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“ The word consul' is ordinarily used, in a specific sense, to denote a particular grade in the consular service; but it is sometimes used also, in a generic sense, to embrace all consular officers.--15 C. Cls. R. 74."
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), $ 14, p. 6.
consul in China, and late international law adviser to the Govern-
“ The term 'consular officer' includes consuls-general, consuls, commercial agents, deputy consuls, vice-consuls, vice-commercial agents, and consular agents, and none others."
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), $ 2, p. 3, citing Rev.
Stats., sec. 1674.
“ Consuls-general, consuls, and commercial agents are full, principal, and permanent consular officers, as distinguished from subordinates and substitutes.-R. S., sec. 1674. Vice-consuls or vice-commercial agents, when in charge, are acting consuls or commercial agents for the time being, and are principal consular officers.—33 Fed. Rep. 167."
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), $ 3, p. 3.
Although consuls have diplomatic functions in the Barbary States, their letters of credence have been in conformity with their commissions, which, until recently, in every instance described them as consuls merely. No consul with such a title was warranted in officially assuming also the title of “ agent."
Mr. J. C. B. Davis, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Vidal, consul at Tripoli, No.
30, July 10, 1873, MS. Inst. Barbary Powers, XV. 558. The American consular representative at Cairo, Egypt, has by statute the
title of “ Diplomatic Agent and Consul-General.”
Vice-consular officers,' or 'substitute consular officers,' includes vice-consuls general, vice-consuls, and vice-commercial agents. Subordinate consular officers' includes deputy consuls-general, deputy consuls, and consular agents.-R. S., sec. 1674.”
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), $ 4, p. 4.
Commercial agents are by the laws of the United States (Revised Statutes, sec. 1674) full, principal, and permanent consular officers. They differ from the latter only in rank or grade. The title of the office, as representing a distinct grade in the consular service, is peculiar to the service of the United States.
Commercial agents in the United States service are to be distinguished from certain officers, described in international law by the same title, who are not usually regarded as entitled to the full rank and privileges of a consular officer. The exigencies of the public service have necessitated the appointment by the United States from time to time of commercial agents of this character, and the right to appoint them is at all times reserved; but such appointments have usually been made to countries whose governments have not yet been recognized by the United States and to which it was desired to send a confidential agent whose recognition need not be asked from the local government. Prior to the act of August 1, 1856, which reorganized the consular service, and raised commercial agents to the consular rank, the officers appointed by the United States with the title of commercial agent were usually those of limited powers.
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), secs. 15, 16, pp. 6–7. While the Austro-Hungarian government declines to issue exequaturs to “commercial agents" of the United States, such agents not being specifically mentioned in the treaty of 1870, yet it will recognize such an official as a “commercial (consular) agent," and will issue orders permitting him to carry out his consular functions.
By the act of April 5, 1906, for the reorganization of the consular
service, " the grade of commerical agent is abolished." An example of the appointment of a commercial agent of the second class
above referred to may be seen in the following instruction : “The Department has learned with regret that the Grand Duke of Tus
cany has established a rule not to recognize the consuls of any nation
at the city of Florence. "To obviate in some degree the inconvenience of this decision, as well
as to enable you, so far as you may be able, to extend airl to citizens of the United States in Tuscany requiring your assistance, and to perform such other official acts as your position may render necessary, I transmit herewith the certificate of your appointment as
commercial agent. “The duties of a commercial agent are similar to those of a consul, and
the same instructions are ven to each, yet he does ot, like the latter, bear a commission from the government; this is given only under the seal of the United States. He is a mere Executive agent sent abroad for the promotion and advantage of American commercial interests, selected by the Department, corresponding with, instructed, and controlled by the Department, and bearing an authority from the President under the seal of the Department. His recog. nition by the local authorities where he resides, altho' always important as affording facilities in the performance of his luties, is not necessary to it. In some instances these agencies are conferred upon persons who are directed to keep the trust contided to them secret, and these appointments do not necessarily carry with them a recognition on the part of this Government of the existing authority
at the places to which they are made. " It will not probably be deemed expedient for you to request from the
government of Tuscany a recognition of your appointment.” (Mr. Everett, Sec. of State, to Mr. Lance, consul at Florence, Jan. 26, 1853, 14 MS. Desp. to Consuls, 473.)
