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the consuls of the United States, and with the representatives of foreign powers accredited to the United States. He is regarded as the first in rank among the members of the Cabinet. He is also the custodian of the treaties made with foreign States, and of the laws of the United States. He grants and issues passports, and exequaturs to foreign consuls in the United States are issued through his office. He publishes the laws and resolutions of Congress, amendments to the Constitution, and proclamations declaring the admission of new States into the Union.
The Undersecretary of State is the principal assistant of the Secretary of State in the discharge of his various functions, aiding in the formulation and execution of the foreign policies of the Government, in the reception of representatives of foreign governments, etc. In matters which do not require the personal attention of the Secretary of State, he acts for the Secretary of State, and in the absence of the Secretary of State he becomes the Acting Secretary of State. The Undersecretary of State is charged with the general direction of the work of the Department of State and of the foreign service.
The Assistant Secretary of State has charge of all matters pertaining to foreign trade, and supervises the office of the economic adviser. He has supervision over the work of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, the Division of Near Eastern Affairs, and the Division of Eastern European Affairs. He is the chairman of the board of examiners for the Consular Service, and in the absence of the Secretary of State and the Undersecretary of State, he becomes Acting Secretary of State.
The Second Assistant Secretary of State has direct supervision over the Division of Passport control and the visé office. He makes decisions in citizenship and other cases involving complex questions of law and policy. He is consulted by the officers of the department upon matters of diplomatic procedure and general questions of international law and policy, particularly when involving the traditional practice of the Department of State.
The Third Assistant Secretary of State is charged with the administration of the Diplomatic Service, the administration of the department, administrative matters concerning international conferences and commissions, and with matters pertaining to ceremonial and protocol. He has supervision over the work of the Diplomatic Bureau, the office of the chief clerk, the Bureau of Appointments, the Bureau of Accounts, and the Bureau of Indexes and Archives. He is charged with the presentation to the President of ambassadors and ministers of foreign countries newly accredited to the United States; he is chairman of the board of examiners for the Diplomatic Service.
There is the Solicitor of the State Department, whose rank is high and whose responsibilities are great. The office of the Solicitor treats with matters dealing with legal relations of our own Government with foreign States, involving international law in all its complications and ramifications. There, too, are treaties composed and international conventions and agreements, from which the work of this particular office grades down to the questions of claims of individual American citizens against foreign governments or the execution of wills and the administration of private property in foreign lands. Expatriation and extradition cases are here also executed. In this division alone, more than 20 trained Assistant Solicitors and law clerks are constantly employed on work which requires the most painstaking attention and
Then, too, there is an economic adviser, whose function it is to advise with the Secretary of State on the broad questions of international trade and related subjects, embracing loans to foreign governments, tariffs, commercial treaties, and with such questions as those dealing with the study of oil resources in all parts of the world, etc.
The Diplomatic Bureau maintains the records of the personnel of the United States Diplomatic Service and of the embassies and legations accredited to the United States. It also falls to this bureau to arrange for the free entry of the official and personal effects of these representatives of other governments and of those of diplomatic officers of the United States as they pass to and fro in the course of their duties in all parts of the world.
The Consular Bureau is one of the important units of the department. It has charge of all the records of the personnel of the Consular Service and has supervision of the administration of the whole Consular Service, with its 411 offices and stations. It keeps constantly in touch with the personnel, numbering nearly 3,000. The duties of the director also involve the censoring, grading, and approval of commercial and economic reports; distribution of commercial
and economic reports to the Department of Commerce and other Government agencies. He, too, is the budget officer of the department and is charged with the preparation of all estimates of appropriations for the department.
Detail of a surprising nature is involved in the varied activities through which the foreign affairs of our country are administered, particularly, at home. Take the office which issues passports. During the tourist season as many as a thousand a day are issued, and during the year 1922 nearly 150,000 passports were issued. Associated with th office is the visé office, which deals with the important question of granting visés on foreign passports, which means that upon this office rests the responsibility of determining whether foreigners desiring to enter the United States are, or are not, objectionable from the view. point of safety to our institutions and Government.
