« PreviousContinue »
Mr. MOORE. That is shown in the publications issued by the Department of Commerce, which indicates how closely in contact the commercial interests of this country are with these particular officers we are talking about.
Mr. SKINNER. Undoubtedly.
Mr. COCKRAN. There is no doubt about the value of the reports and about their circulat.on. You just now made the remark that in addition to furnishing all these reports you looked up the credit of individuals.
Mr. SKINNER. We do that when that information is asked.
Mr. SKINNER. We are not trying to substitute ours for the regular agencies of trade, but we certainly do feel that if a man in the central part of the country, un amiliar with foreign trade, wants to find out what John Smith is. worth' up to date, we should let him know or tell him where he can get that. information.
Mr. COCKRAN. There has been a considerable expansion of business here in Washington and elsewhere, and as a result men doing business make applications for credit here, That would be such an occasion where a merchant in this country would call upon a consul for information in a foreign country.
Mr. SKINNER. Yes.
Mr. SKINNER. In my own practice I do not hesitate to go to a reputable commercial agency and buy that information like anybody else. There are no appropriations for this. If I find I am led into an expense, generally of a trivial amount, I advance it and tell the man out in St. Louis it costs so much to get this information, and I have not known one to fail to reimburse the office for the expenditure,
As I said in the very beginning, this bill opens the door of opportunity to these young men; and you can only get the right young men by giving them the thought that in the course of time, and if they are successful, they may get into the highest ranks of the service.
The CHAIRMAN. To sum it up, it gives the department an opportunity to decide the value of a man on the theory that you can not tell what a man can do until he is put under responsibility, and then you can put him in the place for which he is best fitted.
Mr. SKINNER. This bill gives an opportunity to the department to send men to those particular places where they are needed and which they, as individuals, are best fitted to fill.
The CHAIRMAN. You simply want to follow the policy which all well-organized business firms now follow?
Mr. SKINNER. Precisely. There is not any one of our great trade organizations, like the Standard Oil Co., which has not that sort of method, and they have in effect a consular service of their own.
Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Moore, who has been obliged to leave, has some questions, and I have two or three. I understand the chairman thinks it is wise to adjourn now. Mr. Skinner, can you be here to-morrow.
Mr. SKINNER. I shall be entirely at your disposition.
Mr. ROGERS. A large number of gentlemen have indicated an interest in this measure. Among them are Mr. John W. Davis, former ambassador to Great Britain; Mr. Frank Polk, former Undersecretary of State; and Mr. Henry White, former ambassador to France and member of the Peace Conference at Versailles. They are men of very high repute and standing in this country, and have indicated a desire to come before the committee. I do not know what is the pleasure of the chairman or of the committee, but I simply want to make this reference at this time, so that it can be made to harmonize with the plans of future hearings.
The CHAIRMAN. As I told you, you are the introducer of the bill, and the matter of the testimony is entirely in your control.
Mr. ROGERS. If agreeable to the committee, my impression is that we had bet'er hear our technical experts first, Mr. Skinner, Mr. Carr, and Mr. Lay, and then we can bring in for more general discussion a little later the sort of men that I have mentioned.
The CHAIRMAN. Personally, I would like very much to hear them.
(Thereupon the committee adjourned to meet again at 10 o'clock a. m., Wednesday, December 13, 1922.)
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, Tuesday, December 12, 1922. The committee this day met, Hon. Stephen G. Porter (chairman) presiding.
STATEMENT OF MR. WILBUR J. CARR, DIRECTOR OF THE CON
SULAR SERVICE, STATE DEPARTMENT.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. Mr. Carr, will you give your full name and official position to the stenographer, and proceed.
Mr. CARR. Wilbur J. Carr, Director of the Consular Service, Department of State.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I think I should say at the beginning of my remarks about this bill, H. R. 12543, that the bill contains very little that is new in principle. You have done in Congress, in one form or another, practically everything that is in the bill. · You have in the past adopted the principle of classifying the diplomatic service below the grade of minister ; you have adopted the principle of classifying the entire consular service, and you have adopted the principle of post allowances. You have bonded consular officers, although you have not bonded diplomatic officers. You have established a retirement system for the classified civil-service employees of the Government. In other words, you have from time to time, first by one act and then by another, done practically everything for other governmental activities which this bill proposes to do for the diplomatic and consular services. The novel feature of this bill is the combination which it contains of those things which have been adopted by Congress in the past in one form and another and its application of them to the foreign service.
The first point to which I would like to direct your attention is that part of the bill which adopts a new and un form salary scale. You have already classified consuls with a minimum salary of $2,000 in class 9 up to a max mum salary of $12,000 for two consuls general in class 1. You have also classified the diplomatic secretaries, beginning with the minimum salary of $2,500 and going up to a maximum salary of $4,000. Now, when you undertake to break down the wall between the two services and bring about interchangeability between the two services, there must be provided some basis upon which that interchangeability can take place. Suppose you desire to take a diplomatic secretary of class 1, a counselor of embassy, and send h m as a consul general somewhere where his peculiar qualifications would be desirable. You would have to promote him from $4,000, his diplomatic-service salary, to $5,500, -$6,000, $8,000, $12,000, whatever the grade of consul general would seem to be required. That would be inequitable and immediately impair the morale in both branches of the service. On the other hand, if you should wish to take a consul general of superior commercial experience and make him, perhaps, counselor of an embassy, following the British plan of having commercial counselors of embassies to deal with quest ons of interest to the trade of the country, you would have to reduce him to $4,000. That would not work. An embassy should be able to avail itself of the commercial experience of a consul general without the necessity of reducing his salary in order to give him a position in the embassy. The only way that, apparently, it is feasible to provide for an interchangeable service, to unify the foreign service, promote the highest morale in both services, provide for the orderly transfer of men from one branch to the other is to provide a uniform salary scale that shall apply to both the diplomatic and consular branches of the service equally.
