambassadors and ministers?
Mr. CARR. Their offices.
Mr. MOORES. He made the point yesterday that all the legations and embassies ought to be inspected.
Mr. CARR. I think the Secretary of State ought to have an opportunity to know how the affairs of all of the offices are managed.
Mr. ROGERS. I think it is scandalous that we have not hitherto inspected diplomatic offices.
Mr. COOPER. The office of ambassador is of such dignity that I think the fact that a subordinate officer like an inspector was inspecting the ambassador would not add very much to the dignity or the effectiveness of the work in that particular country.
Mr. CARR. As a matter of fact, that is precisely what is done in the British service, through an office that was created within three of four years. They have fashioned their inspection system somewhat like our own consular inspection system and have extended it, and now and then, as occasion requires, they send an inspector into diplomatic missions.
Mr. COLE. We have no sacred white elephants in the Republic?
Mr. COOPER. I am not talking about sacred white elephants. I am simply talking about the effect it would have upon the people of England, or the Diplomatic Service there, to have a subordinate officer going into the embassies inspecting. Would you go into all of his work, or just the financial side of it?
Mr. CARR. You understand that the ordinary embassy nowadays has a large staff, a large clerical staff, a large secretarial staff, and expends a lot of money. During the late war some of those officers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there has therefore been no method, no machinery, by which their business operations, the correctness of their expenditures, etc., would be examined into on the spot.
Mr. COOPER. These inspectors would be authorized to inspect nothing relating to the diplomatic work, nothing of that sort; just the financial side?
Mr. CARB. I would inspect the management of the office, cost of upkeep, care of Government property, and whether men are working full time or not.
In most of the items of the expenses of a mission you gentlemen are as much interested as the Secretary of State. As we become owners of embassy buildings involving thousands of investment it will become imperative that inspections be both frequent and thorough. I might say further that Mr. Lay calls my attention to the fact that several of our ambassadors have expressed their desire that their offices be periodically inspected, and that is not strange, for all consular officers who are doing well can hardly wait until the inspector gets around to them.
Mr. COOPER. Shall agents under the direction of the Secretary of State inspect the offices of the foreign service, both Diplomatic and Consular?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir. I should say further that when Mr. Stewart, who is here now and was our inspector for the Near East, when he visited Russia the ambassador himself requested him to make a complete inspection and
investigation of the offices of the embassy, its accounts, and the methods of conducting business. On several occasions the Secretary of State, being without any machinery for inspecting diplomatic offices, has detailed a consular inspector to inspect the operation of a particular mission. There is no reason why any head of mission should object to inspection. It is not a public matter; it does not humiliate or interfere with him, but it aids him.
FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS' BONDS.
Mr. ROGERS. Diplomatic officers are not bonded, are they?
Mr. CARR. They are not, and the purpose of the provision in this bill is to bond all foreign-service officers.
Mr. ROGERS, Below the rank of minister?
Mr. CARR. The department has not recommended it and has not brought itself yet to pass upon that question, but my own personal opinion is that every man who is responsible for the handling of money in the foreign service ought to be under bond to the Government for a correct accounting for the money, whether he is the head of a mission, an ambassador, minister, or consul general, counselor or vice consul.
Mr. Browne. Has the Government ever lost anything by defalcation of an ambassador or minister?
Mr. CARR. I do not recall any case in which the Government has lost.
Mr. CARR. But I do recall that there have been occasions when secretaries. for instance, have not accounted for money which they have drawn from the Treasury, and there has been no reimbursement made.
Mr. MOORES. We all understand that a minister and ambassador has mani. fold diplomatic and social duties; that he has no voice in the selection of his subordintes, unless it be possibly a poorly paid-not secretary—but clerk, and a stenographer or two. Is it fair to put on a minister or an ambassador a pecuniary liability to the Government for the defalcations of subordinates with whose selection he has nothing to do? I do not think it is.
