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made so by the statute of February 5, 1915, with this exception: That law says, Any secretary in the diplomatic service, consul general or consul”; while this bill provides that “any foreign-service officers " may be so detailed.
In other words, this section adapts the present law to this particular bill, that is all. It also changes the per diem from $5 per day to $8 per day when foreign-service officers are engaged upon this special temporary duty.
I would suggest a further amendment also, after the word “Washington” in line 6, page 8 of the bill (section 16), that it be specifically stated, “within the United States or abroad."
In the first place, the purpose of the section as it now stands and the manner in which it is executed, is to give a diplomatic or consular office on duty in the department, who is ordered, let us say, to Philadelphia or New York to attend a conference, a trade conference, for instance, a per diem of $8 a day while engaged on that work, because otherwise he would have to pay part of his expenses from his own pocket, which would be entirely unfair. It makes it clearer to add the words “ within the United States,” because that is what it applies to.
Mr. COOPER. At what point?
Mr. COCKRAN. You could say “within the United States or abroad.” That includes Washington.
Mr. CARR. I would like also, if the committee should agree with it, that the words or abroad " be added. In going to and coming from a post the law permits a per diem of $5 a day for subsistence in travel. But in a special assignment for some special duty, away from the post abroad, an officer can not get along on $5 a day in these days. I have in mind an occasion when a lot of our ships in the port of Bordeaux caused such an acute situation resulting in complaint against the consulate, I telegraphed the consul general at Paris to send Mr. Lay down to Bordeaux to look into that situation. Under our present regulations, Mr. Lay could only be paid $5 a day. What did it cost you, Mr. Lay?
Mr. LAY. It cost about $35 above my expenses, above the expenses that were allowed me by the Government.
Mr. COCKRAN. Not $35 a day?
Mr. COCKRAN. For how many days' service?
Mr. LAY. I may say that I was ordered while at home on leave to the National Foreign Trade Conference in Chicago in 1919, at which I delivered an address, on the instructions of the department, in respect to trade, and that trip cost me about $40 out of my own pocket above the limits of the amount that could be collected from the Government. The department was kind enough to reserve a hotel room for me in Chicago. The cost of the room alone was $4 a day, so I had left a dollar for subsistence above my room, which, of course, was not sufficient.
Mr. CARR. That occurs in every case where an officer of the department is ordered at the request of a foreign trade convention to confer with business men or to make an address before a business men's convention, and I submit the present allowance is not adequate.
Mr. MOORES. If you will allow me a suggestion, I think you ought to modify your amendment a little bit, because, if you say outside of the city of Washington and within the United States or abroad, that language, within the United States may be taken as ascripsio loco, and I think it would be better to put the amendment after the word “duty.” In the first place, duty any place outside of the city of Washington or abroad, and then insert the words "or abroad,” for the reason that I do not want some comptroller to construe that language,
“ within the United States.” as simply a description of the location of the city of Washington. That is what it amounts to.
Mr. ROGERS. You could cure the difficulty by saying “outside the city of Washington, either in the United States or abroad."
Mr. COCKRAN. “Whether in the United States or abroad.”
Mr. CARR. I will be very grateful for anything that you can suggest that will protect us from unfortunate decisions of the comptroller.
Mr. COCKRAN. We want to protect the bill from ambiguity.
Mr. ROGERS. Section 17, the retirement section, is long and somewhat intricate. Mr. Carr and Mr. Skinner have explained that.
Mr. CARR. Mr. Chairman, before we reach that I would like to suggest to the committee for its consideration this section, to be inserted after section 16. I do not know whether you would feel that it ought to be inserted or not.
“That whenever he deems it to be in the public interest the Secretary of State is authorized to order to the United States for trade conference work any forign service officers who have performed three years or more of continued service abroad: Provided, That in all such cases the expense of travel and subsistence shall be allowed in the same manner and under the same conditions as those applying to foreign service going to and returning from their posts."