The Division of Political Information, the Division of Current Information, the Bureau of Appointments, and the Bureau of Accounts are all functioning with definite objects in view. The bulk of the important information that flows into the department from its agents scattered throughout the world, flows out again through various channels. The consular trade reports to the Secretary of State, many of them filled with information of real importance to business houses and leaders of industry in this country, describe opportunities for the extension of American trade and commerce in foreign countries. These reports are sent to the Department of Commerce for publication, and approximately 2,000 copies each month are printed and utilized by the important business concerns of the country. To the Treasury Department goes all infor: mation supplied to the State Department by its representatives abroad concerning financial matters, and, too, data relating to oubreaks of conagious diseases in foreign lands which may ulimately necessitate the United States Public Health Service taking steps to prevent the introduction of these diseases into the United States.
There is also constant interchange of information between the State Department and the Department of Justice concerning matters of extradition; with the Department of Agriculture relating to foreign crops, soils, climate, plant and animal diseases; with the Department of Labor concerning immigration, as consular officers are obliged to visé the passports of every immigrant bound for the United States; with the War and Navy Departments relating to confidential matters having to do with political conditions abroad. At the request of the Secretary of State, naval vessels always are ready to drop anchor in a foreign port for such purposes as may be indicated.
II. THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE.
So functions the home office, with a personnel of 600. Corresponding to the home service is the foreign service of 3,447, who in some capacity or another are representative of America in foreign lands—the field representatives, so to speak, through whom the Department of State acquires the knowledge upon which to found its decisions and its policies and through whom, too, its mandates are executed abroad. As is generally known, this foreign service embraces those attached to the Diplomatic Service and those engaged in the Consular Service.
The diplomatic officers are accredited directly to the foreign national governments, the consular officers to municipalities or districts. One speaks, namely, of the ambassador to Great Britain, while it is the consul general at London, a city, which distinguishes that representative, and this terminology is universal when reference is made to diplomatic officers or to consular ofticers. Although the labors of the two branches of the foreign service are distinct, it will be seen from a consideration of the activities of each that there are many questions in which both divisions necessarily are interested, and that in all there is need for closest cooperation. Yet the consuls deal directly with the municipal authorities of the locality to which they are assigned, while the diplomatic officers deal only with the officers of the general government.
The personnel of the Diplomatic Service numbers in all 629, including ambassadors, ministers, secretaries, and clerks. These representatives of the Government of the United States are distributed in 51 countries in which we maintain diplomatic missions. It is the task of these men in diplomacy to keep in closest touch with every phase of the national life of the country where they reside and to keep the State Department informed with regard to all national questions of finance, commerce, arts, sciences, agriculture, mining, tariff, taxation, population, laws, and judicial statistics of that country. Particularly are they to keep well informed and observe and understand and interpret the intri.
cacies of the national policies as these may have bearing upon the policies of our own Government. And, too, they are to convey to the foreign government a clear exposition of the mind and attitude of America upon all subjects in which our Government is interested. Out of this comes also the duty of standing up for the rights of the citizens of the United States as a whole and for any individual American citizen.
In the year just passed of 1923, 15 of the 51 diplomatic missions of this Government rendered the following oustanding types and extent of service to American commercial interests: In 126 distinct cases, involving millions of dollars, they have been able to protect these interests by preventing discrimination against them; in 31 cases they have removed restrictions on American commerce; in 70 cases they have given aid in settlement of claims and debts of American citizens against foreign governments; in 49 cases they have rendered assistance to representatives of American concerns in obtaining for them equal treatment with nationals of other governments in submitting proposals and being awarded contracts; and in 88 cases they have given general assistance and advice to American business firms in connection with financial and commercial matters. Also, these same missions rendered innumerable other services of importance.
An example of direct results to our shipping interests through diplomatic action will be of interest to those who follow the development of America's foreign trade through the instrumentality of the Diplomatic Service. During the past few years so-called “ emigrant licenses”-i, e., permission to transport emigrants-have been obtained by American steamship companies from a number of European countries. The Department of State, through its diplomatic representatives in Europe, has been of real assistance to American shipping companies in obtaining these licenses. Prior to the war the emigrant business from Europe was handled largely by foreign lines, and the new American companies encountered formidable opposition in their attempt to compete for a fair part of this trade.
