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Mr. GIBSON. We always try to have somebody who can settle any question or have somebody who can quickly get in touch with responsible officer. Usually one of the secretaries of the legation stays to lunch with me. If somebody rings the bell or if the telephone rings there is some one available who can be summoned in a hurry.
Mr. ROGERS of Massachusetts. Are your chancery and your residence in the same building?
Mr. GIBSON. Yes.
Mr. Gibson. I have always found it the best way. You can really keep in close touch.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think it is a sound policy to close an embassy between 12 and 1.30 or between 1 and 3 o'clock?
Mr. GIBSON. Not if you can avoid it.
The CHAIRMAN. As I understand it you are compelled to comply more or less with the social customs of the part of the world where you are located, but you are not bound by any of the business customs.
Mr. GIBSON. You are to this extent. Take a place like London. There is no earthly use in opening a chancery at 9 o'clock, because there is no British Government office that opens before 10 or 10.30 o'clock. There are none of the facilities for doing actual business. You can go in and write at a desk but that is about all. You can not get an official on the telephone or see anybody, but it is much better to begin at an established hour of business and end as late as you like.
The CHAIRMAN. If an American citizen was in trouble and went to the embassy at 10 o'clock would he find anybody there?
Mr. GIBSON. There is always somebody there. It might not be the ambassador or counselor, but there is always somebody to take care of him, day or night, if only one of the old and experienced messengers.
The CHAIRMAN. How about Paris?
Mr. GIBSON. I am not familar with conditions in the Paris Embassy.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think it is a good plan to require these embassies and legations to be kept open from 9.30 in the morning to 5 o'clock, or have it according to the customs of the country?
Mr. Gibson. I think we ought to have a rule, as in the Consular Service, subject to such variations as may be necessary to meet local conditions.
The CHAIRJAN. What are the hours in the Consular Service?
Mr. CARR. The hours of the Consular Service except in a few places where there are conditions that require otherwise are the same as ours.
Mr. GIBSON. Is that so of London?
Mr. MOORE. It would not be your thought to deal with this subject in this legislation ?
The CHAIRMAN. No.
Mr. GIBSON. That subject has been under discussion in the department already.
Mr. LINTHICUM. Would not that be more or less a regulation of the department's service?
The CHAIRMAN. I merely wanted his idea. I had several experiences that convinced me that these embassies should be kept open during the normal hours of business. Take a big staff of 15 or 20 men at an embassy, and it is practically closed at midday. When an American gets into trouble and comes there it leaves a very bad impression of the foreign service.
Mr. LINTHICUM. That was not the main question in Paris. The thing there was that a man came to get a visé and in the middle of the day there would be three or four hundred people waiting because they took a rest of an hour and a half, and he had to go away and come back again. That is rectified by this time.
The CHAIRMAX. That is not at the embassy.
Mr. LINTHICUM. Not at the embassy ; it was at the consular service office. It was at the embassy where they were getting visés.
Mr. CARR. It was the passport bureau under the embassy but run separately from the embassy. That has all been stopped.
Mr. COOPER. It would seem to me that that subject might be one subject to regulation by law. The embassies and the consulates are established in foreign countries primarily to promote the interests of the American Government and the American citizen who is abroad. not to afford facilities for dining fashionably or in accordance with local customs or anything of the sort, and, of course, neither of these places should be closed during working hours to which American citizens
are accustomed. The CHAIRMAN. That is exactly my view. Mr. COOPER. Certainly.
The CHAIRMAN. I have been debating in my mind whether it should be by law or regulation, but I think a regulation would be sufficient.
Mr. COOPER. If we are sure of the regulation, but it ought not to be left to the discretion of any official or at least not any subordinate official.
STATEMENT OF HON. J. BUTLER WRIGHT, THIRD ASSISTANT
SECRETARY OF STATE. Mr. Rogers of Massachusetts. I asked Mr. Gibson to qualify as an expert in beginning his testimony. Will you also state, in a very brief form, what your connection with the Diplomatic Service in the Department of State has been since your entry into the Diplomatic Service?
