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cents to $1.60 each day for meals alone in excess of the amount I was allowed reimbursement for, to say nothing of gratuities, etc.” He found that "in the smaller towns of Cuba expenses for room and meals rarely equaled even $4 per day."
At Nassau, New Providence Island, Bahamas, the lowest rate for room and bath at the only first-class hotel is $7 a day; room without bath $5, and 25 cents extra for bath. This is on the American plan. Laundry, pressing clothing, mineral water, gratuities, etc., were all extra. Quoting his quarterly accounts of expense, he shows that only for two given quarters since he has been on inspection duty has the average charge for subsistence exceeded $5 per day. For the four and one-half years that he has been on this service the average expense was $3.65 a day.
Stuart J. Fuller, consul general at large, reports that $5 per day is sufficient to cover actual expenses in the small towns in Canada, but that it is inadequate in the cities of Canada. "Of the comptroller's ruling he says;
“I estimate that the enforcement of this ruling will make it necessary for me to meet from my private purse expenses aggregating at least $600 or $800 a year, and which are actual, necessary, and legitimate unavoidable expenses of subsistence."
He adds that rooms and meals only came to $368.45 for the March (1914) quarter, and $451.20 for the June quarter, thus averaging $5 per day, or less.
"This did not, however, include baths in every case, nor did it embrace laundry or pressing, all of which were taken into account as miscellaneous expense. It was only by exercising careful economy and taking small inside rooms at hotels that I was able to keep it down to this level. Working by poor light in inside rooms has now brought my eyes to a state where I shall hereafter be obliged to have a room with outside light to work in, even if I have to pay for it myself. The charge for inside room and bath at the first-class hotels in Montreal and Winnipeg is $3 per day. At Buffalo and Detroit, where one must stay while inspecting the offices at Fort Erie and at Windsor, it is the same. At Ottawa and at Toronto the charge is $3.50 per day. The hotels are on the European plan and the charge covers room and bath only. The winter rate at the only first-class hotel in Quebec is $6 minimum, on the American plan. Summer rates are much higher. It may be stated that a low estimate of the expense of the items comprising subsistence under the comptroller's ruling would reach a total of $8 per day. This is less than the allowances regularly made by their employers to first-class business men. The total would be made up as follows at a European hotel: Room and bath...
$3.50 Breakfast (fruit, 25 cents; coffee, 20 cents; 2 eggs, 25 cents; toast, 15 cents; tip, 10 cents).
1. 25 Dinner.
1.50 Hat boy, tips.;
. 15 Chamberlain, bell boys, etc., tips. Laundry.
. 30 Pressing..
. 20 Shining shoes..
.10 Bottled water...
.50 "At an American-plan hotel the total would be about as follows: Room, bath, and meals....
$4.00-$6.00 Tips, waiters..
30 .30 Tips, hat boy.
15- 15 Tips, chambermaid, bell boys, etc.
25- . 25 Laundry.
20- . 20 Shoes shined.
. 10- . 10
5. 30- 7.30 "Since July 31 the amount expended by me for actual and necessary expenses in addition to the $5 per day will aggregate about $125 or $150."
To enable the President in his discretion and in accordance with such regulations as he may prescribe, to make special allowances by way of additional compensation to consular officers in order to adjust their official incomes to the ascertained cost of living at the posts to which they may be assigned, $150,000.
Post allowances. The war in Europe and the effect of it upon conditions in all parts of the world has made imperative the remedying of a long-standing defect in the Consular Service, namely, the adjustment of the official compensation of consuls to the cost of living in the countries in which they may be stationed. So long as consuls were appointed to particular posts and were expected to spend the entire time of their service at those posts, the salary could be made to correspond with the importance of the posts and the cost of living there under normal conditions, but with the introduction of promotions from grade to grade, which has more than doubled the efficiency of the service, it is no longer possible, even under normal conditions, to adjust salaries to the importance of the various posts and the cost of living and at the same time to observe a classification of posts to serve the purposes of promotion for efficient service.
