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nothing which can replace some such period of service as a means of narrowing down our choice to just the sort of men we need.
Under such a system everybody would understand that the in, dividual was being tried out and that the Government was free to let him go at the end of the probationary period or to engage him definitely. This is preferable to the present system of appointing a man definitely to the service after examinations and giving him and those who are interested in him the feeling that he has certain acquired rights.
Mr. LINTHICUM. I recognize that,
Mr. GIBSON. Yesterday another question was brought up on the subject of these young secretaries that wanted to be highly paid in order that they might do entertaining. I do not think that there is any desire among them to do entertaining. I do not think that entertaining enters into it, but there are obligations which entail expense, even with the youngest secretaries in the service.
If the secretary does his job properly he has certain definite and unavoidable obligations and if he does not live up to these he is not a valuable public servant.
From the point of view of the Government, it does not suffice if a secretary works at his desk a certain number of hours a day and then goes home and shuts himself up. His value is largely measured by the personal relationships which he builds up in the country in which he is serving-relationships which enable him to take short cuts and get results for American interests and American citizens. An American citizen is proverbially in a hurry and when he comes into a legation he expects effective action on his behalf—what is more, he is outraged if he doesn't get it. As a rule, he would be indignant if told that his request would be embodied in a routine note to the foreign office, there to be considered in due course and referred to other authorities for eventual action. He wants to know why the secretary can not take a short cut and go with him to see some official who can settle matters at once. In this he is quite right and, if we are properly equipped in the Diplomatic Service, we find that our greatest usefulness lies in having things so lined up that we can take short cuts in getting things done for our citizens.
Now when you come to dealing with official business you have to be guided by the same essential precepts that govern the conduct of private business. If a business man sits at his desk in his office and has no personal contacts and, at the end of his day's work, goes home and shuts the door he is not considered an enterprising, resourceful, and hustling business man. If he has any enterprise he makes it his business to know all sorts and conditions of people who can be of use to his business; he makes friends of them as well as he can, tries to serve them when opportunities offer and then, when he needs their assistance, he can go and ask for it. It is exactly the same in the conduct of official business. If we sit in a legation and confine ourselves to written communications and formal calls on officials, we get courteous attention and routine settlement of our business—and that is all we are entitled to. If we want more favorable treatment than that, we have to get out and hustle for it.
However, it is to be borne in mind that we seek to build up these friendships-not to secure unfair advantage but merely to be in a position to protect the rights and interests of our people. This is
the way it is done the world over, not only in diplomacy but in politics and in business. The British and French Governments, which are wise in the ways of the world, have found it well worth while to sanction and encourage the formation of such personal relationships by providing funds for them in the form of a generous representation allowance.
All this work entails a considerable expense, which the secretary pays out of his own pocket. If a secretary allows heavy society work to interfere with his office work, he deserves all the criticism he gets. However, the right sort of secretaries and the large majority of them-do not allow anything to interfere with their work, and this necessary activity constitutes a distinct burden on their time, energy, and finances. The people who are the most free with criticism are usually the first to avail themselves of the special facilities which a secretary is able to afford them as a result of having established valuable connections.
