Organization of the State Department
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Department of State, Appropriation Bill, Latin American Affairs, Far Eastern Affairs, Near Eastern Affairs, Western European Affairs, Division of Information
The document is a carbon copy of a typed editorial on the Appropriations Bill of 1912.
Folder 1-15, Document 19
Washington, D. C.
June 7, 1912
The very life of the Department of State is now at stake at the capitol. This is no exaggeration because the Legislative Bill as passed by the House eliminates the four divisions of Latin American, Far Eastern, Near Eastern, and Western European affairs and the Division of Information. In other words, it sweeps away our modernized State Department. These divisions handle the important political and other matters involving the special conditions in the different countries of the world. Congressmen call on the Department of State, for instance, to ascertain the whereabouts and secure protection of the life of American citizens in Mexico; the member of Congress is appealed to by constituents who are relatives of the man in Mexico; all this correspondence, which has, of course, reached enormous proportions is drafted and attended to in detail by officials of the Division of Latin American Affairs, by men who know Spanish, know Latin American conditions, and have served in Mexico. With the present organization these cases, to give only a single instance, are handled with an efficiency and expedition otherwise impossible. Perhaps the very same members of Congress then go and vote to abolish these divisions and to send back to the Foreign Service the very men who as officials of the Department of State are every day helping their constituents. The incredible smashing of the Department of State appears to have been almost accidental and to have been a mere incident of a paltry question of possible duplication in some of the work of the Bureau of Trade Relations and the
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Bureau of Manufactures in the Department of Commerce and Labor.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations in reporting the bill has restored what is necessary to the continued existence of the reorganized Department of State and it must be assumed that the Senate, viewing the case in its true proportions and responsive to the diplomatic and business interests of the country, will so pass the bill. If so, an unusually heavy responsibility will rest upon the conferees of the two Houses by whose action will be determined the fate of the Department of State and the question of continuing our Foreign Service upon that high plane of efficiency which the foreign trade interests of the United States have so loudly applauded.
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Unknown, "Editorial Draft on the Appropriations Bill, June 7, 1912" (1912). Organization of the State Department. 21.