It has long been impossible to utilize the services of consular assistants in South America, where they are usually most needed, because their salaries will not provide ordinary living expenses on the scale which their official position and usefulness demands. For the same reason only the higher grades of consular assistants can be sent to South Africa and several other important fields of consular activities. Yet to increase their compensation to the necessary minimum for any of the countries named would result in their receiving more than their positions require, if they should later on be assigned to posts in Europe where normally the cost of living is moderate. Similarly, the consul of the $3,000 class may be adequately compensated at the post in Europe, but if promoted to the $3,500 class and assigned to South America would, owing to the higher cost of living, find himself receiving the equivalent of less than $3,000. In that case the consul would not only not profit by the 80-called promotion but would actually not be as well off as he was at his lower-grade post in Europe. The effect of this condition is that the value of promotion in many cases is completely destroyed and made to mean actually a mere change on paper of an officer's status,
The condition described has been greatly aggravated by the war in Europe. The cost of living has increased there and in many other countries and consular officers of the lower classes are finding their salaries inadequate to enable them to maintain themselves in a proper manner. One consular assistant has already resigned and another reports that his salary is insufficient to pay living expenses, and yet these men were stationed in countries where under normal conditions the compensation has been sufficient. The few consuls having private incomes are drawing upon their own funds to supplement their salaries. Inasmuch as living expenses will not decrease, and there is good reason for the belief that they will continue to increase, it is of the utmost importance that provision be made at once to supplement the regular salaries of consular officers wherever that shall be found upon investigation to be necessary.
The adjustment of compensation to the cost of living in the various foreign communities has an importance that can scarcely be exaggerated upon the usefulness of consular officers in the advancement of American export trade. It is obvious that an officer whose official income is sufficient only to permit him to live in the most modest and retiring manner can not be of any real value in the promotion of trade. The officers who are rendering the most important service to American commercial interests are those whose income permits them to live in a dignified manner appropriate to their official positions, whose local standing permits of friendly intercourse and acquaintance with the most substantial of local business men, and the membership in the leading local clubs, chambers of commerce, and commercial organizations.
The economical and practical method of supplementing the regular salaries of consular officers in order to adjust them to the local cost of living is by means of an allowance to be disbursed in the discretion of the President, by which an annual or monthly amount equal to the increased cost of living at a particular post can be allowed to the consul stationed at that post and continued for such time as the high cost of living continues. This allowance, readjusted from time to time, would insure each consul the actual equivalent of his regular salary. Similar allowances added to the regular allowance of consular assistants would make those officers available for service in all parts of the world and would double the efficiency of that corps. It needs to be remembered that at present officers of the latter classes can not be used in the countries where they are most urgently needed, namely, South America, South Africa, and Russia.
In advance of the actual calculation of the requirements of each post and officer, it is not possible to determine the precise amount required for post allowances, but it is estimated that great improvement could be made with the sum of $150,000, and it is strongly urged that Congress appropriate that amount to be available from January 1, 1916, through the fiscal year ending June 30, 1917.
RELIEF AND PROTECTION OF AMERICAN SEAMEN.
It is recommended that the appropriation for the relief and protection of American seamen in foreign countries etc., be increased from $20,000 to $50,000. Although the department through its officers has endeavored to keep the expenditures from this appropriation as low as possible under the existing laws and regulations providing for the relief and protection of American seamen, the appropriation has been found insutficient to cover the requisite expenditures during the past two fiscal years. A deficiency of $30,050.41 occurred for the year ending June 30, 1914, and it is believed, as far as can be ascertained, that there will be a deficiency of from $10,000 to $12,000 for the year ending June 30, 1915, although it is impracticable at this time to state the exact amount, as all accounts have not been received. In order that the appropriation may be ample to cover the necessary expenses incurred under the existing provisions of law, it is requested that the appropriation be increased by the amount mentioned.
CONTINGENT EXPENSES, UNITED STATES CONSULATES.
Expenses of providing all such stationery, blanks, record and other books, seals presses, flags, signs, rent (so much as may be necessary), repairs to consular buildings owned by the United States, postage, furniture, including typewriters and exchange of same, statistics, newspapers, freight (foreign and domestic), telegrams, advertising, messenger service, traveling expenses of consular officers and consular assistants on oficial duty abroad or in the United States, compensation of Chinese writers, loss by exchange, and such other miscellaneous expenses as the President may think necessary for the several consulates and consular agencies in the transaction of their busiDess, and payment in advance of subscriptions for newspapers (foreign and domestic) under this appropriation is hereby authorized, $597,000
An increase from $465,000 to $597,000 is requested for contingent expenses as of the utmost urgency. The following table shows the expenditures for the fiscal year 1913-14; Fuel.....
$8, 160.92 Cleaning and toilet supplies.
1, 659. 81 Water and ice.
3, 087. 02 Flags, etc...
890. 14 Uniforms of guards.
1,483, 10 Rent of offices.
157, 430. 29 Taxes and rates.
3, 760. 24 Repairs to furniture and fixtures..
3, 510. 71 Repairs to buildings...
3, 079. 09 Furniture and fixtures.
7, 265, 40 Books, etc...
