Organization of the State Department



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Order of Precedence, WIlliam Howard Taft, Great Britain, France, Russia, Spain, Austria, Italy


The document is a copy of a typed memorandum with handwritten notes on the Order of Precedence for assistant secretaries and foreign diplomats.





Corresponds to:

Folder 1-13, Document 23


Washington, D.C.


[The 3rd Asst. Secy of State is requested informally + orally to ask the Dozen + make the gist after following 6 (illegible) understood by the Dip. Corps.]

Department of State.

Office of

The Assistant Secretary.

The Department of State has the honor to inform the Embassies and Legations at Washington that the President has designated that Department as the channel of communication between the White House and the missions accredited at this capital, the office of the Third Assistant Secretary being charged particularly with all matters relating to audiences with the President, whether ceremonial or otherwise.

[It is suggested that when audiences are directly requested whether in writing or by telephone the Sec'y to the President telephone or privately write the person so requesting asking that he kindly make the request through the Dept of State which the President has charged with all such matters]

[It is suggested that on the oc-]

[-casion of any audience, formal or informal, the Dep't of State have an official attend the President - such official being selected in accordance with the probable nature of the subject to be discussed as to which he will furnish notes in advance to the President, preparing afterwards a record of the conversation if important. Such official of the Dept, together with an official of the White House would comprise also the ceremonial entourage of the President at such audiences. This is not intended to suggest modification of the established protocol of audiences for presenting letters of credence or recall, and others of the most important ceremonial nature.

Order of Precedence with regard to Assistant Secretaries and Foreign Diplomatic Corps.

Great Britain:
Foreign Ambassadors rank after Royal families. Foreign Ministers are placed after eldest sons of Dukes of the Blood Royal and Charges d'Affairs are placed before Secretaries of State.
Under Secretaries of Foreign Affairs and other Departments have no rank unless titled.
"Foreign Officials, that is, members of an embassy or legation, are by courtesy given precedence over un-titled officials of the Government who are not Secretaries of State, Cabinet Members or Privy Councillors.

The Under Secretaries of State are members of the Government, form a part of the Cabinet, and as such rank immediately after Ministers (Members of the Cabinet). They take precedence over all other officials including Military and Naval Officers and with the exception of Ambassadors outrank all other Diplomatic officers accredited to France.

As in Great Britain, there is no special rank or precedence accorded Vice Ministers. Their title in the Russian service is, however, recognized and they are given the place to which that class entitles them.

Sub-Secretaries rank below Ministers and Charges d'Affaires.

Ambassadors rank after the Master of the Household of the Emperor.
Heads of House Medialized Princely families.
Privy Councillors.
Heads of families having the title of Count.
Foreign Ministers and Charges d'Affaires.
Remaining Privy Councillors.
Under Secretaries (These are the Section Chiefs of the different Ministries.


Ambassadors yield only to Royal Family.
Presidents of Senate and Chamber of Deputies.
Foreign Ministers.
Ministers of the Crown.
Ministers of State and Under Secretaries of State (Precedence of foreign Charges d'Affaires not given.)


The "Order of Precedence with regard to Assistant Secretaries and Foreign Diplomatic Corps" is a separate document.



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Memorandum on the Order of Precedence for Assistant Secretaries and Foreign Diplomats, January 19, 1911



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