That is to say, where a man who has been three years in a post, let us say, Johannesburg, has information which a trade conference in the United States might find very useful to have explained to them, the department would have the privilege of ordering him home, and pay his expenses and the expenses of nis family in the same way that they are paid now in going to his post, keeping him here as long as it might be necessary for the trade conference work, consuming his leave of absence for that purpose, or so much as might be necessary, and then send him back. I think such conferences would be in the interest of making the foreign service officers more useful than they now are, in connection with the promotion of our trade relations, and would also make better Americans of them.
Mr. ROGERS. Do you not think it is a very wholesome thing to bring back these men from the field to their own country just as often as practicable? When a man gets older, more experienced, and level-headed, the danger of losing his head and his Americanism is not so extreme. But I have seen some of these young secretaries, who have had exceptional social opportunities and advantages in the capitals abroad, become the most abject followers of the social régime in the foreign capital. One of the things that I hope is going to follow from this bill is to send some of these de-Americanized secretaries to Singapore as vice consul, or to force them out of the service. I hope also that the tendencies of the administration and the tendencies of our law will be to bring these younger men, and perhaps the older men, back to the United States as often as possible so that they may not lose their Americanism, which is the biggest asset they have and the biggest asset to the country.
Mr. COCKRAN. I quite agree with you, but I think this bill will increase instead of diminish that; but that is what experience will demonstrate. I myself would not let them stay in the diplomatic posts more than four years. I would like to see such a system put into operation and see how it will work. In that way we could give all the talent of the country an opportunity.
Mr. CARR. I am grateful to Mr. Rogers for expressing a sentiment that up to the present moment I had not had, perhaps, the courage to voice. His views coincide with my views exactly. If this bill has any purpose whatever, it should have the purpose of putting more Americanism into our foreign service, in both branches of it, and in making it more responsive to the practical needs of our people and Government rather than to encourage the members to devote their energies to acquiring social prestige and the manners and customs of foreign countries. I want to see every diplomatic and consular officer in the foreign service thoroughgoing Americans 'n touch with business affairs and responsive to the aspirations of the people of the United States, both small and great, able accurately to interpret the people of the United States to the people of foreign countries and to win their respect, confidence, and good will. I think this bill should do much in that direction if it has the effect which those of us who are in sympathy desire.
Mr. COCKRAN. You suggest an amendment to be added to section 16 or as an independent section?
Mr. CARR. I would suggest it as a separate section after section 16, making it section 17, page 8.
Mr. ROGERS. We are ready to proceed now. Have you any comments of your own with reference to the retirement section?
Mr. CARR. I have one comment to make by way of a possible proviso.
Mr. CARR. To insert, after the word "excluded,” line 18, page 9, the words: "Provided, That the President is authorized to establish by Executive order a list of places in foreign countries which, by reason of the severe climatic or other extreme conditions, are to be classed as unhealthful posts, and each year of service at such post, inclusive of the regular leave of absence, shall be counted as two years in reckoning the length of service of foreign-service officers for the purposes of retirement."
By that I mean and submit to you the question of whether it is not fair to give that allowance of double time to a man who goes to Saigon or to Batavia or to Singapore or to Boma or to the West Coast of Africa. These places are very trying, from the standpoint of climate and wear and tear on men's health ; and men who serve there should, I think, have credit for double the amount of service given to men in places, like Berlin, Paris, and Marseilles.
Mr. FISH. Do you know that that has been tried out in the Army and found very unsatisfactory ; that they got double time for service in the Philippines and outside of the continental limits of the United States? That was repealed, I think, in 1912, for purposes of retirement.
Mr. CARR. I did not know of the Army experiment, but I do know that it is a practice that has for years been followed in foreign services in certain other Governments.
Mr. Fish. Is it not a fact that no white man could live at Singapore 35 years, or any place of that character? There are parts of the world where you would send these officers where no white man could live 35 years to be eligible for retirement; so that you can practically exclude that.
Mr. CARR. That is perfectly true, but as a matter of fact, they would not be kept any such length of time in a post of that kind, even if they could be. But in the administration of the service, the readiness of men to go to undesirable posts which would follow a provision of this kind would change the whole morale.
Mr. COCKRAN. I entirely agree with you, and it is not only desirable, but necessary, but if you apply the matter in its, rationality and send any man to those places, it would not be necessary to retire him; he can not live there. No white man can live there 35 years, at least, I have not heard of one.
