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ordinary. At present the government has established by its practice three classes, viz. Chargé d'Affaires ; Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary. The Corps Diplomatic of this country in Europe now consists either of Charges d'Affaires or Envoys Extraordinary with full powers.
The salaries of public ministers varied very much under the confederation. They had at first no fixed compensation. But in October '79 a salary of £2500 was established for the ministers in France, and of £1000 for the Secretaries, in full for services and expenses. This rate continued till '84, when Congress resolved that the salary of a minister should not exceed 9000 dollars. It does not appear that
outfit was allowed. The confederation generally paid their ministers better than is now done; for the expense of living in Europe, particularly on the continent, has increased at least one half the last forty years. We have still remaining a report of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs on the expenses of his department in 1782. It is in some respects an amusing document, though, as it regards the expense of the ministers, obviously quite loose and hasty.
“ Dr. Franklin has a part of Mr. Chaumont's house at Passy, he keeps a chariot and pair, and three or four servants, and gives a dinner occasionally to the Americans and others. His whole expense as far as I can learn, is very much within his income. Mr. Adams lives in lodgings; keeps a chariot and pair, and two men servants. He has hitherto retained a private secretary, who will, in the absence of Mr. Dana, it is presumed, be paid by Congress. I have lately heard that Mr. Adams was about to take a house. Mr. Dana's salary, even if he should assume a public character in a country where the relative value of money is so high, that if I am well informed, an elegant house may be hired for fifteen guineas a year, is very ample. Of Mr. Jay's manner of living, I have been able to give no account, but I should conclude from the price of the necessaries of life in that part of Spain in which he lives, from the port the Court and the people about it maintain, and aboye all, from its sitting in different parts of the
Kingdom, that to live in the same style with Dr. Franklin, his expenses must amount to nearly the double of theirs. But as every conjecture of this kind must be very uncertain, all I can do is to lay before Congress the relative expense, as far as I can learn it, between the different places at which the ministers reside, taking Philadelphia for a common standard. Paris, if wine, clothing, and the wages of servants are included, is about twenty per cent. cheaper than Philadelphia; Amsterdam, ten; and at Madrid, the expenses of a family are somewhat higher than at this place. But from the unsettled state of those who follow the court, their travelling equipage and charges must greatly enhance this expense. Congress will make their own deductions from these facts, after allowing for their inaccuracy.
" Annual expense of the Department of Foreign Affairs, exclusive of contingencies :“ Secretary of the United States for the Department of Foreign Affairs
$4000 - 1st Under Secretary, Lewis R. Morris,
800 “ 2d Under Secretary, Peter S. Du Ponceau
700 " Clerk, the Rey. Mr. Tetard
57,308. " Private Secretary to Dr. Franklin. " Private Secretary to Mr. Adams.
By the law of May 1810, the salaries of ministers were fixed at $9000, and of chargés, at $4,500, exclusive of one year's salary in the shape of outfit.
CEREMONIAL OF RECEPTION.
In receiving the first Foreign Minister in '78, various difficulties presented themselves to the consideration of Congress. The etiquette practised in the courts of Europe was probably known, or at the least, it could easily have been ascertained. But this ceremonial could in no way be made to apply to the actual condition of the American Congress. It was not a regal government with a monarch, nor a confederated republic with an executive to represent it. The single House of Delegates was the whole government. The foreign minister was addressed to the Congress, and by that body he alone could be accredited. This part of the affair was very plain and easily understood, but the details of the reception were seemingly difficult to arrange. Congress itself was the sovereign independent body, to whom the minister was to be presented—it was the nation : but every member of it was a delegate from a sovereign and independent state and possessing equal dignity and authority with every other member. Still it-could only be approached as a body. Neither was Congress furnished with officers to perform the minor parts of the ceremonial of introduction. Their own members who composed the nation, and each of whom represented a sort of nation, were obliged to be the actors or assistants in the
Mr. Gerard was the first foreign minister received by Congress. He arrived in this country in the summer of 1778,
. and was a Minister Plenipotentiary. The form of his presentation obviously caused some embarrassment. The subject was regularly referred, like any other matter, to a committee, (Richard Henry Lee, Samuel Adams, Gouverneur Morris,) and the report of this committee was discussed five days by Congress. The debates have not been preserved. The business was finally arranged with uncommon care and minuteness,-not perhaps in very good taste, nor with much simplicity; but the reader will be satisfied by the extracts we are about to quote from the order of the ceremony, that Congress had not neglected the rights or pretensions of either party.
