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French Report gives us no assistance, nor indeed can we find anywhere a rule by which to measure this sufficiency. One consul, with some private fortune, or with no family to maintain, will be able to keep up a good appearance and entertain decorously, where another, depending wholly on his post or with a large household, would be straitened and encumbered. The Chairman indeed seems to have considered that any approximation to this object was impossible, and to have recommended that a certain salary, either fixed or to be taken as a maximum, should be assigned to each grade of the consular service, leaving the accidents of the profession to be borne as in the army, where every officer is sub
, ject to many chances of loss or gain in the locality in which his fortunes place him. But the Committee have persisted in the belief of the practicability of this adjustment, and have decided that each case of revision of salary should specially engage the attention of the Foreign Office. Elaborate and in themselves interesting returns of the expenses of living, house-rent, &c. have been furnished by the consuls from all parts of the globe, and
upon these data the Foreign Minister will have to recommend to Parliament such increase of remuneration as he may think fit. The only strength which the administration will now have gained from the Committee lies in the general recommendation of the increase of the consular estimates, whereas, if some distinct proposition or limitation had been sanctioned by the Committee, the work of the Foreign Office would have been greatly facilitated. Who shall determine that the revision in this multiplicity of cases has been made with fairness and with discretion? The heads of the permanent staff of the Foreign Office deserve all esteem, but the Committee have imposed upon them a task which it is impossible for them to execute in a manner which shall not so provoke criticism and excite suspicion, as to go far to endanger the success of the scheme. Take, for instance, the case of a consul who has personally offended an individual inember of Parliament, or any body of collective legislators. The member may be entirely in the wrong and the consul entirely innocent, yet, when the obnoxious name appears in the increased estimate, it may give a colour to the whole question, and influence, upon light and partial grounds, a decision important for the public welfare.
Again, in addition to these requirements, comes the compensation to be given to a large number of consuls in lieu of their present licence to trade ; and although the tendency both of opinion and of practice has of late years lain strongly against this privilege, it is not improbable that, if the total abrogation of it is necessarily accompanied by a very large increase of ex
penditure, penditure, the demerits of the old system may not appear to the public so prominent as they do to the Committee. The feelings indeed of the witnesses on this point are all but unanimous, and the most that could be said would be, that the facts adduced to support their judgments are not absolutely conclusive. It is demonstrated that the duties of a consul at a first-rate port, or at any place in times of great excitement, are sufficient to leave him no leisure for any other occupation; but the collateral questions as to the diminution of personal importance and means of usefulness, the suspicion of undue motives and conflicting interests, and the temptations to careless and even criminal conduct, may not appear so completely determined. Such men as Mr. Turnbull at Marseilles, Mr. Calvert at the Dardanelles, and Mr. Holmes at Diarbekir, would obtain the requisite regard from the local authorities, wherever they were, and the esteem and confidence of their fellow-countrymen, let them trade as much as they might desire; while no independence of position can compensate for deficient energy, poor abilities, or tainted character. Where, then, is the line to be drawn between commercial speculation and the purchase of land ? The consul landowner must be, in a certain sense, in connection with, and even in dependence upon, the laws and government of the country to which his possessions belong. Yet it would seem a hard interference to limit the dimensions of a consul's garden, or to prevent him from employing and extending such means of agricultural improvement as Mr. Larking may have introduced to the banks of the Nile, or Mr. Calvert to the plains of the Troad. But the practice of the chief continental nations and recently that of the Government of the United States have gone far to decide the main question. If the British trading consul believes himself to be under a disadvantage in comparison with his colleagues, he may, in the majority of cases, become so; but we can only say that we should be quite contented if the whole service is raised to the same level of intelligence and inorality that now prevails in the best portion of it. The enhanced expenditure can only be kept within moderate bounds if a free use is made of the system, so largely adopted by the Russian Government, of entrusting the consular functions in all places where the trade is small to the best mercantile resident whom they can procure, and rewarding him not with money, but with confidence and honorary designation. Hitherto we have regarded the consular service as altogether out of the pale of those distinctions which should be the cheap reward' of zeal and talent wherever exercised in the country's cause. We believe that decorations discreetly given to some of our consuls in the East would have excited no jealousy
in the army they devotedly and skilfully served in the late war, and that nothing can be more absurdly invidious than this arbitrary discrimination between diplomatic and consular deserts.
