1930–1939

June 26, 1930

An Act of Congress (46 Stat. 818) authorized rent and utilities allowances for the living quarters of Foreign Service Officers overseas.

February 4, 1931

Effective January 1, Departmental Order 509 renamed the Bureau of Indexes and Archives the Division of Communications and Records. The Visa Office also became the Visa Division.

February 23, 1931

The Moses-Linthicum Act (46 Stat. 1207) reorganized the Board of Foreign Service Personnel to prevent undue favoritism from being shown to members of the former Diplomatic Service in assignments and promotions.

The number of pay classes was reduced to 8, plus an unclassified group. Annual within-grade increases of $100 to $200 were provided. Representation and post allowances were authorized, as well as paid annual leave for 60 days, not counting transit. Up to 15 days of paid sick leave was authorized. Retirement age was still 65 (extendable to 70 at the President’s discretion), but retirement before age 65 after 30 years’ service was allowed. Clerks were divided into senior clerks ($3,000 to $4,000) and junior clerks ($2,750 or less). Senior clerks had to be American citizens, and only citizen clerks could serve at diplomatic missions. Clerks received post allowances.

The Act also created (46 Stat. 1214) the position of Legal Adviser, with rank equivalent to an Assistant Secretary of State. The Legal Adviser replaced the office of Solicitor of the Department of State.

June 8, 1931

President Hoover issued Executive Orders 5642, 5643, and 5644 to implement provisions of the Moses-Linthicum Act. E.O. 5642 dealt with the duties of the Board of Foreign Service Personnel. E.O. 5643 regulated representation and post allowances. E.O. 5644 designated unhealthful posts.

September 11, 1931

Departmental Orders 527 and 528 subdivided the Division of International Conferences and Protocol into two Divisions: International Conferences, and Protocol. The Chiefs of the new Divisions were James Clement Dunn and Warren D. Robbins, respectively.

May 10, 1932

The Departments of State and Commerce signed an agreement to coordinate trade promotion activities. Requests and instructions for trade reports or information would be sent directly to Commercial Attachés by the Commerce Department.

March 3, 1932

Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson dedicated the Foreign Service Memorial Tablet, which contained the names of 65 U.S. diplomats and consuls that had lost their lives under heroic or tragic circumstances. The Tablet was donated by members of the American Foreign Service Association.

May 22, 1933

Departmental Order 550 recombined the Divisions of International Conferences and Protocol into a Division of Protocol and Conferences. James Clement Dunn became Chief of the new Division on June 1.

June 30, 1933

The U.S. Courier Service was abolished as an economy measure. It was re-established in 1935.

July 27, 1933

The State and Commerce Departments concluded a new agreement to coordinate trade promotion activities. Communications from the Commerce Department to Commercial Attachés were to be addressed through the Secretary of State.

November 1, 1933

Departmental Order 560 separated the Division of Research and Publications from the Office of the Historical Adviser. The new Division’s duties included supervision of the library, compilation of the Statutes at Large, preparation and distribution of Department publications, and publication of the Territorial Papers of the United States and Foreign Relations.

November 6, 1933

Departmental Orders 561 and 562 established a Conciliation Committee to resolve employee-supervisor disputes. The six members were equally divided between supervisory and non-supervisory personnel. Departmental Order 561 changed the name of the Board of Review to the Board of Appeals and Review.

February 1, 1934

Departmental Order 572 created a Special Assistant and Chief of Protocol to replace the Chief of the Division of Protocol and Conferences. Departmental Order 573 appointed James Clement Dunn to the new position.

March 26, 1934

The Exchange Bill (48 Stat. 466) provided for the payment of Foreign Service officers in dollars equivalent to their conversion value before the United States went off the gold standard. This was meant to mitigate the hardships caused by Depression-era reductions in Department of State salaries and allowances. Most reductions were repealed during 1934 and 1935.

June 29, 1934

Departmental Order 595 established a Tariff Section to implement the Department’s role under the June 12, 1934 Act to Amend the Tariff Act of 1930. On August 14, Departmental Order 597 renamed it the Trade Agreements Section.

August 9, 1934

The Department of State took the first step toward re-establishing its Courier Service when the Embassy in Paris was authorized to hire a courier for $16,000 for the rest of the fiscal year. Two more couriers were soon hired.

March 30, 1935

The Department of State launched its first broadcast news service with the Radio Bulletin, which transmitted official documents to 16 overseas posts using Navy radio facilities. After World War II, the program became the Wireless Bulletin. In 1953 it became the Wireless File in the U.S. Information Agency. In 1996, it became the Washington File.

May 27, 1935

Departmental Order 618 replaced the Trade Agreements Section with the Division of Trade Agreements to coordinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policy of negotiating reciprocal trade agreements.

September 19, 1935

Departmental Order 626 established the Office of Arms and Munitions Control to register all producers of implements of war and to issue export and import licenses as required under the 1935 Neutrality Act. The Secretary of State also chaired the National Munitions Control Board.