2, 666. 05 Expenses of dispatch agents.
4, 224. 76 Expenses of consular assistants..
2, 936. 12 Expended by department for telegrams, freight, stationery, engraving seals, etc..
65, 409. 89 Messengers, janitors, etc.
61, 988. 97 Gratuities.
39. 96 Traveling expenses.
2, 968. 06 Cab and boat hire..
6, 782. 07 Postage.
22, 802. 70 Telegrams.
42, 862. 64 Telephones.
10, 405. 65 Printing and binding.
11, 746. 04 Duty and freight.
2, 444. 16 Loss by exchange.
8,525. 96 Advertising.
346. 39 Statiunery
3, 410. 56 Newspapers.
4, 603. 71 Total.......
451, 911.51 HR-641-vol
The above expenditures were for the year just prior to the beginning of the war. Those for last year can not yet be given as accounts are not all settled, but they have increased enormously owing largely to the existence of the war. With the utmost economy it was necessary to expend for rent, taxes, and rates alone $161,190.53, or over one-third of the appropriation. While the nature of consular work in conneetion with invoicing and shipping makes it necessary that the offices be maintained in the business or shipping centers of the various cities, in no case have elaborate offices been rented. In fact many offices are crowded into much less space than they should have for the proper conduct of the work and for the health of the employees. Rents are continually increasing throughout the world, and this is an item which can not be controlled
It is requested that the wording of the appropriation for contingent expenses be amended as respects expenditures for rent by substituting for the words "allowance for rent not to exceed in any case thirty per centum of the officer's salary" the words "so much as may be necessary." . Inasmuch as under the act of February 5, 1915, the classification of posts by 'specific salaries was abolished and officers are now appointed to grades rather than to particular posts, it will be seen that the salary of the principal officer at a particular post may be changed from time to time by the assignment of officers of different grades, and it is accordingly impracticable to continue the provisions of law fixing the maximum rental at a certain per cent of the salary of the post. It may also be said that it has been found impossible on account of the large increase in the cost of rental of offices in many foreign cities to find suitable offices at a rental of thirty per cent or less of the salary of the principal officer. There have arisen during the past few months several cases where it has been necessary to refuse permission for the removal of offices from inadequate quarters to premises suitable to the needs of the offices because of the existing limit of rental fixed by the appropriation bill. There are also several cases where officers are paying from their own pocket a portion of the rental which should be paid by the Government.
Telegraphic tolls in 1914 amounted to $69,322.84, and for the past year have gone far beyond that and will continue to exceed that amount at least during the period of the war.
Postage in 1914 was $22,802.70, and it is a very safe assumption to say that it will be 50 per cent higher this year. This is due not only to the large increase in mail matter received by consuls, but also to the fact that in some countries an extra wartax stamp is required on each piece of mail.
Loss by exchange is another item impossible of control. It was $8,525.96 the year before the war, but now, owing to war conditions, it is increasing steadily in many countries.
There has been considerable need in many offices for additional furniture, filing cases, etc., but the department has been unable to supply these needs because of lack of funds and the consuls and inspectors are continually reporting their inability to do more effective work because of lack of suitable equipment. A number of offices have not even been able to have telephones.
DISPOSITION OF USELESS PAPERS IN THE TREASURY
MARCH 17, 1916.-Ordered to be printed.
Mr. TALBOTT, from the Joint Select Committee on the Disposition of Useless Papers in the Executive Departments, submitted the following
[To accompany H. Doc. 363.)
The joint select committee of the Senate and House of Representatives, appointed on the part of the Senate and on the part of the House of Representatives, to which were referred the reports of the heads of departments, bureaus, etc., in respect to the accumulation therein of old and useless files of papers which are not needed or useful in the transaction of the current business therein, respectively, and have no permanent value or historical interest, with accompanying statements of the condition and character of such papers, respectfully report to the Senate and House of Representatives, pursuant to an act entitled "An act to authorize and provide for the disposition of useless papers in the executive departments," approved February 16, 1889, as follows:
Your committee have met and, by a subcommittee appointed by your committee, carefully and fully examined the said reports so referred to your committee and the statements of the condition and the character of such files and papers therein described, and we find and report that the files and papers described in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury in House Document No. 363, Sixty-fourth Congress, first session, dated December 10, 1915, are not needed in the transaction of the current business of such departments and bureaus and have no permanent value or historical interest.
Respectfully submitted to the Senate and House of Representatives.
L. Y. SHERMAN,
JAMES E. MARTINE,
J. FRED. C. TALBOTT,
WILLIAM S. BENNET, Members on the part of the House. O