The advocates of the paramount influence of the selfish principle will be surprised to learn that several witnesses express a belief that the amount of the fees will be considerably larger when collected on the Government account, than when, as at present, received by the consul in part payment of his own salary. Trustworthy persons attest that the exaction of small fees from indigent individuals is so disagreeable to their feelings, that they frequently remit them altogether; whereas, if the fees were levied as a tax, they would have no scruple in enforcing the demand. This process would be simpler under the continental system, where a Chancellor is attached to each consulate, who has the exclusive management of all money matters. We will not however deny that, without such an officer, the fees may be honestly collected by our consuls; we only doubt whether there will be any such increase as will at all make up for the additional outlay of the new arrangement. It is worth remark that some representatives of the shipping interest incline to a restoration of the old tonnage-fees, which were abolished as a heavy burden on our mercantile marine. This question had been carefully considered by the former committee, which reported against their re-imposition ; and it would require a very strong demonstration of a change in public opinion to authorize Parliament to adopt such a proceeding, however tempting to a Chancellor of the Exchequer. The real advantage of the alterations at present proposed is the relief of the present consuls from the suspicion of unfair dealing. Instances have occurred in which, in the language of the Report, the consul seemed to have a private interest in the mercantile disasters and difficulties of his countrymen, instead of being regarded as their protector from fraud and injustice and their natural counsellor in circumstances of danger and perplexity. The charges, as far as they came before the Committee, were eminently unjust, but the suspicions remained and rankled. It was a mere hazard that Mr. Cowper, our consul at Pernambuco, found a tribunal before which he could clear himself of the accusation that he had done all in his power to detain a large vessel, the Mermaid, on her way from Melbourne to England, and put her owners to the serious expense of transshipment, that he might levy an enormous commission for taking care of the gold with which she was freighted. A one-sided judicial inquiry at Liverpool had covered with honour the foolhardy though successful captain who insiste continuing his course, after three surveys had declared the vessel
unseaworthy, and in the teeth of the remonstrance of the majority of his passengers. The consul, on the contrary, was loaded with obloquy. Fortunately he has at last had the opportunity of showing that the gold could only have been consigned to him by the choice of the captain himself, who, in all probability, would have entrusted it to Lloyd's agent, or to any one rather than to the consul who was opposing and annoying him.
In adopting the foreign system of first and second class consulates, the Committee appears to us to have ingeniously obviated a difficulty which will occur to any one who has experience in these affairs. A gentleman holding a second-class consulship may be admirably fitted for the post by his familiarity with the language, the customs, and the resources of the place, and yet may justly desire to be promoted to a first-class consulship after a certain term of years' service. Similar embarrassment has lately occurred in the French administration in their distribution of first and second class prefectures, and the newly-adopted practice of conferring the rank and emoluments of a first-class préfet on a person holding a second-class préfecture, if his public service had been long and meritorious, instead of transferring him to a new and strange sphere of power, has, according to the last · Budget,' been resorted to with the best effect. We hope that no official punctilio will prevent the analogous proposal of the Committee respecting our consuls from being at once accepted and acted on. One strong case in favour of some such scheme will strike any careful reader of this evidence.
Such are the main conclusions of the Committee which will be brought before Parliament in due course in the coming session. A complete solution of the question can scarcely be expected to result from a Report founded on such accidental and hap-hazard evidence as was produced. As we before stated, no first-rate statesman tendered his testimony, and the one on the Comınittee never attended after the first two sittings. The Chinese and Levantine portions of the service were by chance as well represented as they could have been after any procrastination; but there were several others which were feebly exhibited, and some not at all. The South American section deserved far more attention and a far more distinct report respecting its future organization than it has obtained. The consul-generalships of South America have hitherto been regarded, not exactly as diplomatic • refugia peccatorum,' but as asylums for those who are hopeless of success on a more important and more conspicuous theatre. A weak protest is all the reproach that this abuse obtains in the Report, and the Foreign Office will hardly abandon so convenient a practice with so little pressure: and yet it surely ought not to continue. The envoy looks on himself as shelved, and thus enters on his new duties in the worst possible state of mind, and the whole consular service think they are deprived of their just rights : if these posts are to be purely diplomatic, they should not retain their consular designation a single day. This point and others would have been well investigated if the Committee had thought fit to postpone their Report till the present year. The Foreign Office would have been just as capable of dealing with cases of palpable grievance, and which could not brook delay, as it is now; and a little additional responsibility must have been a cheap price to pay for a thorough exposition and final settlement of the subject. As it is, we anticipate some good results, attained with difficulty, but hardly the sound and permanent organization—the true economy which justly remunerates efficient service--and the contentment of the officers engaged, and of the country that employs them,' which the sanguine Chairman foreshadows in the concluding paragraph of the Report.
Art. IV.- Recollections of the last Four Popes, and of Rome in their Times. By H. E. Cardinal Wiseman. London. 1858. THOUGH the work of Cardinal Wiseman is of slight import
ance, the subject of which it treats is of extensive interest. Every year we can trace more clearly the influence of the Papacy on the politics and religious institutions of Europe ; and having passed in review the history of the two first Popes of his series, we now complete the task by a sketch of the reigns and characters of the two which remain.
In the conclave which assembled on the death of Leo XII. Cardinal Castiglioni was, in sporting phrase, the favourite'the slang of the turf naturally suggests itself on the occasion, for scarcely the Derby in this country is the subject of more bets and lotteries than the succession to the Chair of St. Peter in the Roman States. At the preceding election his cause had been warmly espoused by the leading powers of the Continent, and he was known to have obtained more suffrages than any but the successful candidate. Although a stanch churchman, he stood high in public esteem as the advocate of a moderate policy, and indeed it was this character for moderation, backed by the support of Austria and the friendship of Consalvi, that on that occasion had caused his rejection by the party of the · Zelanti.' But now a great change had taken place. At the close of each Pope's reign a reaction may generally be observed in favour of an antagonist system.