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would appear to have been hitherto considered as indispensable in a Consular Agent.

Considering the vast importance of the due protection of every branch within the gigantic scope of commerce, trade, navigation, and international enterprise which the British Empire has created, pursued-and, indeed, now actively encourages and promotes in all parts of the habitable globe-surely it becomes well the most enlightened Statesman to devote himself energetically to the amelioration and improvement of the present mode of administration of that part of the public service; and rather to originate a necessary revision of the present course adopted, than wait for the interposition of those who may treat the subject with more rough celerity than would be judicious. Let no one be found who shall be able to exclaim with truth, that the appointments are conferred on persons “ favoured, not fitted."

In what department of the Civil Service is there so much required as of a Consul—and this, when he is in many instances far from his native land, and those from whom he might otherwise obtain counsel and advice? Placed too in a position wherein he must promptly manifest the possession of firmness-a firmness well based on that proper amount of self-reliance resulting alone from a virtuous and manly confidence that he possesses the necessary qualifications for the performance of the duties of his office-duties no less than identical with those of a clergyman, a lawyer, diplomatist, notary, merchant, shipowner, and all persons acting directly, or as agents for others, in the management of the innumerable affairs (many of considerable delicacy) involved in the transactions of so widely diffused and extensive commercial relations—this proposition is of itself so obviously correct that confirmation is unnecessary. Yet the opinion of probably one of the most acute and observant diplomatists of his own or any other age, occurs to me: I may with propriety remind my readers of the very brief allusion of Prince Talleyrand to such duties, which he made while directing attention to Count Rheinhard, an eminent politician, then lately deceased : “ Après avoir été un ministre hahile, que des choses il faut encore savoir pour être un bon Consul! Car les attributions d'un Consul sont variées à l'infini; elles sont d'un genre tout différent de celles des autres employés des affaires étrangères. Elles exigent une foule de connaissances pratiquées, pour lesquelles une éducation particulière est nécessaire. Les Consuls sont dans le cas

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d'exercer, dans l'étendue de leur arrondissement, vis-à-vis de leur compatriotes, les fonctions de juge, d'arbitres, de conciliateurs; souvent ils sont officiers de l'état civil ; ils remplissent l'emploi de notaires; quelquefois celui d'administrateurs de la marine; ils surveillent et constatent l'état sanitaire. Ce sont eux qui, par leurs relations habituelles, peuvent donner une idée juste et complete de la situation du commerce, de la navigation, et de l'industrie particulière au pays de leur résidence."

The origin of the appointment of a Consul has been briefly mentioned. I do not conceive further information on this point to be within the purpose for which this volume is intended.

Particular attention is respectfully. directed to the Consular Convention between France and the United States; such may well be considered likely to be taken as a precedent for future treaties on the same subject.

The Instructions issued by the Board of Trade are most clear, and justify my omitting the Merchant Shipping Act.

The Consular jurisdiction and duties in the Levant and China have necessarily occupied many pages. They are of so much consequence as to preclude a closer condensation. They require careful perusal; and strict attention is directed to the onerous duties a Consul there is required to perform.

I have supplied a concise view of the Consular privileges, rank, fees, and salaries; the latter being in accordance with a recent statement made by Her Majesty's Government.

In the Appendix is arranged, in Section I., a few points of interna-. tional and maritime law and insurance. Sections II., III., IV., and V., the Acts of Parliament for the solemnization of marriages abroad, administration of oaths abroad, that relating to bills of lading, and that for the performance of quarantine. Section VI., Consular Forms and notarial precedents, which, together with those in the body of the work, will, I hope, prove of the greatest utility to the Consul. In Section VII. is the Foreign Deserters Act, and a list of the countries to which the same is extended by Order in Council. In Section VIII., the Commercial Treaties and Conventions concluded between Great Britain and foreign countries. As the latter would have, if given in extenso, formed several volumes by themselves, they have been arranged on a novel plan—that of giving a formula of the several clauses contained in different treaties of commerce, numbered,

to which numbers the conventions of the several countries are referred. This consolidation necessarily occupied much time and labour, and, I trust, will be deemed acceptable.

A comparative statement of the moneys, weights, and measures of foreign countries, with those of Great Britain, will be found.

I have to request my readers will believe that, in compiling this book-and producing it for sale at so moderate a price, regard being had to the originality of its purpose and effect-I have with great reluctance forborne to yield to the tempting opportunity of indulging in making many remarks which might be considered fairly to attach to so interesting a question, and appurtenant whereto—as much as a military or naval school of training be necessary in those departments respectively—it might be wise to offer the suggestion of educational and qualifying institutions being at once established for that portion of the public service to which this Volume relates.

I thank most sincerely those kind friends who have lent me their assistance in this compilation.

“ Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,

Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
In every work regard the writer's end,
Since none can compass more than they intend;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due.”—POPE.



January, 1856.

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