66 Resolved, that the ceremonial for a Minister Plenipotentiary or Envoy shall be as follows. When a Minister Plenipotentiary or Envoy, shall arrive within any of the United States, he shall receive, at all places, where there are guards, sentries, and the like, such military honours as are paid to a general officer of the second rank in the armies of the United States. When he shall arrive at the place in which Congress shall be, he shall wait upon the President, and deliver his credentials, or a copy thereof. Two members of Congress shall then be deputed to wait upon him, when and where he shall receive audience of the Congress. At the time he is to receive his audience, the two members shall again wait upon him in a coach belonging to the States, and the person first named of the two, shall return with the Minister Plenipotentiary or envoy in the coach, giving the Minister the right hand, and placing himself on the left with the other member on the first seat. When the Minister Plenipotentiary or Envoy is arrived at the door of the Congress Hall, he shall be introduced to his chair by the two members who shall stand at his left hand." 46 When the Minister is introduced to his chair by the two members, he shall sit down. His Secretary shall then deliver to the President the letter of bis Sovereign, which shall be read and translated by the Secretary of Congress. Then the Minister shall be announced, at which time the President, the House, and the Minister shall rise together. The Minister shall then bow to the President and the House, and they to him. The Minister and the President shall then bow to each other, and be seated, after which the House shall sit down. The Minister shall deliver his speech standing. The President and the House shall sit while the Minister is delivering his speech. The House shall rise and the President shall deliver the answer standing. The Minister shall stand while the President delivers his answer. Having spoken, and being answered, the Minister and President shall bow to each other, at which time the House shall bow, and then the Minister shall be conducted home in the manner in wbich he was brought to the
House." 6. Those who shall wait upon the Minister, shall inform him, that if, in any audience, he shall choose to speak on matters of business, it will be necessary, previously, to deliver in writing to the President what he intends to say at the audience, and if he shall not incline thereto, it will, from the constitution of Congress, be impracticable for him to receive an immediate answer. The style of address to Congress shall be, Gentlemen of the Congress, All speeches, or communications, in writing, may, if the public Ministers choose it, be in the language of their respective countries. And all replies or answers shall be in the language of the United States. After the audience, the members of Congress shall be first visited by the Minister Plenipotentiary or Envoy."
No one can much applaud this arrangement; and in '83 this ceremonial was very wisely abolished, and a simple form substituted. Even in a government like our own, some slight degree of etiquette or ceremony is occasionally necessary. It is proper and extremely convenient on such occasions, that every one should know what he has to do, for whatever is done by public functionaries before the public, should be done decently, and with dignity. This mode of receiving foreign ministers in the bosum of the assembly, was adopted by the National Convention in France; but they threw into the ceremony all the enthusiasm and exaltation that belonged to the times and the people. Under the present constitution, the form of receiving and accrediting public ministers, is exceedingly simple. The individual is presented by the Secretary of State to the President in his House, (without any other ceremony than takes place on the occasion of a common visit,) when his credentials are examined. The constitution directs the President to "receive ambassadors and other public ministers.” This government does not make the distinction, which, we believe, is maintained by the European states in relation to agents of the rank of Chargé d' Affaires and under. Those individuals are accredited only by the Secretary, or Minister of Foreign Affairs or Relations ; whereas all public officers, above the rank of Chargé, are accredited by the sovereign in person.