The Secretary Of State A Summary Of His Duties 482

THE duties of the

Secretary of State are from time to time prescribed by the President of the United

States, and relate principally to carrying on correspondence, issuing commissions or instructions to or with public ministers or consuls from the

United States, or to negotiations with public ministers from foreign states or princes, or to memorials or other applications from foreign public ministers or other foreigners, or to such other matters respecting foreign affairs as the

President of the United States assigns to the department; and he conducts the business of the department in such manner as the President shall direct.

He has custody of the seal of the United States, and of the seal of the Department of State, and of all the books, records, papers, furniture, fixtures and other property in or belonging to the department.

When the President has approved and signed any bill, order, reso-lution or vote passed by Congress, or which becomes a law in any other prescribed manner, the Secretary of State shall receive it from the President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and give it due publication in print in the manner ordered by law. Also, when any new amendment to the national Constitution has been legally adopted, the Secretary of State shall give it due publication as prescribed in the statutes.

Annual Reports

He shall report annually to Congress the following particulars: An abstract of all the returns made to him pursuant to law by customs collectors at the various ports of the country, of seamen registered by them, and impressments of seamen and detention of vessels by foreign authorities. A statement of all such changes and modifications in the commercial systems of other nations, in any manner made, as shall have been communicated to his department.

Important information communicated by diplomatic and consular officers if he deems it valuable for publication to the people.

A full list of all consular officers.

A report of any rates or tariff of fees to be received by diplomatic or consular officers, prescribed by the President during the preceding year.

A statement of such fees as have been collected and accounted for by such officers during the preceding year.

A statement of lists of passengers arriving in the United States from foreign places, returned to him every three months by collectors of customs.

Names of any consular officers of foreign citizenship who may have been employed under salaries, and the circumstances of their appointment.

A statement of expenditures from the contingent fund required to be made by him, which must include all the contingent expenses of foreign intercourse and of all foreign ministers and their offices, except such expenditures as are settled upon the certificate of the President.

Every act of Congress that becomes a law of the land by regular process, together with every foreign treaty, postal convention, or congressional joint resolution adopted, must be sent to the public printer for legal publication by the Secretary of State, who is also to publish id one or more newspapers (not exceeding three) such commercial information that he may receive from diplomatic and consular officers as he may consider important to the public interests.

Passports. It is from this department, also, that passports are furnished, for $5.00, to all persons who desire to travel in foreign countries where passports are necessary. Copies of records in this department are copied by clerks for all persons at a cost to the applicant of ten cents for each 100 words in the desired statement.

Annual Salaries of Assistant Officers. The subordinate officers of this department, with their salaries, are as follows:


Asst. Secretaries



Chief Clerk...






Bureau Chiefs.



Clerks .....



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Clerks .....



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Messengers, Watchmen, Firemen, Laborers, etc., ranging from $660 to $840.

Each chief clerk has the supervision of the clerks in his bureau or division of the department, and regulates the amount and character of the duties of each, reporting particulars concerning such clerks, their short-comings, etc., to his superior officer monthly. In case of the death, removal, resignation, sickness, or incapacity of the head of any bureau, the next officer below him performs his duties until a successor is appointed.