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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 5, 1898

Russia,   pp. 531-557 PDF (2.0 MB)

Page 532

Mr. Day to Mr. Hitchcock.
No. 69.] DEPARTMENT OF STATE, May 23, 1898.
 SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 54 of the 30th ultimo,
recommending that the first secretary of your embassy may be styled conseiller
in the list of the diplomatic corps issued by the imperial department of
Calvo, in his Dictionary of International Law, states that— The conseiller
of embassy or of legation is an agent whom governments attach
sometimes to diplomatic missions in order to assist with his advice the public
minister in affairs of certain importance, or which demand special knowledge
which the minister is not deemed to possess.
 No diplomatic usage has fixed the attributes of the conseiller of legation.
They are ordinarily determined by his government, and are merged into those
of secretary of legation. It is the rule to-day, in the absence of formal
instructions to the contrary, for the conseiller to supply the place of the
chief of the mission, disabled or absent; and it is only in succession to
the former, or in his absence,
- that this task is devolved upon the first secretary. The conseiller shares
the privileges and immunities recognized in secretaries. Like the latter,
he is named and appointed by the government itself, which gives notice of
his nomination to the ministers of foreign affairs of the country where he
is to reside. He is presented to the sovereign of this country by the chief
of the post to which he is attached. He is clothed with a certain representative
character; enjoys immunities of his own, independently of the ambassador,
or of the chief of legation, but has no right to any ceremonial. In 0 erinany
the title of conseiller of legation is conferred upon the conseiller of the
department of foreign affairs.
 The above definition shows that the conseiller is virtually a secretary
of legation.
 Clause S of section 1674 of the Revised Statutes enumerates the list of
diplomatic officers of the United States, and excludes all others. In this
list the office of conseiller is not mentioiied.
 Section 37 of Instructions to Diplomatic Officers, which is based upon the
law above referred to, prohibits in spirit, if not in letter, the designation
of the first secretary as conseiller. The Department is, therefore, of opinion
that this can not be done except by statutory authority.
 Respectfully, yours, WILLIAM R. DAY.
Mr. Hitchcock to Mr. Day.
St. Petersburg, June 7, 1898.
 SIR: I. have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 69, of May
23, relating to the designation of the first secretary of this embassy as
conseiller. I note that in the opinion of the Department this could only
be done by statutory authority; but for reasons given in my No. S4, of April
30, I trust the Department may see fit to secure such legislative enactment
as will cover this point.
I have, etc.

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