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work of the day is done ; differing in The salaries of the supplemental this respect from other public offices, clerks vary, but are smaller in proporwhich have fixed and regular hours of tion to the above list. Promotion is by attendance. The amount of work to be seniority, but no extra pay is given for done is said to vary considerably, some work done after the nominal six hours times being very slight, and at other of attendance, as is the case in many times overwhelming. The business is other Government offices. transacted in the following manner :- The competition system of examinaThere are four clerks resident in the office, tion has been applied to clerkships. On who in turn attend to the receipt of de- a vacancy occurring, three candidates spatches out of office hours, and forward are named by the Secretary of State, them to the under-secretaries, by whom who are examined by the Civil Service they are sent on to the Secretary of State. Commissioners, He returns them to the under-secretary, 1. In handwriting. giving on each such directions as they 2. In writing English and French appear to require, or asking for further from dictation. information, and the under-secretary 3. In French. sends them out to the proper department 4. In making a précis or abstract of to be registered and acted upon. Letters papers. which arrive in office hours go to the In cases of equality, a knowledge of under-secretary direct, and follow the German is to decide to whom the presame course. Drafts of answers are ference is to be given. The limit of written by the senior clerk of the de- age is between eighteen and twentypartment to which they belong, and are four. submitted by him to the superintending Such is a brief sketch of the organiunder-secretary, who, in matters of im zation of the Foreign Office, and of the portance, consults the Secretary of State. system of transacting business adopted All drafts of political despatches are sent there. This system has certainly sucfor approval to the Prime Minister and ceeded in preventing the confusion from to the Queen, before the despatch is sent arising which has elsewhere taken place; off. Despatches received are also sent to while the amount of salary, and the the Prime Minister and the Queen, and prospect of regular promotion, combined are afterwards circulated among the Ca. with the social position which its serbinet Ministers. Business is carried on vice is supposed to give, have obtained with great rapidity, and letters are often for the office a higher character than received and disposed of on the same that of most other public establishday.
ments. The salaries at the Foreign Office are The diplomatic corps is divided into as follows:- The permanent under-secre- the heads of missions and their subortary receives 2,0001. a year; the par- dinates. The former consists of ambasliamentary and the assistant under-se- sadors, envoys, ministers and chargés cretary receive 1,5001. each. The chief des affaires. The subordinate employés clerk, who superintends the finance and are secretaries of embassy and legation, passport business, has a salary of 1,0001., and paid and unpaid attachés. The increasing at 501. to 1,2501. The salaries career is in theory a regular one, and of the five classes of the ordinary clerks it is supposed that a man begins as range
unpaid attaché, and works his way up
to the top of the profession ; but this is 8 senior clerks at 7001. increasing at 251. a year to 1,0001. by no means the case in practice, for 8 assistant clerks , » 5501. „ 201. „ 6501.
there are numerous instances of “inter10 first-class ju
lopers,” possessing strong political influnior clerks
5451. 9 second-class
ence, having been brought in and put junior clerks,, 1501.
3001. over the heads of those who have 6 thir!-class
Diplomacy with us has been the branch of the Civil Service where personal influence has done most for a man, and individual talent has done least. Considerable influence has hitherto been required to get a nomination to an appointment connected with the Foreign Office, and attachéships, in particular, have been strictly confined to the aristocracy. Interest is required to get the first appointment; interest has to be exerted to obtain each step of promotion; and interest again is of essential use in obtaining a post at an agreeable place of residence. When an attaché is first appointed, he works for several years without pay, and has to defray himself all the expenses of his outfit and journey to his post; if he possesses strong influence, he may be nominated a paid attaché after about two years' service, but otherwise he may have to wait eight or ten years, or even longer, before a compassionate Secretary of State will take pity on him. Afterwards, when his turn for promotion as secretary would naturally come, he may have to take a post in South America, and leave European appointments to his more fortunate colleagues. It may excite some surprise, that under these circumstances men should be found so eager to enter the diplomatic service; but every one at twenty indulges in strong hopes of individual good fortune, and relies on his own talents and interest, and calls to mind the instances of persons who, in their career as diplomatists, have won the highest honours of the State. Diplomacy, on the other hand, as a profession, has great and peculiar advantages. It procures an introduction to the best society in every country, and brings its members into direct personal contact with the leading men of the age ; and, moreover, it soon affords, especi. ally at the large capitals, a pleasure which a man is most unwilling to give up. We see in our own day, from the publication of the secret despatches, and various private letters, and other documents of former centuries, what different ideas of men and things were enter
generally ; for instance, what new light has been by this means thrown on the policy of Elizabeth and of the sovereigns and ministers of that era. The members of the diplomatic body are behind the scenes, as it were, of public life; and, though we are doubtless unwilling to think that posterity will know as many secrets about the events of our age as we know about the events of bygone times, yet we are much mistaken if the history of Queen Victoria's reign would not be very differently written by a contemporary, and by a historian living in the reign of Albert the Sixth.
