Volume #13 - 9.|
CONDUCT OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR REPRESENTATION
Memorandum by Head, Consular Division|
April 14, 1947|
EXPANSION CANADIAN CONSULAR SERVICE|
Decision having been taken to expand the Canadian Consular Service, it is the purpose of this paper to discuss the circumstances prompting the decision, to make proposals regarding personnel, scales of pay, recruitment, etcetera, and to estimate staff requirements.
Historically, from the time of Confederation and largely until the present, consular functions on behalf of Canadians in foreign lands have been performed by H.B.M.5 Consuls. Until the Imperial Conference of 1926, from which sprang the Statute of Westminster, they alone provided protection for Canadians abroad, helped them in their difficulties with foreign governments, issued their passports, secured their visas, notarized their documents, registered the birth of their children, looked after their estates when they died and, in general, discharged those manifold responsibilities which by international custom and usage arc recognized as the duties of a Consul.
Even to-day it is the British Consuls who, under the law of Canada, perform all the consular duties which are necessary in ports abroad for Canadian seamen and merchant ships flying the Canadian flag.
Between the wars a beginning was made with Canadian representation abroad. A few diplomatic missions were established under the Department of External Affairs and the Trade Commissioner Service of the Department of Trade and Commerce was developed. At the diplomatic missions there were officers duly accredited for consular duties and the Trade Commissioners found that, though they were not accredited as consular officers to the countries in which they were serving, they could not in fact escape a measure of consular responsibility.
This was the position at the outbreak of war in 1939. Since the end of the war in Europe there has been a very rapid development of Canadian representation in foreign countries. To-day there are diplomatic missions in the following countries:
It is expected that other missions will shortly be opened at Rome and Ankara.
There are Consulates General at New York, Lisbon and Caracas, a Consulate at Sao Paulo, and Vice Consulates at Shanghai and Portland Me. [Oregon] Thus there are more than twenty diplomatic posts in foreign countries all of which have offices of consular rank and responsibility, in addition to the Canadian Military Mission in Germany and the Canadian Liaison Mission to Japan, which also perform consular functions.
The above does not take into account the Offices of the High Commissioners in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Newfoundland and India, where technically such Officers are not described as Consuls but none the less perform consular functions.
It has now been decided that further development of Canadian consular representation cannot be postponed and that it is for various reasons desirable to accelerate the process of relieving British Consuls of Canadian responsibilities at points outside the capitals of foreign countries. The Department has been impelled to this decision particularly because of the situation which exists in the United States of America. In that country, with the exception of the District of Columbia and the City of New York, Canadian consular work is done almost entirely by British Consuls. The essentially close association which exists between the two countries, the large Canadian population in the United States - particularly in New England, the border cities and California, the common interests coupled to increasing specific Canadian problems, such as those which arise from the new Canadian Citizenship Act, the vast interchange of tourist population, all contribute to a need for direct Canadian consular representation. It is no longer compatible with our Canadian status that our affairs should continue to be the responsibility of United Kingdom representatives; nor in the economic circumstances of the present day can it be thought very fair that we should expect the United Kingdom to bear the cost (estimated at $250,000. per annum) of doing purely Canadian work in the territory of our nearest neighbour.
With these facts in mind, it is intended to open four new Canadian Consulates (one or two of which may be Consulates General) in the United States by the close of the present year, with the expectation that three more may be necessary in succeeding months, making with the Consulate General in New York a total of eight consular posts in the United States outside the capital at Washington.
It will, therefore, be seen that in the course of the next twelve months it may be expected that there will be more than forty Canadian diplomatic offices abroad doing Canadian consular work. This will call for an addition of some twenty-five to thirty-five officers of rank equivalent to that of F.S.O. Beyond that it is scarcely possible to forecast; it seems, however, more and more likely that wherever there is substantial Canadian consular work to be done it will be proper for the Department to assume the responsibility, which will in some measure at least depend upon the extension of Canadian trade and shipping into world markets.
It is desirable here to set out in general what a Consul does; reference will be made later to particular and detailed duties. The tasks of the Consul vary in some measure with his particular location; i.e., whether he is a member of a diplomatic mission situated at a capital, or at a post outside the capital in a country where a diplomatic mission is established, or at a post in a country where he is the only representative of his own country.
Wherever he may bd: he is the representative of Canada. "Whether he is assigned to a large or small country, the majority of people who have never visited his own land will judge the nation by its representative; just as surely as those who have visited it will be quick to notice if he lacks the right qualifications." (Sir G. Campbell 'Of True Experience'). His representational responsibilities are the same as those of any other Foreign Service Officer of equivalent rank.
It is impossible to lay too much emphasis on this representational aspect. Whenever he is the officer in charge of his post, he must take his place as the recognized and accredited leader of the local Canadian community. It is his duty to promote satisfactory relations and to report all matters of interest to the Government of Canada occurring within his allotted territory.
There are three classes of consular officers:
Since Consuls General will usually be appointed by ministerial selection rather than by Civil Service process, this paper does not discuss their duties, qualifications, or emoluments.