November 17, 1936

Executive Order 7497 sought to discourage marriages between Foreign Service Officers and alien women by requiring the officer to submit their resignation along with a request for permission to marry. Marriage to aliens was thought to restrict an FSO’s availability for assignment to any country.

December 12, 1936

Departmental Order 660 established the Office of Philippine Affairs to discharge the Department of State’s responsibilities under the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which provided for the Philippines’ future independence. On January 15, 1944, Departmental Order 1218 transferred its functions to the Division of Philippine Affairs.

May 18, 1937

An Act of Congress (50 Stat. 169) re-established the position of Counselor of the Department of State. The position had equal rank and salary with the Under Secretary, who remained the second-ranking officer of the Department. R. Walton Moore was appointed Counselor on May 20, and served until his death on February 8, 1941. The office then remained vacant until 1945.

May 21, 1937

Departmental Order 686 combined the Divisions of Latin American Affairs and Mexican Affairs into the Division of the American Republics.

June 15, 1937

Department Order 691 combined the Divisions of Western European and Eastern European Affairs into the Division of European Affairs. Employees of the Eastern European Affairs Division transferred their division’s files to the Library of Congress for preservation.

Departmental Order 692 established the Division of Near Eastern Affairs, which also assumed responsibility for all of Africa except Algeria and the Union of South Africa.

June 17, 1937

Departmental Order 693 established an Adviser on International Economic Affairs, replacing the Office of the Economic Adviser. Herbert Feis was the first to hold the position.

July 6, 1937

Departmental Order 694 established the Office of Fiscal and Budget Affairs.

July 17, 1937

Departmental Order 699 appointed an Advisor on Political Relations to supervise the Division of European Affairs. James Clement Dunn was the first to hold the new post.

July 29, 1937

Departmental Orders 704 and 705 subdivided the Division of Protocol and Conferences into the Division of International Conferences and the Division of Protocol. Chiefs of the new Divisions were Richard Southgate and George T. Summerlin, respectively.

August 16, 1937

Departmental Order 714 established an Adviser on Political Relations to oversee the Division of Far Eastern Affairs. Stanley K. Hornbeck was the first to hold the new post.

July 14, 1938

Executive Order 7927 consolidated Instructions to Diplomatic Officers and Consular Regulations into a single publication: Foreign Service Regulations of the United States.

July 28, 1938

Departmental Order 768 established the Division of Cultural Relations, which coordinated educational and cultural exchanges.

August 1, 1938

Departmental Order 769 abolished the Office of the Historical Adviser. Dr. Hunter Miller became Editor of the Treaties. Assistant Historical Adviser Carlton Savage was assigned to the Office of the Counselor, and was in charge of policy-related historical research.

August 19, 1938

Departmental Order 770 established the Division of International Communications.

September 14, 1938

Departmental Order 774 replaced the Bureau of Accounts with the Division of Accounts.

November 22, 1938

Departmental Order 778-A renamed the Office of Arms and Munitions Control the Division of Controls.

January 26, 1939

The position of Chief Clerk was abolished as part of Departmental Order 782, which established the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management to oversee non-Foreign Service personnel. The Director of Personnel assumed the Chief Clerk’s functions. The Order also eliminated the Conciliation Committee.

June 29, 1939

Executive Order 8185 provided for the assignment of members of the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce to the Boards of Foreign Service Personnel, Examiners for the Foreign Service, and the Foreign Service School.

July 1, 1939

Under Reorganization Plan II, President Roosevelt transferred the Department of Commerce’s Foreign Commercial Service (established in 1927) and the Agriculture Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service (established in 1930) to the Foreign Service. The Plan also transferred the Foreign Service Buildings Commission to the Department of State.

Publication of the first issue of the Department of State Bulletin, which replaced two previous publications: the weekly Press Releases and the monthly Treaty Information bulletin. The Bulletin published foreign policy information until 1989. Press Releases were still published separately until 1986.

September 1, 1939

Departmental Order 810 established the Special Division, which arranged the repatriation of American citizens from war zones in Europe and handled inquiries about their welfare and whereabouts. It was later renamed the Special War Problems Division. On September 7, Departmental Order 813 announced the appointment of Breckinridge Long as Special Assistant in charge of the Special Division.

The Department also instituted a system of Watch Officers who would be on duty evenings, weekends, and holidays.

September 4, 1939

Departmental Order No. 811 declared all outstanding U.S. passports invalid for travel to Europe and required passport applicants to document the need for their foreign travel.

September 16, 1939

Secretary of State Cordell Hull appointed Leo Pasvolsky as a Special Assistant in charge of planning for a postwar international organization.

October 13, 1939

Departmental Order 822 provided for the attachment of Liaison Officers of the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce to the Department of State.

November 3, 1939

Departmental Order 825 established a Liaison Office to coordinate correspondence with the War and Navy Departments.