Mr. CARR. My desire is to see a provision of this kind in order that the service could be made to operate with as much fairness to all members of the service as possible.
Mr. ROGERS. Would not that be a difficult provision to administer? Would not there be a tremenduous pressure to increase the classification of localities as unhealthful?
Mr. CARR. No. As a matter of fact, I think the President could issue an executive order establishing the unhealthful posts on the basis of the absolute facts, that would convince every member of this committee of its wisdom and fairness, and I do not believe that we would have much difficulty in maintaining the list indefinitely.
Mr. ROGERS. Can you insert in that provision some language to the effect that the number of such posts should not exceed 6 or 8 or 10?
Mr. COCKRAN. I should hope not. Conditions might change.
Mr. ROGERS. I think that would be a wide-open avenue and that we ought to have some limitation of it.
Mr. COCKRAN. In connection with Naples, my recollection is that it was at one time most unhealthy, and also Vera Cruz was formerly intolerable.
Mr. COOPER. And Habana.
Mr. COCKRAN. You would give the President discretion and he would not be likely to abuse it, and if you could not trust him to fix the number of posts, that the sanitary condition would justify fixing, you ought not to trust him with anything. It is a provision which in the nature of things has to be elastic. As I say, I recollect myself places which were in the past deemed unhealthy.
Mr. COOPER. Such as Panama.
Mr. COCKRAN. Of course. When you came close to Naples, you were aware of its proximity long before your eyes discovered it; the smell extended for 30 or 40 miles.
The CHAIRMAN. If you happened to have the right wind.
Mr. ROGERS. Turning to page 10, line 5, subdivision (d), Ambassador Fletcher wrote me, calling my attention to the fact that although ministers were included in this subdivision, he himself, who had worked up from the ranks to
be ambassador, was for no apparent reason excluded. I understand from conversation that you see no objection to including ambassador, so as to cover Mr. Fletcher's case?
Mr. CARR. There is nothing I should like better than to see ambassadors and ministers included.
Mr. COCKRAN. They would not be excluded if they had served the full term of 25 years.
Mr. CARR. This would exclude ambassadors, because ambassadors are not mentioned in this section. On page 10 only ministers are mentioned.
Mr. COCKRAN. There would not be more than one or two in the service that would come under it.
Mr. MOORES. If there is only one, he ought to be taken care of.
Mr. CARR. At present there are two who would be entitled to retirement with pay if their positions were mentioned in this bill.
Mr. COCKRAN. I do not see why they should not be.
Mr. COCKRAN. That would be excluding men on account of the excellence of their service. If a man goes up from the lower ranks, with 35 years' continuous service, and ends with the rank of ambassador, he ought to be eminently entitled to it.
Mr. CARR. Quite so.
Mr. ROGERS. In a case like that of Mr. Fletcher, who gets a salary of $17,500, why should he chip in 5 per cent of his salary, in view of the fact that his maximum annuity is no larger than if he received a salary of about half of what in fact he receives?
Mr. CARR. The best way I can answer that is to cite the case of the gentle men in the civil service here in Washington, who are entitled to retirement under the civil-service retirement fund.
Mr. FISH. Practice.
Mr. CARR. Yes. If they are receiving $3,000 a year they have to pay 21 per cent of that into the retirement fund, which is the same rate applied to the man who gets $800 a year, but when they come up for retirement at age of 70, the most they can expect is $720 a year. Outside of the extreme case which the chairman has mentioned, the application of the principle of retirement to the foreign service, as made by this bill, is much more equitable than that made by the present civil-service retirement law in its application to people employed in the classified civil service, because this bill takes into consideration the amount of salary and gives a man retirement pay pro rated according to the salary that he has received.
Mr. Fish. I think I can point out what the system is. I am introducing at the request of the enlisted personnel of the Army a 25-year retirement bill. They are paid from $21 up to the first sergeant, $157. The sergeants are the ones most interested in it and have been in communication with me most. The bill is one that will increase the pay of the different grades of private up to first sergeant, $30 each, and deduct 1 per cent from each of the grades. Of course, the sergeants' deduction of 1 per cent is vastly more than that of the private who only receives $21, but they all get the same amount, $30 more, so that is no complaint even among the sergeants. You will find that is the general practice in retirement. According to that principle an ambassador would not have much complaint.
