This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
THE diplomatic officers of the United States include the following:
Embassadors. - Persons sent by one sovereign power to another sovereign power to transact public business of importance and interest to one or both of them. Envoys - Extraordinary-Public ministers, or officers, sent from one sovereignty to another on special business of importance.
Ministers - Plenipotentiary - Embassadors, or negotiators, or envoys, sent to a foreign seat of government with full diplomatic powers.
Ministers - Resident - Embassadors with diplomatic powers who reside continually at a foreign seat of government.
Commissioners - Persons appointed by a sovereign power to confer with similar persons from another sovereign power, and decide any special and disputed question of international interest or importance.
Charges d'affaires - Ministers of the third or lowest class, sent to a foreign seat of government. Agents - Officers sent to a foreign country, with limited powers, to treat upon specified international matters.
Secretaries of Legation - Officers appointed by the President to accompany ministers to foreign governments to assist them in their official duties.
The foregoing diplomatic officers are appointed by the President, and confirmed by the United States Senate.
But one minister resident is accredited to Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Salvador, and Nicaragua, living in either of these States that he may select.
Ministers resident and consuls-general, combined in the same person, are accredited to the Republics of Hayti and Liberia.
The consul-general at Constantinople is the secretary of legation to Turkey, but receives compensation only as a consul-general.
Any regularly-appointed diplomatic officer upon whom devolves another similar office while holding the first, is allowed 50 per cent. additional pay as long as he holds the second office.
All fees collected at the legations are accounted for to the Secretary of the Treasury. Consular Officers.
"Consul general," "consul," and "commercial agent," denote full, principal and permanent consular officers, as distinguished from subordinates and substitutes.
Either of these terms designate an officer of greater or less degree, appointed to reside at a certain place in a foreign country, to protect the commerce and commercial interests of the United States.
"Deputy-consul" and "consular agent" denote consular officers who are subordinate to such principals, exercising the powers and performing the duties within the limits of their consulates or commercial agencies, respectively, the former at the same ports or places, and the latter at ports or places different from those at which such principals are respectively located.
"Vice-consuls" and "vice-commercial agents" denote consular officers who are temporarily substituted to fill the places of consuls-general, consuls or commercial agents when they are temporarily absent, or relieved from duty.
The term "consular officer" includes the foregoing persons and none others.
No consul-general or consul may hold those offices at any other place than that to which each is appointed.
All consular officers whose salaries exceed $1,000 a year, cannot, while holding office, be interested in or transact any business as merchants, factors, brokers or other traders, or as clerks or agents for any such persons.
The President has authority to appoint consular clerks, not exceeding thirteen in number, who must be citizens of the United States and over eighteen years old when appointed, and assign them from time to time to such consulates and with such duties as he shall direct. Such clerks must be duly examined as to their qualifications by an examining board, who report to the Secretary of State, before their appointment.
Consuls and vice-consuls have the right, in the ports or places to which they are severally appointed, of receiving the protests or declarations which captains, masters, crews, passengers or merchants, who are citizens of the United States, may choose to make there, and also such as any foreigner may make before them relative to the personal interest of any citizen of the United States. Every consular officer is also required to keep a list of all seamen and mariners shipped and discharged by him, giving the particulars of each transaction, the payments made on account of each man, if any; also, of the number of vessels arrived and departed, the amounts of their tonnage, the number of their seamen and mariners, and of those who are protected, and whether citizens of the United States or not, and as nearly as possible the nature and value of their cargoes and where produced, making returns of the same to the Secretary of the Treasury; also to take possession of the personal estate left by any citizen of the United States (other than seamen belonging to any vessel), who dies within the jurisdiction of that consulate, leaving no representative or relative by him to take care of his effects.
The consul inventories the effects, collects debts due to the deceased, pays those due from him, sells such of the property of the deceased as is perishable in its nature, and after one year the remainder, unless, in the meantime, some relative or representative of the deceased comes to claim his effects, paying the accrued fees. In case no relative or representative appears, the consul forwards the remainder of the effects, the accounts, etc., to the Secretary of the Treasury in trust for the legal claimants.
Persons dying abroad may appoint consular officers their agents for the disposal of their effects, etc., or any other person instead, and the consular officer may be called upon to assist in caring for the property and interests of the deceased.
Consular officers are required to procure and transmit to the Department of State authentic information concerning the commerce of such countries, of such character, in such manner and form, and at such times as the Department of State may prescribe; also, the prices-current of all articles of merchandise usually exported to the United States from the port or place at which the consular officer is stationed. Other duties of a commercial character are fully prescribed by the laws, with restrictions and penalties for violations of the rules and regulations governing consulates.