For. Rel. 1903, 14-16.
Vice-consuls and vice-commercial agents are consular officers who shall be substituted temporarily to fill the place of consuls-general, consuls, or commercial agents, when they shall be temporarily absent or relieved from duty. They have, accordingly, no functions or powers when the principal officer is present at his post, but their functions are coextensive with his when he is absent from his district and in all cases where they are lawfully in charge of the office.
Consular Regulations of the l'nited States (1896), § 17, p. 7, citing
Revised Statutes, sec. 1674; 33 Fed. Rep. 167.
“ Deputy consuls are consular officers subordinate to their principals, exercising the powers and performing the duties within the limits of their consulates at the same ports or places where their principals are located. They may perform their functions when the principal is absent from his district, as well as when he is at his post ; but they are not authorized, in the former case, to assume the responsible charge of the office, that being the duty of the vice-consul. R. S., sec. 1674."
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), § 18, p. 8.
“ The substitute and subordinate officers of consuls-general are by statute simply designated as vice-consuls and deputy consuls. It is customary, however, and the practice is indirectly recognized in the statutes, to designate such officers as vice-consuls-general and deputy consuls-general. Their powers and duties are the same as specified for vice and deputy consuls in the two preceding paragraphs. R. S., secs. 1674, 4130.”
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), $ 19, p. 8.
The law does not specifically provide for the appointment of a “ deputy consul-general,” but the word “general " is used to show that the deputy is attached to a consul-general. Legally, it is mere surplusage, and does not alter the deputy's functions, “which are those of a deputy consul."
Mr. Wharton, Assist. Sec. of State, to Mr. Kissam, March 7, 1891, 181 MS.
Dom. Let. 168; Mr. t'hl, Assist. Sec. of State, to Mr. Miller, Nov. 26, 1895, 206 MS. Dom. Let. 206.
“ Consular agents are consular officers subordinate to their principals, exercising the powers and performing the duties within the limits of their consular agencies, but at ports or places different from those at which their principals are located. R. S., sec. 1674. Their functions are not, in all respects, as extensive as those of the principal officer. Though they act at places different from the seat of the principal office and their duties are in substance the same toward persons desiring consular services, they act only as the representative of the principal, and are subject and subordinate to him. They are not authorized to correspond with the Department of State, unless through the principal or under exceptional circumstances; they make no returns or reports directly to the Department, and they are not permitted to render accounts or make any drafts for expenditures on the Departments of the Government, unless under express instructions."
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), $ 20, p. 8.
“The President is authorized to appoint consular clerks, not exceeding thirteen in number at any one time, who shall be citizens of the United States and over 18 years of age at the time of their appointment. They can not be removed from office except for cause, stated in writing, which shall be submitted to Congress at the session first following such removal. They may be assigned, from time to time, to such consulates and with such duties as the Secretary of State may direct. When so assigned, they are subordinate to the principal consular officer at the post. They will perform such clerical or other duties of the consulate as he may designate, and carefully observe and obey his instructions in all respects.-R. S. secs. 1704, •1705. (Paragraphs 511, 512.)”
Consular Regulations of the United States (1896), $ 23, p. 9.
(Consular Regulations $ 24, p. 10.)
As stated above, by the act of April 5, 1906, for the reorganization of the consular service, “ the grade of commercial agent is abolished.”
By the same act, provision is made for the appointment of five inspectors of consulates, to be designated and commissioned as consuls-general at large.” They are to be appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, from the members of the consular force, and are each to receive a salary of $5,000 and expenses of travel and subsistence. Their business is to inspect consular offices, under the direction of the Secretary of State. Each consular office is to be inspected at least once in two years. Moreover, whenever the President “ has reason to believe that the business of a consulate or a consulate-general is not being properly conducted and that