Mr. COCKPAN. I think it would be a great blemish on this bill to leave an ambassador who has worked his way up from the lower grades to the highest without some provision for his retirement. The most excellent would have the greatest hardship.
Mr. Fish. I do not expect to be ambassador until 60, and then have five years hefore retiring.
Mr. Carr. It occurs to me you might adopt here a principle that is a slight modification of that employed by several foreign governments in their systems of retirement of foreign-service officers. They compensate their officers by a double system of compensation-basic salary plus local allowances—similar to what is known in our legislation as port or representation allowances.
Mr. COCKRAN. I know what it is.
Mr. CARR. They base their rate of retirement pay upon the basic salary and not upon the local allowance. You could adopt in this bill, possibly, the principle of a contribution computed on the basic salary of foreign-service officers up to $9,000 and not require contributions based on so much of the salary as might exceed $9,000.
Mr. COCKRAN. Ministers get $10,000.
Mr. COCKRAN. I would like to have some suggestion from the department which has stated it. The department has paid attention to that question of working out an equitable system of determining it. Did you consider at all the case of ambassadors in working out this bill?
Mr. CARR. Not any further than I have already indicated.
Mr. COCKRAN. Mr. Rogers has brought an entirely new element in here. I think practically, it would not amount to very much, but suppose only one or two ambassadors would come within the operation of this bill, nevertheless, I think it ought to be made to fit every case if we can. The retirement fund that an ambassador would get would be $4,800 under this bill?
Mr. CARR. Yes.
Mr. COCKRAN. Five per cent of $17,500. Therefore, the contribution that he would be making to this fund would be out of all proportion to the amount in the case of any other officers.
Mr. FISH. How many ambassadors have we at the present time?
Mr. CARR. Thirteen, I believe. Only two of them would be eligible to retirement under this bill.
Mr. COCKRAN. Anyone of them might be removed in a change of administration to-morrow.
Mr. CARR. Certainly.
Mr. MOORES. Let me aşk that Mr. Carr draft an amendment to cover that situation.
Mr. CARR. I shall be glad to do so.
Mr. MOORES. Draft an amendment to cover the case of Mr. Fletcher and other similar cases and submit to us. It is your suggestion that they submit to us at the next meeting of the committee a draft of an amendment.
Mr. ROGERS. Is there anything in sections 18 or 19 that does not speak for itself, or have you anything that you want to add?
Mr. CARR. I have nothing to say in regard to those sections. I think it is perfectly clear what they mean, and they do not seem to me to require any explanation. I would like to add this word in concluding my testimony: As one who has been for years primarily interested in building up a foreign service for this Government that will be thoroughly American in character, that will be thoroughly businesslike in operation, that will give at least a return of dollar for dollar on the amount invested and as much more in the way of dividends on the investment as possible, I sincerely believe that you have before you a bill that will enormously improve both our diplomatic and our consular services. It is the best constructive measure to that end, I believe, that I have yet seen laid before this committee. I feel that if you can pass it in substantially the form in which it is, with such improvements as may suggest themselves to you, that you will provide a sound and adequate basis upon which to build a strong foreign service, with diplomatic and consular branches, that will begin at once to do for this Government abroad much of that which you ardently desire, and which as opportunity therefor is afforded you can further extend and broaden with the least possible delay, so as to give us in the near future a foreign service the equal of which no other government possesses.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand you want to bring in some amendments covering the matters we have been discussing. Let me suggest this to you, that you devote a little attention to how ambassadors could be included in the operation of this bill without seriously affecting this present structure.
Mr. CARR. Do you mean in simply the retirement provision ?
Mr. CARR. Or do you mean in the provision of creating a situation which would encourage young men entering the service to feel that they may aspire to rise to that grade?
Mr. COCKRAN. The whole scope of this bill has that in view. The only suggestion we make now is with reference to the retirement plan, that the amhassadors—there are probably few but of very great excellence-should not be excluded from the beneficial operations of the bill. If that can be worked out, without seriously interfering with the structure of the measure, along the line of Mr. Rogers's suggestion.