Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 5, 1881
to Mr. Blaine
Vienna , March 30, 1881. (Received April 20.)
Sir: In order to complete the information which I have believed to be interesting to the Department of State at Washington, I have procured copies of the official regulations established by the ministry of foreign affairs in Vienna for the examination and admission of candidates for appointment into the diplomatic and consular service.
The original and translations are transmitted herewith.
The rigidity and thoroughness of the examinations will compare well with those of undergraduates at our best institutions of learning.
I have, &c.,
Edict of the imperial and royal ministry for foreign affairs of December 13, 1880, relative to the requisites for admission to the concept service of the ministry within the same or abroad.
Since the necessity has been manifested of a partial change in the regulations contained in the edict of the 11th April, 1869, relative to the holding of diplomatic examinations which form the condition for admission to the concept-service of the ministry of foreign affairs, the following enactments (the said edict being abolished) are hereby made known to aspirants for diplomatic service:
I. No person will be admitted to a paid place in the “concept” department, either in the service within the ministry for foreign affairs, or in an imperial and royal mission abroad, who has not passed the examination,
II. The admission to this examination is allowed by the ministry for foreign affairs only to such candidates as shall have fulfilled the following preliminary conditions:
- The candidates must have completed their law studies in one of the universities of the empire, and must produce evidence of having there passed three theoretical state examinations with success, or have attained the degree of doctor of laws.
- They must, in a special, prescribed preliminary examination, show thorough knowledge of the German and French languages. This preliminary examination, which is conducted before a member of the commission for the diplomatic examination in the ministry for foreign affairs, consists in the execution of a free treatise on a subject which must be offered without his being previously apprised of it. In case of total or gross deficiency in knowledge of the German or French language this examination for admission may be repeated at a fit period. The result of this examination will be orally communicated to the candidate.
- Based on the proof of this education, and the satisfactory examination in languages, the admission of the candidate into the concept-service in the ministry for foreign affairs, or in an imperial and royal diplomatic mission abroad, takes place.
The possession of an annual income of at least 4,000 florins must be shown by documentary evidence in order to entitle to service in a mission. After one year’s service in the ministry for foreign affairs, or two years at the farthest, in an imperial and royal mission abroad, the aspirant must at the next fixed period for holding the examinations, under penalty of losing his right of admission, submit to such examination (first applying in writing to the ministry for permission). Besides this application, however, the candidates who served in an imperial and royal mission abroad must transmit a treatise in the French language on the political-commercial situation, or other condition of the said foreign country, to the ministry for foreign affairs, at the beginning of the second half of the last year, through the chief of the mission, under whose special supervision the work is required to be done.
III. The diplomatic examinations are held every year in the course of the month of Mayor November, at the ministry for foreign affairs, by the commission appointed, with such candidates as have fulfilled the conditions prescribed in the foregoing paragraph II. One or several examinations take place at these terms, according to the number of candidates.
IV. The examining commission must consist of a chief of division, or in case he be prevented, of a court counselor of the ministry for foreign affairs, who is to act as president, and of three members; the latter are to be appointed from the higher officials of the ministry for foreign affairs, professors, or other experienced officials of the ministry. The president may examine at the close, but he is not required to do so. In case of a variance in opinion on the part of the commissioners the vote to which the president inclines is decisive.
V. The diplomatic examination is divided into one oral and one written. The latter will be first passed, and takes place on three successive days. The appointment of the days for the written and oral examination, as well as the succeeding order of the subjects, is left to the discretion of the president of the commission. There shall, however, not be an interval, of over eight days between the two examinations.
VI. Subjects of the oral examination are:
- General European international law, especially the law of peace, of war, of neutrals, public laws of the high seas, law affecting envoys and consuls, with special reference to the peculiar Austro-Hungarian rules and international private law, especially the enactments in force in Austria-Hungary.
- Diplomatic history of nations; formation of the system of European nations since the peace of Westphalia, and of the American States since the Independence of the United States of America, up to the present; analysis of the great international treaties, and especially those having relation to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
- Political economy and science of finance as applied to international relations, with a special consideration of policy, of trade and traffic, of currency and coin, of national debts, of the organization of credit and money system, &c., with continual reference to the special laws of administration.