To represent Canada at a post abroad, to promote Canadian interests in the country to which he is posted, to maintain registers of Canadians living in the area under his jurisdiction, to encourage Canadian tourist trades, to handle applications for immigration to Canada, to prepare political and commercial reports, to look after the interests of Canadian Merchant Seamen and shipping abroad, to issue travel documents and grant visas, to render assistance to distressed Canadian nationals, to prepare and notarize documents, to conduct correspondence, to maintain records and accounts, and to perform such other related duties as may from time to time be prescribed.
It should be noted that though the representational duties of a Consul will vary with the post at which he may be stationed, his particular responsibilities as defined above remain fairly constant.
When a Consul is stationed at a capital where there is a diplomatic mission, he will be responsible to the Head of Mission for all the consular activities at the post. When he is at a Consulate General, he will be responsible in the same manner to the Consul General. At an independent post he will be in sole charge.
Age, not less than forty years. Education, graduation from a university of recognized standing or its equivalent in experience in an administrative capacity in official, business or professional life. He should be a man of good bearing, breeding and dignity, having extensive experience as noted above. He should have the general ability to acquire at least a working knowledge of international law and customs concerning consular practices, and a complete and detailed knowledge of all Canadian instructions and regulations dealing with consular and related matters. He should possess facility in public speaking, tact and ability to meet the public.
The duties of a Vice-Consul vary only in degree with those of a Consul. He will .be required to deal with the same wide range of subjects, but usually under the supervision of a Consul to whom he will be responsible.
Age, not less than twenty-five years. Education, graduation from a university of recognized standing - proven capacity and suitability by service in the Department of External Affairs may be accepted in lieu of university graduation, good family background, general cultivation and pleasant personality, experience - either post-graduate, academic, business, professional or Departmental.
Consuls and Vice-Consuls Emoluments
Salaries as above would be supplemented while on post by such allowances as might be approved.
Recruitment of Consuls and Vice-Consuls
It will be noted that the salary ranges proposed for Consuls and Vice-Consuls are the same as those already approved for Foreign Service Officers Grades Ito VI.
This is because of the importance in the Departmental view of ensuring that as far as possible there should be maximum interchangeability within the Department.
It will, however, be observed that the educational qualifications for Consuls differ from those demanded for Foreign Service Officers in that for the former there is a measure of relaxation of the university graduation requirement. It is necessary to emphasize that there is no intention that this relaxation should be widely, or at all generally, applied. Ordinarily the Department would hope to provide its Consuls and Vice-Consuls from the ranks of the Foreign Service Officers. In the present circumstances, however, there are no Foreign Service Officers of suitable seniority available for appointment as Consuls, and it is not thought that advertisement would produce the necessary desirable graduate applicants. Moreover, with the passing of the years and the acquisition of general business, professional, or official experience, the technical qualification of university graduation diminishes in importance to the general suitability of the candidate. In the particular classes of Consuls Grades I, II and III, as suggested above, it will be seen that the Department is seeking men with a minimum age of forty years, and in the more senior appointments some candidates over fifty may be the most suitably equipped all round. If a senior candidate with unusual qualifications, but without a university degree, is available, at this stage when the matter is urgent, it would be only good business to employ him.
A second and compelling reason for relaxing the university graduation requirement is that of providing an avenue of promotion in the Foreign Service of Canada for men and women who have proved their capacity and all round suitability for advancement by service in the Department of External Affairs.
It is not expected that there will be any large number of appointments made to consular posts from either of the two classes mentioned above. As stated, the normal source of recruitment would be the F.S.O. classes. The sole purpose of the proposal now made is - first to take care of the initial needs of a relatively few senior consular posts - and second to provide a more distant horizon for really able people in the lower ranks of the Departmental service.
It is, therefore, proposed that Consuls and Vice-Consuls, as above, should, be drawn from two classes:
a) F.S.O. Grades Ito VI, and
Anticipated Quantitive Requirements
A survey is about to be undertaken, by actual visit of a senior officer, of the requirements at various points in the United States of America. When that survey is completed, it will be possible to speak with much greater definition. However, it may be expected that in the course of the next twelve months the requirements of the Consular Service may absorb as many as twenty-four officers of rank equivalent to Foreign Service Officer Grades IV, V, and VI and forty-four officers of rank equivalent to Foreign Service Officer Grades II, III, and I. Of this number it seems probable that approximately one half will be required between July 1st and September 30th, 1947, and that the remainder may be absorbed during the period October 1st, 1947 to March 1948. This admittedly very rough estimate is based on the assumption that at rock bottom the requirements of the Head Office establishment and of eight consular posts in the United States would absorb approximately forty officers of the above ranks. The estimate of an additional twenty-eight is based on the belief that Canadian consular responsibilities are constantly expanding and the knowledge that posts abroad are at present, in many cases, seriously understaffed with trained consular personnel.
It is estimated that the following will be required as a minimum Headquarters establishment:
1 F.S.O. Grade V or VI, or equivalent rank
As some indication of order of magnitude, it is very roughly estimated that a Consulate General or large Consulate in the United States might absorb:
2 F.S.O.'s Grade V or VI, or equivalent rank
5His Britannic Majesty.