The services given by consuls and diplomats represent a governmental activity which has been more expensive in many countries than the economic returns will warrant. Countries which maintain lavish courts at home have the notion that their prestige can be established abroad by maintaining similar establishments in foreign countries. The real service which these representatives might give is often overshadowed by the ostentatious display of the establishments. Countries with a democratic government have not emphasized this feature to a large extent. This fact has made it difficult, at times, to get competent men to fill diplomatic posts. The repret-sentatives of democratic governments feel that they must follow the standards which have been established by other countries, while the salaries will not permit them to do so without individual loss. The consular service has been important in aiding the development of commerce, but this becomes less necessary as market conditions become a matter of universal knowledge. Much might still be done, however, in overcoming national prejudices and in seeking methods for obtaining a market for goods in foreign countries.