Two subjects of questions of the law of nations, including international civil law, also on the diplomatic history of nations, must be answered in the French language.
VII. The examination in writing extends to international law, without comprising international civil law, to the diplomatic history of nations and international political economy.
On each of these subjects, a question in writing will be submitted to the candidate by the respective examining commissioner, which question relating to the two first-named subjects, is to be answered in the French language, and the question relating to the latter in German.
The candidate must prepare his compositions in a period between ten o’clock in’ the morning to six o’clock in the evening at the latest, under constant and careful supervision. He dare not employ any other auxiliary than the dictionaries belonging to the ministry, under the penalty of immediate annulment of the examination and unconditional rejection. At six o’clock all the compositions, whether finished or not, must be delivered to the inspector in attendance, who confirms their genuineness under his signature, and transmits them to the respective commissioner. The latter expresses in writing his vote in respect to the work, and sends both to the other commissioners, and finally to the president.[Page 51]
Should the examination in writing he judged by the commission as wholly unsuccessful, then the candidate will not be admitted to the oral examination. In this matter the commission alone decides.
VIII. Immediately after conclusion of the oral examination, the commissioners express their opinion, based both on their observations relative to the oral answers of the candidate, and on the written composition which they have carefully examined (after due consideration of the theoretical and practical attainments therein exhibited also of his talent of comprehension and judgment exhibited, his oral delivery and style), whether the candidate has shown or failed to show capability for the diplomatic concept-service.
IX. The commissioners must in a special report, accompanied by the compositions of the candidates and any casual private suggestions, inform the ministry for foreign affairs of their decision. In case of approval or rejection, immediately after the examination, a certificate signed by the president and the members of the commission will be delivered to the candidate, which will express the decision as to his capability, without additional remark thereto; as to his capability with unanimity; as to his capability with high distinction; in respect to some or all the subjects; or finally, decision of disapproval. In the latter case a repetition of the examination may be granted by the commission to the candidate either to take place in six months or a year; still such a repetition can take place only once and must be in the following May or November.
X. This regulation will take effect on the 1st of May, 1881.
XI. Special enactments exist for the scholars of the Imperial and Royal Oriental Academy and for consular examination.
Extract from the regulation of the year 1849 relative to the creation of posts of consular clerks (eleves).
- § 3.
- It is not only a primary condition for admission as consular clerk that he should be unmarried, but he must so continue during his tenure of this office.
- § 4.
- As conditions for attainment of the post of consular clerk, are
- Age under thirty years.
- Jurdicial political studies finished with satisfactory result.
- Performance of at least one year’s service in concept department of the State, with public officers, where opportunity is afforded to obtain precise acquaintance with the organization and scope of the branches of the government and the forms of conducting business.
- Commendable mental capacity and blameless moral character.
- Complete knowledge of the German, Italian, and French languages.
- Passing a competitive examination in writing.
- § 5.
- The requisite a is to be shown by a certificate of baptism; b by the testimonials of study; c and d by the reports of the official chiefs in the public offices with whom or under whose direction the candidate has served or is yet serving.
- With regard to the requisite e, testimonials, duly attested by such official chiefs, are to be produced, but the result of the examination will afford satisfactory proof.
- § 6.
- To the competitive examination to be passed in writing only such candidates will be admitted whose possession of the requisites a, b, c, and d shall have been previously shown. The competitive examination will take place at the imperial and royal ministry for foreign affairs, and the time will be made known to such candidates as may be admitted to it. At this examination the candidates must, under official supervision, discuss in writing three themes or questions submitted to them, namely: One drawn from the Hungarian international law, or specially in relation to the treaties of commerce and navigation of Austria and foreign nations; one drawn from the Austrian laws and regulations relative to the consular system and relative to marine navigation; one drawn from political economy or the customs and commercial system of Austria, or from the statistics of Austrian commerce and industry.
One of these treaties must be prepared in the German, the second in the Italian, the third in the French language. The examination of the finished compositions will take place at the imperial and royal ministry for foreign affairs, and the result of it will, in connection with the requisites mentioned in § 4 and § 5, serve as reasons in influencing the nominations of consular clerks.