Another example of successful diplomacy is the application of the open door principle. American diplomats and consuls in far-away regions are zealously guarding the principle of equal opportunity for American trade, and when this principle is challenged these officers immediately advise the State Department, and the diplomatic officer accredited to the government concerned registers America's official protest and takes the necessary steps to assure the American company its full rights.
In another instance a certain foreign nation was about to execute a forced loan which would have sequestered about seventeen millions of dollars. The efforts of the American legation prevented this sequestration. Again in another instance of a South American country, the legation persuaded the officials of that country that mail matter should be carried by American vessels over a many-stop voyage, and thus established a contact with that country which is far-reaching and fundamental. In another country, import duties on the packing of American automobiles were reduced from 30 to 10 per cent. And further still, bank deposits that had been already sequestered by a foreign government were released and returned to their American owners.
III. THE CONSULAR SERVICE.
These isolated and typical cases are mentioned merely to show the practical work which our embassies and legations abroad are doing in the direct interest of America and American institutions. And they are but small, indeed, compared to the greater questions of protecting the rights of America to participate in the opening up of new fields of industry, in the inclusion of her business firms on an equitable basis with nationals of other countries, in the influence of the tariff laws of foreign countries, and in general by keeping the American Government at peace with all the world.
Turning now to that other branch of the foreign service of the State Department, the one named and known as the Consular Service, we find in it a personnel of 2,818, of whom 55 are consuls general, 317 are consuls, 135 are vice consuls of career, 87 are consular agents, 14 are interpreters, 2 are student interpreters, 11 are consular assistants, 2,197 are clerks and other employees. While the work of the diplomatic officers deals, as explained, with the national foreign governments, the work of the consular officers, is, as previously detailed, only with municipalities. But, in addition to this distinction, there is another; the work of the diplomatic officers is in a measure political, that of the consul
is business and commercial. Not one pound of goods can leave a foreign country for the United States, nor can a ship clear port, nor any passenger depart, without the knowledge, consent, and official action of the consul of the place. Such definite functions give the consul a very intimate understanding of the commercial condition and standing of his particular post. Out of this knowledge which the consuls possess there has developed, and as its value is becoming more acknowledged, will continue to develop, a position as adviser to American business concerns with respect to trade at their post or station.
It is not the purpose of the Government that the consul should serve as the sales agent of any one firm, yet there is work for him to do in furnishing information to business men regarding the legal and trade conditions under which they may operate by pointing out opportunities for trade expansion in prospect, in bridging over difficulties, or in smoothing out rough contacts that may have arisen. It may be known to a consul, for instance, that a local firm is in the market for a certain type of gasoline engine. He very likely will under such conditions seek to interest the foreign customer in purchasing an engine from an American business firm, or he may advise the home office at Washington of the opportunity opening up for American engines. As a matter of fact one consul did accomplish the sale of 53 gasoline engines, and eu couraged negotiations for an agency on a basis of a minimum sale yearly of 500 such engines. In another instance a thoroughly representative consul persuaded the customs authorities to change the classification of a certain motor chassis so that it would be subject only to the duty imposed on motor trucks. A contract for the building of tramways and electric power plant was awarded to an American firm through the efforts of the American consul or the locality; an agency for drugs and sundries was established at another foreign center; engineering work was awarded to an American firm, involving $425,000; something like 7,000 cases of Pacific coast apples were guided to another foreign destination in a trade award. All of these accomplishments are but typical cases of the enormous labor of the consular officers in every corner of the world in stimulating American business enterprise and American trade.
For the year 1923, for instance, the Consular Service sent out more than a million letters, received 904,601. The consular invoices were 806,817. Their replies to trade inquiries numbered 55,502. They gave 39,459 bills of health. They handled 1,037 estates. They gave service in 75,309 cases of protection and welfare, and so on through their multifarious and daily routine transactions
Despite all this work of the Department of State in its home service, or home office, as it is more frequently referred to, and in its diplomatic and consular services abroad, the expense entailed is exceedingly small. The expenditures of the State Department proper, or rather, the home office, for 1923 was $1,096,824, the Diplomatic Service cost $2,360,469 and the Consular Service $4,987,208, the total cost being $8,435,501.51. Such are the disbursements, but the receipts almost balance the expenses. The consular fees wer' for the year 1923 $6,805,579.30; the passport fees were $1,144,862.63; and miscellaneous fees were $31,124, making the total receipts equal $7,981,566.61. Thus the net cost of maintaining the service of the entire Department of State at home and abroad for 1923, despite its tremendous activities and their almost incalculable value, was only $453,934.90.