What I have said is rather general, and it might be useful to give one or two examples of the advantage of such contacts. For instance, before we entered the war the British used to take a large number of ships into Kirkwall, examine the passengers and crew, and take off any man who had not a satisfactory passport or who could give no satisfactory account of himself. Among these were large numbers of American seamen and others, usually people who through ignorance had failed to provide themselves with the right papers. They were put in a detention camp and, if they claimed to be Americans, the embassy was notified of their presence by the British authorities. If we had had a purely routine way of handling these things the embassy, after verifying the individual's citizenship, would have written a note to the foreign office which, in due course, would have transmitted a copy of it to the Admirality which, in a routine way, would have sent it on to the naval officer commanding at Kirkwall, who would have indorsed it to the commandant of
the detention camp, who would, if there were any difficulties or defects in the information, have referred the whole matter back to the embassy through the same channels for a reply in exactly the same
It was our calculation at the time that anything from one to five months might readily have been consumed in effecting the release of an American held in one of these camps. It happened, however, that the secretaries of the embassy had made good friends with a high official in the admirality, a man of whom they saw a good deal out of office hours and with whom they were on very friendly terms. The matter was discussed with him and, as he had confidence in them based on a friendship of some duration and on his personal liking, it was agreed that whenever they had satisfied themselves as to the American citizenship of an individual in the camp, all they had to do was to telephone him that they knew he was an American and would like to have him sent to Liverpool and turned over to the consul. The admirality immediately telephoned the detention camp ordering his release and, within a day or two, the man was on a ship bound for America. Once these wheels had been set in motion, the embassy addressed a note to the foreign office applying for the release of the individual in question, merely in order that the record might be clear; but in these cases of which we
had several hundred-American citizens were saved detention for periods varying from one to five months. This in iteslf would seem to be well worth the cultivation of friendly relations which, viewed in this light, are not so frivolous as they might seem, especially when it is borne in mind that all the expenses were paid out of the pockets of the secretaries.
It may be noted in this connection that no secretary could have afforded to make this expenditure out of the money paid him by the Government, but that practically all of it was a direct contribution out of his own income. The money thus expended is not always expended on individuals who would be chosen as friends, except for the fact that they might be useful to the Government.
Mr. LINTHICUM. Do not the American people when they go to see those secretaries somewhat expect them to take them out and show them the sights? Mr. Gibson. Yes;
a good many of them do. Mr. LINTHICUM. They expect to be given a little lunch or something of that kind ?
Mr. GIBSON. In most cases the individual American would not think of asking for anything involving the expenditure of money, but the fact remains that whether he expects it or not a certain amount of expenditure is unavoidable if the secretary is to do his share of the common task of promoting and protecting American interests. If our men have the right spirit they are not content to limit themselves to what can be exacted of them during office hours. If they have pride of service they neglect no opportunity to advance American interests and they are perfectly willing to make their contribution to it.
If the secretary is any good he must take over his share of the burden. To do this well he must keep up contacts in the same way as the chief mission, even if on a lesser scale. Furthermore it must be remembered that the secretary is a sort of vice president and that he must be prepared at any moment to assume the full burden of protecting American interests as chargé d'affaires. This is not theoretical. It happens with considerable frequency in every post, while the chief of mission is absent on leave, when he is ill, resigns, or dies.
dies. If the secretary is to be of any real use he must have his contacts ready before he takes charge.
The CHAIRMAN. What sort of a business man would he be to go to a legation or embassy and expect one of the younger secretaries to ask him out to lunch and pay his motor-car fare and things of that kind?
Mr. GIBSON. I do not mean that the individual business man necessarily expects it. Often he does not. Frequently the initiative comes entirely from the secretary and the business man does not have any occasion to think of the question of expense incurred by the secretary
The CHAIRMAN. Why do they do it? They are under no obligations to do it.
Mr. GIBSON. There is a great deal more obligation than one thinks.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not agree with that. I think they are about in the same position that a Member of Congress is.
Mr GIBSON. I don't mean by this that the individual is expecting anything. But the secretary has an obligation to do everything in his power to advance American interests. He is supposed to be an expert, to be able to see opportunities for service that a visiting business man is not in a position to suggest. And he has an obligation to go the limit. Often he sees where he can help American business men by bringing its representative in touch with officials or with other people outside the precincts of the oilice. Informal contacts of this sort are often worth much more than any amount of official support and any money spent developing these contacts is well spent.
