Volume #12 - 16.|
CONDUITE DES RELATIONS EXTÉRIEURES
REPRÉSENTATION DIPLOMATIQUE ET CONSULAIRE
Mémorandum de la troisième direction politique|
le 23 octobre 1946|
RE COMMERCIAL OFFICER IN SÂO PAULO, BRAZIL|
Previous memos1 have indicated the recommendation of Mr. Désy that the new Trade and Commerce officer (Mr. J, C. Depocas) appointed to Sâo Paulo should be designated as Consul. This recommended designation is desired and expected by Mr. Depocas; it is endorsed by the Diplomatic Division, and also by Mr. Kirk-wood.
The arguments in favour have been given by Mr. Désy as follows:
Other arguments that may be added are:
(6) Mr. Depocas, who has had several years in Italy as Assistant Trade Commissioner and nearly eight years in Argentina as Assistant Trade Commissioner and Assistant and Acting Commercial Secretary, is qualified to be Consul. He also feels that any other title would not give him (a) the prestige necessary for his work; (b) access to official circles or consular colleagues; (c) official status socially in Sâo Paulo; (d) the immunities and privileges he has enjoyed in Argentina, and which have a pecuniary benefit.
(7) A sense of inferiority of position would make for less enthusiastic work, and would have a bad psychological reaction on an able officer.
(8) We already have Trade Commissioners designated as Consuls in New York, Lisbon and Caracas.
(9) The origin of our diplomatic service was (a) to relieve British (U.K.) offices of Canadian work, (both diplomatic and consular), and (b) to assist Canadian Trade Commissioners to have more official access to foreign government departments. These objectives would be promoted in Sâo Paulo by designating the Trade Commissioner as Consul.
In a memo of Mr. J. H. Cleveland to Mr. Beaudry of September 3, 1946t re Canadian Consuls to U.S.S.R. (file 2462-40C), he summarizes the duties of Canadian Consuls as follows:
"(a) To act as the liaison between the commercial communities of the two countries, promoting trade between them with the emphasis upon exports from his own country.
"(b) Protecting the interests of Canadian nationals abroad, e.g. registering births, issuing or renewing passports, assisting in difficulties with customs and police officials.
"(c) In ports looking after the interests of Canadian shipping and seamen.
"(d) Acting in a representative capacity-this includes the creation of goodwill between the two countries and an exchange of cultural information.
(i) Commercial: This is ordinarily done by Trade Commissioners and is an ancient function of Consuls; and
(ii) Political: This is more recent but has certainly become accepted in the British Consular Service."
The Legal Division opposes the designation of Trade Commissioners as Consuls, primarily, it seems, over their implied passport and visa duties.
It does not seem that there should be more difficulty for a seasoned Trade Commissioner to learn the practice of this than for new diplomatic secretaries, or for Embassy officers who must learn by communicated instructions.
If this objection is persisted in, however, the Consul in Sâo Paulo need not at present assume those duties; but merely supply requisite forms to applicants and refer all passport and visa matters to the Embassy in Rio, as is at present done. This would at least be better than leaving such business to the local British Consul.
The consular duty of "political reporting" would not be essential, as this is done by the Embassy in Rio.
The consular duty of protecting Canadian interests in Sâo Paulo, assisting in difficulties with customs and police officials, could be better done by a Consul than by a "Trade Commissioner".
In general, the interests of Canada as a whole would be better served by a "Consul" in Sâo Paulo than a Trade Commissioner.
K. P. KIRKWOOD
1 Note marginale: