The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Austria-Hungary (Penfield)
997. Your 989, November 20. While recognizing that, as consuls are commercial and not political representatives, permission for them to act within defined districts is dependent upon the authority in actual control of those districts, the Department assumed that the Austro-Hungarian Government, whose military forces are in control of Belgrade, would be entirely agreeable to have Vice Consul Young, who is in charge of the American Consulate, remain there in charge of American and certain foreign interests in the region of Servia under Austro-Hungarian military control, especially since that course would be in harmony with the usual procedure and with the course followed in regard to the consuls in Belgium and at Warsaw. You may again emphasize the foregoing and point out that the withdrawal of the consulate from Belgrade would likely result in inconvenience to American interests as well as to foreign interests in care of the consulate. Express this Government’s hope that the consulate may be permitted to remain. It does not appear that objection is made to Young on personal grounds. Department believes that peculiar status of Belgrade makes it inexpedient to place consulate in jurisdiction Budapest Consulate General and that it should remain detached under Embassy supervision unless positive reasons for different course exist.