It must also be observed that, until lately, diplomacy was not even so strictly a profession as it is now. Originally, ambassadors were only occasionally sent; and, although resident missions have now been established for about two centuries, the different gradations of diplomatic rank have been slowly and gradually defined and recognised. An ambassador had a secretary to assist him, who was furnished with a royal commission, and was allowed to "attach" such persons as he liked to his legation, who, in return for the advantages which they thus obtained, assisted in the discharge of the official business. Such was the origin of attachés. A property qualification was necessary for those who went abroad in this manner, and this requirement has been strictly kept up. Some persons having been retained long at a particular place, and having rendered themselves useful, obtained a salary and further advancement in the service. But, although the Foreign Office has so much encroached on the patronage of ministers abroad that attachéships are almost invariably conferred by the Secretary of State, a man, even at the present time, does not become a regular servant of the Crown by holding a commission until he is appointed secretary of legation or embassy. Formerly also, on a change of ministry at home, British representatives abroad were removed, and were succeeded by members of the same
this has ceased to be the case of late years, and our representatives are, as a rule, retained longer at the same post than those of other powers—a change which has been productive of much benefit to the service, by enabling our ministers to fix their attention on foreign questions, and by rendering them more independent.
At many of the embassies the amount of work to be done is considerable. At Paris, attendance has to be given for seven hours daily, nor is Sunday by any means a day of rest. In fact, messengers are so sent from London, that both at Paris and Vienna, Sunday is the day when they arrive, and much business has therefore necessarily to be done on that day. The business of our embassies is of a commercial, as well as of a political nature. Besides keeping the Government informed with regard to all political events, reports are required to be made on important commercial questions, accompanied frequently by statistical tables. Copies have to be sent home of all public notices relative to navigation, and of decrees and laws affecting trade, and vast correspondence takes place on matters connected with the commercial interests of British subjects in foreign countries, their complaints against local authorities, and not unfrequently the loss of their luggage, or other mishaps which befal them in travelling. Several notarial acts, when done abroad, are required by law to be performed before a minister or secretary. It thus appears that the office of a British minister at a foreign court is at the present day, by no means a sinecure. Communication between the Foreign Office and the different missions takes place by means of messengers sent at stated times, as well as by post.
Attachés, on their nomination, have to pass an examination before the Civil Service Conimissioners. This examinanation has hitherto not been competitive, and comprises the following subjects : Handwriting; English and French dictation; French; translation from either German, Latin, Spanish, or Italian; geo
modern history since 1789, and particularly that of the country to which they are going. On promotion to the rank of paid attaché, several examinations have to be passed in the languages of the countries in which they may have resided since their appointment, a report has to be made on the commercial and political relations of those countries, their institutions, &c., and a knowledge of international law has to be shown.
The present rates of salary are as follows :Ambassadors . receive from 10,0001. to 7,0001. a year.
5,0001. , 2,0001. Chargé d'Affaires Secretaries.
1,0001. , 4001. Paid Attachés. "
5001. » 2501. ,, The larger salaries are, of course, assigned to the principal posts, not only on account of the more important duties to be performed, but also on account of the expense of living.
With regard to the question of salaries, we do not think that the diplomatic profession has, on the whole, any reason to complain. The desire which some of our ministers evince to run a race in extravagance with their French colleagues, ought not to be encouraged. We have lately seen what the consequence has been in France of every department of the Government giving way to a prodigal expenditure of the public money, and we have no wish to see the introduction of any similar spirit in our service. Our diplomatists should understand that they are sent abroad to watch over the interests of England and the general cause of human progress, and not to set an example of extravagance and ostentation. In former years, it was customary for ministers to give presents to persons connected with the Court to which they were accredited : we believe that England was the first power to relinquish this practice, and our influence abroad has suffered no diminution in consequence. Again, most other nations confer decorations profusely on foreign diplomatists, but England has always abstained from doing so, even when they have been almost asked for. Prince Metternich was very desirous of services, in bringing Austria to side with the Allied Powers against Napoleon, would induce the English Ministry to depart from the established rule. Our regulations on this point have not injured our influence, and we feel sure that if the expenditure of our representatives was restricted to moderate limits, they would not be less respected, nor the just influence of this country be weakened. We regret to observe, that both Lord Stratford de Redcliffe and Lord John Russell said, before the Committee of the House of Commons on the Diplomatic service, that our representatives ought to live in the same manner, and at the same rate, as the highest class of society in the country in which they reside. It appears to us that this statement may lead to very erroneous impressions. The persons referred to possess country houses and estates which necessitate a large expenditure; and it appears to us that our ministers, instead of being provided with an income to enable them to vie with this class of society, should have an income sufficient to enable them to maintain a position in town equal to that of the ministers of state at the place of their residence. A house should also be provided at Government expense ; it should be taken on lease for a term of years, and not be the actual property of Government; for, at Paris, where the embassy-house has been purchased, the cost of keeping it in repair would have sufficed to build it several times over. Constantinople, and other eastern capitals, are the only exceptions to this rule.