The salary scale in this bill has been devised for that purpose. It affords a scale of compensation that is certainly not excessive; $3,000 to $9,000 for all officers below the grade of minister is certainly a modest compensation. I think I can reenforce that statement a bit by calling your attention to what is done in the foreign service of at least one other government. The British Dip.omatic and Consular Service in the last few years since the war has been very thoroughly reorganized, as Mr. Skinner yesterday explained, and the compensation very generally increased. A consul general in the British service would have from $5,800 to $7,200 salary, as compared with our $5,500 to $8,000. I would rather leave out of consideration the two $12,000 places in the American service, because they are exceptions to the general rule, and it is hardly fair to make these two exceptional posts the basis of comparison. But in addition to the British salaries of $5,800 to $7,200, as compared with our $5,500 to $8,000, there is in addition a representat on allowance of from $1,400 to $1,900 and also a rent allowance of $1,200.
Mr. MOORE. What do you mean by representation allowances?
Mr. Carr. I mean by representation allowances those allowances which may be applied to the excessive cost of living, to entertainment, to various personal outlays that are involved in properly representing one's government in . foreign country place. For instance, the British Government gives its consul general in New York, I think, $7,200 salary, but its representation allowance is so much that it brings the total amount of his compensation up to $24,000.
Mr. BROWNE. Do they have to give an account of that fund?
Mr. CARR. They do, I think, up to a certain point have to give an account of the outlay for representation, although just exactly how they manage that, I am not sure. The representation allowance is apt to be a rather complex thing as applied to the foreign service of Great Britain. They have a method of splitting up those allowances administratively to cover different things. For instance, in the British service, in the diplomatic service there is an allowance for china, glass, and plate given to any minister appointed. There is an allowance for a new consul or a new secretary, for uniform, of $500, approximately. There are allowances for motor cars for each head of a mission, and so on. I might go on here with a long list of things that they provide for, which we do not. We provide for nothing but the office expenses and salary and pay traveling expenses, just as Great Britain pays the traveling expenses of its foreign service officers. It is hardly necessary to say that the State Department does. not seek authority to supply uniforms and motor cars to ambassadors and ministers.
Going back again to the compensation of our consular men, at Bucharest, in Rumania, the compensation happens to be nearly the same. We pay $5,000 ; Great Britain pays $5,840. At Gotenborg, Sweden, we pay $4,000; the Britis) pay $9,000. At Stockholm, we pay $8,000; they pay $6.400. In Poland, we pay $6,000; they pay $6,400. In Latin America, at Bahia, in Brazil, we pay $4,000 ; they pay $8,300. At Para, we pay $5,000; they pay $9,000. At Rio de Janeiro, we pay $8,000 ;-they pay $12,000. At Buenos Aires, we pay $8,000; they pay $11.900.
Mr. BROWNE. Do they exceed us generally in South America ?
Mr. CARR. Those cases are typical, and that is not true of South America alone; it is true also of other places. I am just outlining the places where the difference is very great.
Mr. ROGERS. May I ask whether in all the British places you are giving the figure represents salary plus representation ?
Mr. CARR. Plus representation allowances?
Mr. CARR. And other allowances as well, exclusive of office allowances. We do not include that as part of the compensation.
Mr. TEMPLE. The total compensation of one country as compared with the total compensation of the other.
Mr. CARR. Quite so. In Italy, at Genoa, the British pay $9,200; we pay $5,500. At Milan they pay $9,200; we pay $5,500. At Naples they pay $9,200; we pay $5,000. At Palermo they pay $6,400; we pay $4,000.
Those are typical salaries plus representation allowances plus personal and rental allowances.
Comparative statement, British and United States foreign service.
Percentage by which net cost of British service exceeds net cost of United States service, 60.
Comparative statement showing salaries of ambassadors and ministers at im
Comparative statement showing salaries of principal consular officers at imComparative statement, British and United States diplomatic service.
Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes..
Rosario.. Austria, Vienna Belgium, Antwerp. Brazil:
Rio de Janeiro.
9,246 6,447 9,246 6,447
8,000 8,000 4,000 5,500
1 Consul temporarily in charge. 2 Office now closed.
Mr. TEMPLE. Are those figures based on par of the British money, or are they based on the actual payments in money of the country to which the representatives are sent ?
Mr. CARR. They are based on par of British exchange, because it would be hardly feasible to calculate them in any other way, in view of the fluctuations in foreign currencies.
Mr. TEMPLE. May I ask why this extra allowance is called representation allowance?
Mr. CARR. Because it is the cost of representation.
Mr. CARR. Representing the Government; exactly. In the consular service it is comparatively modest. In their diplomatic service it is relatively large. For instance, take the British Embassy in Washington. The total amount which the British ambassador receives by way of compensation and representation allowance is, I think, close to $100,000; it is over $90,000.