Mr. CARR. I should think it should be on precisely the same basis as a consul general or a consul, whose subordinates are chosen usually by the department and not by himself, and who are assigned to his office not upon his express request but because the department thinks they should be assigned. It is true that all vice consuls, consular assistants, all interpreters, and men of that kind are bonded. In the diplomatic missions the head of a mission is not bonded, neither are the secretaries bonded. It seems to me that sound business principles should require that they should be bonded.
Mr. MOORES. Let me say, if I give a bond in a State or county office, where I have the selection of my subordinates, I have a perfect right to take from every one of them an indemnity bond.
Mr. CARR. Exactly.
Mr. ROGERS. I think the committee would like to relieve Mr. Carr from tes. tifying. He has been at it four days now, and I suggest that we allow him to proceed as rapidly as is consistent with bringing out the information.
Mr. CARR. Going on to section 13, I think I have already discussed that.
I think it is unnecessary to discuss section 13 further, since I discussed that the other day. I would suggest that after section 13 it would be in the interest of good legislative practice in the future if you should insert an authorization for the payment of post allowances in such sums as Congress may appropriate.
Mr. MOORES. Have you anything to add on that? I apprehend that will be the hardest section in the whole bill to save on the floor of the House, and if you have anything to say in favor of it, I would be glad to hear it.
Mr. COOPER. I did not get your last suggestion.
Mr. CARR. I said that I thought that, in addition to section 13, authorizing representation allowances, appropriations for representation allowances in such sums as you may decide to grant in the future--none is asked for at the present time that you also include another section authorizing the present practice of appropriating post allowances, so that the authorization may exist in the event that some exigency should arise. Our understanding is that if this bill
is passed the present post-allowance appropriation would be absorbed in the increase in salaries, and the present appropriation for post allowances would be discontinued. But there might an exigency arise again as it did in 1918 when immediate action would be required, and under the present rules of the House you would have to have a prior authorization, which would be general legislation coming before this committee. It would take considerable time to get that authorization through the House and considerable more time to get the appropriation under such authorizing legislation. If such appropriations could be authorized in a bill like this, it might save much time in the future. You would have entire control as to whether you would appropriate or not, but if you should desire to appropriate you could do it speedily.
Mr. ROGERS. I think you have already fully discussed section 14.
Mr. CARR. I would suggest the insertion of a section between section 14 and section 15, a section to modify that part of the act of July 1, 1916, which authorizes the President to designate and assign any secretary of class 1 as counselor of embassy or legation, and suggest that the act be amended to read:
“ Provided, That the President may, whenever he considers it advisable to do so, designate and assign any Foreign Service officer as counselor of embassy or legation."
At present the law reads:
“ The President may assign any secretary of class 1 as counselor of embassy or legation."
I would like to see that amended so as to be the ass gnment of any secretary that the President may deem proper to assign, and also any consular officer that the President may deem it proper to assign, by simply using the allinclusive term, foreign service officer. That would give complete elasticity by permitting the President to draw on both branches of the service in the designation of men to occupy the position of counselor, which is recognized in all foreign services as a necessary pos tion and which has been heretofore recognized in our own.
Mr. COOPER. Put that at the end of line 23. Mr. CARR. Yes. Mr. COOPER. Just what is that language? Mr. CARR.“ Provided, That the President may, whenever he considers it advisable so to do, designate and assign any foreign service officer as counselor of embassy or legation.”
Mr. ROGERS. That is a new section, is it not?
Mr. ROGERS. Is it a natural proviso to make to section 14, which deals, it seems to me. with quite another subject ?
Mr. CARR. Not entirely pertinent to that section, it is true.
Mr. ROGERS. It is really an amendment to the existing law. I should think it would be better--I am asking, not asserting—to make it a section which would read something like this: Section so-and-so, of act so-and-so, is hereby amended to read as follows.
Mr. CARR. You could do it this way: “That part of the act of July 1, 1916, which authorizes the President to designate or assign any secretary of class I as counselor of embassy or legation is hereby amended to read as follows: That the President may," etc. It is immaterial to me how it is done so long us it is done.