Mr. WRIGHT. Certainly. I entered the service in 1909 and served in Central America, in Honduras, until 1912, when I was detailed to the Latin American Division of the department until Novembei of that year. Then I went to Brussels as secretary of legation there, next to The Hague as secretary of the American delegation to the international opium conference, thence to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as first secretary of embassy, where I remained until 1915. I was then detailed to the Department of State as acting chief of the Division of Latin American Affairs until October, 1916, when I was assigned as counsellor of our embassy at Petrograd, where I remained until we were forced to evacuate the embassy on account of the revolutionary conditions. I then bad a four months' assignment in the Division of Russian Affairs in the Department of State and was assigned to London as counsellor of the embassy, where I remained from November, 1918, to October, 1821. I was ordered to Washington as one of the expert assistants at the Conference on the Limitation of Armament, and in July, 1922, was appointed a commissioner to the centennial exposition at Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I was then appointed secretary of our delegation to the Fifth International Conference of American States at Santiago, Chile, and returned in June of last year to assume my present office.
Mr. ROGERS of Massachusetts. My thought would be, without hampering Mr. Wright with specific questions, that we should ask him now to make a general statement of his views on the pending legislation.
Proceed in your own way, Mr. Wright.
Mr. WRIGHT. Mr. Chairman, having had this situation very much at heart for the 15 years during which I have been in the service I could not refrain from putting down one or two comments as the discussion of yesterday proceeded, and I need not assure you I did not do that with any idea of speaking but to be able to be of assistance to those who were called upon to speak. If I may say so, as a result of the combination of field experience with my present duties of administration, certain of these points that have been brought out are such as to justify my stressing them a little. I have taken them, not in their chronology, but as they occurred to me or as they were brought out.
The first is the question of salaries. I think we all indorse absolutely what Mr. Gibson has said regarding the inadvisability of an increase in salaries. That would sound like an argument difficult of understanding, but I refer to the salaries of chiefs of mission, not to salaries of the officers contemplated in this bill. The reason is because, in my opinion and not withstanding the fact that salaries of chiefs of missions as at present paid are not sufficient to enable them to discharge the duties incumbent upon them, the remedy does not lie merely in an increase of such salaries. If it be a pernicious system that demands the possession of private means before one can assume the position of a chief of mission, it would be equally if not more pernicious to render the salary of such a post so attractive as to call to it men not necessarily equipped for that post, and would therefore, increase our difficulties instead of decreasing them. Of course, from that arises the question of so-called “representation allowances,” in order that a foreign service officer may have an opportunity, as has been very aptly said, to benefit by the true principles of democracy, by neither gaining nor losing financially by virtue of his assumption of a public office under a democracy. It seems unfair that he should be called upon to go into his private pocket. An observation that may be in order in that connection, is that if such officer were parsimoniously inclined and enjoying a large salary from which he would be supposed to fill all these obligations, it would not be consonant with the principles of what we are endeavoring to accomplish should such individual profit personally by reason of such parsimony because, of course, no one would have any control over his salary and what he did with it.
As far as representation ” allowances are concerned, such expenditures would be audited by the Department of State and the Comptroller General, and any taxpayer would have the right to demand inspection of such accounts.
As regards the interest of the public in the foreign service, Mr. Chairman, we notice at the present moment that this increased interest is apparent in three ways. The number of applicants for positions in the foreign service is increasing. I have asked the question particularly of the bureau of appointments of the department and I have observed the fact from the number of letters in reply which we have signed, and the circulars that we have supplied regarding the methods by which the service is recruited. Secondly, there are many more inquiries as to what the foreign service of the United States is doing. We find that interpreted in requests addressed to the Department of State for certain officers or representatives of the department to address meetings of chambers of commerce, boards of trade, and institutions of learning regarding the service. Third, the inquiries for general information from all over this country, not only on such matters as the applicability of the Bok peace plan, but intelligent inquiries as to the functions of our foreign service.