The difference in position between an ambassador and a minister is, that the former is always enabled to obtain an audience of the sovereign, and to bring matters to his personal knowledge, whereas a minister has not this privilege. It is therefore of consequence to be represented by an ambassador at the court of an absolute monarch, but the same necessity does not exist at places where the administration is in the hands of a cabinet responsible to a chamber
Though we consider that our representatives abroad are sufficiently paid, we must say that the secretaries of embassy and legation, whose salaries, as before stated, range from 1,0001. to 4001. are underpaid. A man must serve for many years before he attains to this rank, and when he obtains this step in promotion, he įhas to look forward to another long period of service before he can expect further promotion. Of course there are instances of persons who are pushed rapidly forward ; but this is the ordinary case, and we are therefore inclined to think that the pay of secretaries ought to be sufficient for the maintenance of themselves and their families. Nor would this involve any great additional expense ; for, by, the universally recognised rules of the diplomatic service, secretaries are not expected to give entertainments, or to attempt to vie with their chiefs. At the present time, attachés, when they receive a salary, receive sufficient remuneration. The Committee of the House of Commons recommend that a salary shall always be given after four years' service. This proposal would certainly remove the injustice, or rather positive dishonesty, of the present system, by which a young man may have to work for ten years without receiving any remuneration. In no profession does a young man support himself at first starting, and there is no reason why an exception should be made in favour of the diplomatic service; but we think it would be better if a salary of 1001. a year was given for the first four years of service. Paid servants are better than unpaid ; and even this moderate salary, by opening out the diplomatic career, would tend to obviate the injurious effect which the existing system has, by excluding many men on account of the high property qualifications, by no means necessary, which is now so strictly enforced; while it would have the further good effect of checking the extravagance now so prevalent.
The rule as to diplomatic pensions is, that no person can obtain one until
of his first commission, ten of which must have been passed in active service. But, as commissions are not given to attachés, the time previous to an appointment as secretary is not counted in computing pensions, and it was of course felt to be a great injustice that so long a period as ten years or more should be quite thrown away in this respect. The committee have, therefore, very fairly proposed that a commission should be given after four years' service; and, further, that the title of “Paid Attaché" should be abolished, and different classes of secretaries formed, in order to place our diplomatic service on the same footing as that of other countries.
The committee also represent, that the regulation by which half the salary of ministers is deducted during the whole term they may be absent from their posts, presses with undue severity on them. It would certainly seem that they should be encouraged to visit England as often as is compatible with the proper discharge of their duties, for it is of essential service to a diplomatist to keep up an accurate acquaintance with the state of public feeling in his own country. Secretaries and attachés have no deduction made for the first two months that they are absent from their post in each year; and it seems proper that the same rule should apply to ministers, especially as the expenses incidental to carrying on the work at missions abroad are included in the accounts of “extraordinaries," and do not fall on the minister himself. These accounts, it must also be stated, have increased largely of late years, and call for serious attention and revision.
As the clerks of the Foreign Office are supposed to hold a position equivalent to the members of the diplomatic corps, many persons have advocated a complete amalgamation between the two services, and the committee favour the idea so far as to recommend that individuals in each should be permitted to exchange posts. But the authorities who would have most weight in de
scheme, although they acknowledge the advantages which would result if the members of the two branches of the service had respectively more experience of the working of the other branch. There appears to be a rule by which two clerks of the Foreign Office are to be employed abroad. It is said to be “negligently observed ;" but, if it were so applied as to enable all the clerks to go abroad in rotation, instead of the same person being sent repeatedly, and if members of diplomatic corps were required to attend for a longer period at the office instead of only for three months on their first appointment, according to the present practice, the advantages of both systems would be secured, while the disadvantages of each would be obviated.
It now remains to be seen how our diplomatic service practically works. An ambassador should be a man well acquainted with political life, and should possess the qualities necessary to ensure success in his profession rather than a great amount of book learning. Success in diplomacy depends, chiefly, on individual talent and experience. A diplomatist should have a great command of temper; he should not be too ready to suspect evil, and, if he does so, must not too clearly show it; he should pay particular attention to the interests of those with whom he is negotiating, and be able to distinguish between their language and their intentions. He must not only be able to reason well and soundly, but his manner must be conciliatory, and equally so whether discussing points of difference or questions on which a perfect understanding exists. The great art is, to make others adopt our own views, by putting them in such a manner that they may be seized and put forward as their own by those whom we wish to adopt them. It is undoubtedly true, that a man new to the service may succeed perfectly in a particular case; but, in order to obtain general success, a man must, as in every other profession, have devoted to it the best years of his life. When we consider