Here is what happens. Last summer we had in Warsaw an almost uninterrupted series of visits from Members of the Cabinet, Senators, Members of Congress, and unofficial people of importance. We had a week's visit from the American delegation to the meeting of the International Chamber of
Commerce in Rome. There was likewise an official naval visit. These visits were all most useful and were turned to good account. They were usually short and the visitors wrote or telegraphed ahead saying they would like to meet as many as possible of the leaders of the Government, or indicating individuals they wanted to meet or subjects they wished to investigate. They asked that plans be made for them so that they would waste no time. This required a lot of scurrying about by the secretaries of the legation, the creation of new contacts with people who were able to contribute to the success of these different visits. There is a considerable amount of incidental expense connected with building up contacts of this sort, and yet I am confident we should have been considered negligent if we had failed to have things lined up for these various people who came to Poland on serious errands; and we should have been negligent. The expenditure was well worth while but the beneficiary would have been considerably surprised if the secretaries had presented them a bill at the end of their visit for such incidental expenses as cabs, tips, occasional lunches, and the like.
I have referred only to official visits of people interested in official matters. There is also a steady stream of visits from American business men of standing whom it is desirable to help in any way we can. They usually make fleeting visits, desire to accomplish a great deal in a short time and look to the legation to help them expedite matters. We render this service for them in the same way that we do it for the others, and the secretaries always have to assume their share of the expense.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it is a great mistake for people to go to a minister or a legation and expect to be taken around and dined and perhaps wined at the expense of the secretaries. It is hardly worth while wasting your time on such people.
Mr. Gibson. We don't feel that we are wasting time on them. We do not look upon any entertaining that is done by secretaries in this way as a social program but more particularly as a business program. It is not always thrillingly delightful to the secretary but it is undoubtedly a part of his job. Furthermore, when we get members of the American Government or business men who do us credit we feel that it is a good thing to make them known to the people of the country where we are accredited. We feel that by bringing Americans of this sort in contact with foreigners under easy and informal conditions we are helping to create on interest in our country and a liking for it. Furthermore, we find that for
eigners are pleased to have an opportunity to meet Americans of this sort whom they would not be likely to meet otherwise and that the effect is good. There is a distinct American interest in all this. We feel the money is well spent.
Mr. COLE. Is it not true that these business men entertain the secretaries?
Mr. GIBSON. Yes; sometimes in a small way. Not very much.
The CHAIRMAN. The point is this: Assume that you and I went over there and went to one of the legations or embassies, would you not feel as though we were imposing upon them to expect those things?
Mr. COLE. We would not impose upon them but they might extend us some little courtesy. Of course, as one fulfilling obligations I would see that I did more for them than they did for me, but I can see how they can not avoid doing something.
The CHAIRMAN. The result of my observation has been that these secretaries would be better off in their offices at work instead of going out two or three hours at noon on luncheon expeditions.
Mr. Gibson. I do not think two or three hour expeditions of that kind are justified if it means that the secretary is neglecting his office work.
Mr. COLE. What do you do when your constituents come to Washington? You have to pay their expenses?
The CHAIRMAN. I have this rule and I learned it after three of four years' experience. A man comes down here to see me and takes my time to attend to matters for him. I do not feel that I am under any obligation to him. That rule, of course, does not apply with a man who is a close personal friend. But I do not think that any man has the right to expect it of one.
Mr. COLE. They do not expect it, but you want to be a human being and want to be courteous. I do whatever I can for my constituents when they come here, but, of course, they do not come as often from Iowa as from Pennsylvania. I am always glad to see them.
Mr. O'CONNELL. Entertaining plays a great part in salesmanship; it is at least 80 per cent of salesmanship. It is just as essential as having an article that is good merchandise. I can see where you would make a sale as the result of entertainment. Mr. GIBSON. Other Governments have found it so.
There is practically no Government to-day except ours which does not provide funds to be used by its officials for that purpose. This is not done as a grant that will be helpful to the officer, but because it has been found by long experience that money invested in this way brings solid results to the national interest. For instance, my various colleagues in Warsaw are nearly all provided with funds for entertaining. My. British colleague is paid no more than I am, but in addition to this he has a legation, furnished and equipped and an entertainment fund which amounts, I believe, to about three times my total pay. This is accounted for under generous rules. He is supposed to use a broad measure of discretion in spending this money and it is generally agreed that the money is well spent.
Mr. COLE. I do not believe we ought to permit any abuses of a social nature to grow up where what we call entertainment expendi