IV. NEW RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE.
Such in brief is an outline of the organization at present of the State Department at home and abroad. The work is increasing with every day, and will grow more and more as the influence of America in foreign countries becomes more potent and her foreign commerce expands more and more. And the responsibilities of the Diplomatic and Consular Service are truly to-day greater than erer before, and greater also is the interest of American business men in the successful handling of our foreign affairs politically, economically, and commercially. If this Government is to handle effectively foreign affairs. pressing for attention, the Government must have an adequate staff of trained and businesslike American diplomats and consuls with sufficient incentive to make a career of the foreign service.
The salaries paid to officers in the Diplomatic Service are admittedly inadequate as compared with those paid the diplomatic officers of other nations. Compensations and prospects insufficient to secure and hold men of ability other
than those of independent means have hampered the development of the Diplomatic Service. From ambassadors and ministers down through the lowest grades of secretaries, America's diplomatic representatives abroad are underpaid when the importance and dignity of their posts are taken into consideration. The duties of secretaries are particularly arduous and exacting, and the salaries allowed them are far below what they might command for their services if employed by private business concerns.
A secretary of the highest grade now receives a maximum salary of $4,000. Generally this grade and salary has been reached only after many years of diligent application in the service. Such a prospect is not attractive to desirable men who do not possess independent means. Some of the ablest men in the service have made and are making serious personal sacrifices in order to continue in the Diplomatic Service of the Government. Also at present in the Consular Service it is difficult to retain men because of tempting offers constantly made them to go into the service of private business concerns.
These two services, the Diplomatic and Consular, by laws that are antiquated and out of date have been separated into watertight compartments when they should be, in fact, one service, or at least so coordinated that their officers might be interchangeable.
There is pressing need for greater flexibility between the two branches of what is in truth one foreign service. No matter how well equipped for diplomatic work a consular officer may be under the present law the Government is not abel to use that oflicer officially for such work even in an emergency, nor may it assign an admirably qualified diplomatic secretary to an important consular post. No less an authority than Secretary of State Hughes has characterized this state of affairs as bordering on the ridiculous. Benefits of economy and efficiency would accrue from a system of combined administration which would assure an efficient coordination of these two services of the Department of State.
A fact that is of interest to those who have followed the development of the diplomatic service is that although there is provision for the retirement of men in the Army and Navy, and in the civil service generally of the United States Government, there are no retirement provisions for men in the diplomatic and consular branches. This is so despite the fact that the consular service as long ago as 1906 was placed upon a merit basis, and also in 1909 the diplomatic secretaries were placed upon a nonpolitical basis providing for appointment after competitive examination and promotions for reasons of merit and efficiency. Forbidden by law to engage in business, or other gainful occuations, these men in the foreign service have no means of building up reserves for old age, and, living abroad as they do, in all kinds of climates, which makes the heaviest demands on their physical powers, they are cut off from opportunities in the United States which otherwise might be open to them when they reach an age when retirement from active service might be contemplated. Then, too, other countries have a well-established practice of providing men in their foreign service with representation allowances, which are somewhat similar to the allowances made their foreign representatives by important business interests of this country. Our foreign service officers are not now reimbursed for most actual expenditures incurred at their foreign posts on strictly official business.
V. PROPOSED REMEDIAL LEGISLATION.
Adequate support and encouragement for the diplomatic and consular officers of the United States would seem a proper policy and a sound business principle. Representative John Jacob Rogers, of Massachusetts, majority member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the House of Representatives, hefore the adjournment of the Sixty-seventh Congress, introduced a bill designed to strengthen and improve the diplomatic and consular services by remedying the chief defects which now seem apparent. This bill passed the House but was not considered by the Senate before adjournment. It has been reintroduced by Mr. Rogers in the present session. It is designated as H. R. 17, and provides for the reorganization and reclassification of diplomatic secretaries and consuls in such a manner as to give the United States Government a flexible service, and to accord to career men in the diplomatic service salaries comparable to those paid to consuls of corresponding grades.