Mr. ROGERS. I suppose a proviso ought to have some relation to the subject matter which precedes the proviso.
Mr. CARR. Technically ; yes.
Mr. COOPER. Make the period a year, and then begin a new sentence, the President may,” and include it all in section 14, not as a proviso—what you have just suggested.
Mr. CARR. That is all right.
Mr. CARR. Section 15 makes it possible for the President to appoint any foreign service officer to act as commissioner, chargé d'affaires, minister resident, or diplomatic agent for such period as the public interests may require without loss of grade, class, or salary, subject to the usual constitutional requirements.
What that means is that a foreign-service officer, who is a secretary or consul general, let us say, may be sent, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, as a minister resident, chargé d'affaires, or diplomatic agent for such
time as may be desirable, and when that duty ceases return to his regular functions, meanwhile receiving the salary which the law provides that he shall receive. In other words, it does not disturb his place in his grade, does not take him out of the grade he regularly occupies, and yet makes him available for special service under another appointment.
Mr. COOPER. Ought not that to be. then, as it is now, within the discretion of the President, he may appoint a commissioner, who does not require confirmation, a chargé d'affaires, minister resident, not minister plenipotentiary, or diplomatic agent, for such period as he may wish "? Would not that imply that the President could appoint anyone, in his discretion, without regard to confirmation by the Senate?
Mr. CARR. I do not think that the President would presume to interpret that as meaning that he could ignore the well-established practice of submitting nominations of that sort to the Senate, as required by the Constitution.
Mr. ROGERS. I think the Constitution would stop it.
Mr. CARR. These different grades are employed according to the character of the representation that a government desires to have in a particular country.
Mr. COOPER. I think it is not the size or the prosperity of the power to which he is sent, but it is the function of the officer himself. That is the point.
Mr. COCKRAN. That is very interesting. As a matter of fact, is it not more a question of dignity in the officer himself?
Mr. CARR. It is a question of dignity. Mr. Skinner reminds me that in former times it was customary to employ the title of “resident” for the permanent representative resident in a country or in a capital, and that when it became desirable to appoint a special representative of greater dignity or for a special negotiation the title “ envoy extraordinary ” would be employed. At one time these titles were synonymous. Now that of “minister resident” has come to mean the lowest grade of diplomatic representative accredited to a sovereign or head of a State.
Mr. COOPER. You provide that within the discretion of the President he may appoint chargés d'affaires. That does not take confirmation by the Senate. The commissioner does not require confirmation.
Mr. Carr. I beg your pardon. A chargé d'affaires does require confirmation.
Mr. COOPER. A commissioner does not?
Mr. COOPER. That would, then, in the same paragraph provide for the appointment in the discretion of the President of an officer who does not require confirmation, like a commissioner, and a minister who does, because they are not in the discretion of the President. One is within the discretion of the President exclusively because it does not require confirmation. The other one is in his discretion to nominate but not to appoint. The appointment requires confirmation by the Senate in the case of a minister. That is what I was getting at.
Mr. CARR. As I understand this section, it only has really to do with the preservation to officers so assigned of their regular classification and salary. It does not enter into or touch the question of manner of appointment, because obviously no law passed by Congress can alter the fact that the minister resident and chargé d'affaires are public ministers under the Constitution and must be appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. No law that you can pass would alter that fact and no President would seek to evade that provision.
Mr. COOPER. Then the law is saying “ that the President in his discretion" is not apt language. He can not do it in his discretion; it takes confirmation by the Senate. The President can nominate a minister, and he can take a commissioner in his discretion and assign him for any period. That is not in his discretion except by confirmation of the Senate. I wonder if it is apt language to put them all in the same paragraph.
Mr. CARR. His discretion would be exercised in the selection of a certain grade of officer and not in the appointment of that officer.
Mr. ROGERS. Proceed to section 16. I think that has all been pointed out in substance to the committee in connection with another bill.
Mr. CARR. Section 16 authorizes the special detail of foreign-service officers outside of the city of Washington and the payment of actual necessary expenses under certain circumstances. That is already the law, having been