I can hardly refrain from referring to the observation which Secretary Hughes made yesterday regarding the ability of this country to produce men for great emergencies at home and abroad. Therein lies the greatest foundation of our country and our faith in her. So rigid a principle of the appointment of chiefs of missions from the lower grades as to estop the appointment of such men and to deny the consequent tribute to our national versatility would be contrary not only to the opinions expressed by my distinguished chief but, in addition to that, to the tenets of this country; but to follow a system so elastic as continually to expose the men who have proven their worth and been in the service for years and to deprive them of the opportunity of winning their laurels for service well rendered would be automatically to deny or prevent the entrance into the service of the kind of men whom we are desirous to obtain. The material, gentlemen, is here. We can tell it. I have seen it in institutions of education both of men and women. Men and women have asked whether it would be possible for them to enter the service, and we have every reason to believe that some of them, at least, possess that peculiar adaptability, breeding, character, personality, education, intelligence, poise, and common sense which I suppose one might consider as a rather broad definition of diplomacy; at the present moment the door is not wide enough and the vista is not attractive enough to justify either their entering it or our advising them to do so. The bill will shed light upon that and open the door, in our opinion.
The contacts of the service both at home and abroad which are of value to business men of this country are, in my opinion, inestimable, Mr. Chairman. I might if I had time, and I should be only too glad to do so if you desire, endeavor to cite the contacts that members of the foreign service, both diplomatic and consular, maintain and enjoy with various departments of this Government and with the people of this country, of almost every imaginable nature-not only regarding such subjects as plant diseases and matters affecting agriculture, but also matters of obvious importance as far as the Army and Navy are concerned, information regarding international loans in which the Treasury Department is interested, and reports as te
conditions obtaining in certain countries in order that private investors may have an opportunity for legitimate investment.
Mr. ROGERS of Massachusetts. "Before you pass on to the next topic with reference to the number of applicants for entry into the service, you speak of an increase having occurred recently.
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
Mr. ROGERS of Massachusetts. Has that increase been noted for the diplomatic and consular side or only for the latter?
Mr. WRIGHT. I speak advisedly only as far as the diplomatic side is concerned and say I think it is, but as to the Consular Service I refer you to Mr. Carr.
Mr. ROGERS of Massachusetts. Mr. Carr told us last year that in nearly three years, from January, 1920, to the fall of 1922, only about 100 men from all over the United States had even taken the examination for entry into the Consular Service and that only about 50 of those had passed, of which practically every one had been appointed. It seems to me that when you view the situation where, throughout the United States in a period of three years, only 50 men had even passed the examination you had a deplorably narrow field of selection. What has happened since the fall of 1922 in that regard?
Mr. WRIGHT. I can not say as far as the consular officers are concerned because I have only occupied my present position since June. We had 45 applicants for the diplomatic examination in July of last year, the examination being held once a year; 36 of these men and women presented themselves for the examination and we passed 11. Of the number of applicants for the consular examination, Mr. Carr can inform you. To the increased interest in the foreign service I can attest as the result of the increasing numbers of letters by which we give the information whether acceptable or not, and it is my impression, subject to correction by Mr. Carr, that the process of selection in the Consular Service is very rigid and that in the last examination a relatively smaller number were passed than in the diplomatic examinations.
Mr. CARR. Yes.
Mr. O'CONNELL. What kind of an examination is it that they are submitted to?
Mr. WRIGHT. The examination is based upon executive order and legislation. Roughly speaking it comprises modern languages, one at least, preferably two, German, Spanish, or French, international law (I am speaking of the diplomatic examination now), history of the United States, diplomatic usage and a general examination conducted orally to determine the general character, address, information and fitness of the candidate and his knowledge of current affairs. The examination is written, oral, and physical. The consular examination is much the same with the elimination of the the subject of diplomatic usage and more attention given to the subject of commercial as well as political geography. I have here the regulations for appointment and promotion in the Diplomatic Service and for the improvement of the personnel of the Department of State from which I quote:
The examinations shall be both oral and in writing and shall include the folJowing subjects: International law, diplomatic usage, and a knowledge of at least one modern language other than English, to wit, French, Spanish, or