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Executive Order 5400—Regulations Governing Representation Allowances

July 22, 1930

In pursuance of the authorization contained in section 12 of the act of May 24, 1924 (43 Stat. 142), which provides

"That the President is hereby authorized to grant to diplomatic missions and to consular offices at capitals of countries where there is no diplomatic mission of the United States representation allowances out of any money which may be appropriated for such purpose from time to time by Congress, the expenditure of such representation allowance to be accounted for in detail to the Department of State quarterly under such rules and regulations as the President may prescribe."

the following regulations are hereby prescribed.

Purposes of Representation Allowances

The purposes for which representation allowances are granted, are the assistance in the establishment and maintenance of official contacts, the upholding of the prestige of the United States in the communities in which its representatives are stationed, and the furthering of its interests abroad in the ways recognized as customary in various parts of the world.

Scope of Representation Allowances

Representation allowances are considered to include the following items;

1. Receptions on American national holidays.

2. Functions, formal or informal, such as receptions, dinners, and luncheons given upon special occasions such as the usual official receptions incident to visits of U.S. naval vessels, of special commissions, or upon some important happening, providing the means of reciprocating official courtesies received, either at a representative's home or at public places.

3. Tips and gratuities in accordance with custom in the various countries where such gratuities are, in the opinion of the representative, necessary or desirable for the maintenance of the prestige of the United States.

4. Purchases of flowers, wreaths, etc., upon appropriate occasions such as weddings, births, and deaths of important personages.

5. Expenses for entertainment of other kinds than that provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2 when considered reasonable and desirable by the Secretary of State, provided that such expenses are shown to be for activities of representative importance.

6. Any other expenses which in the discretion of the Secretary of State are of a character to promote the representation of the United States abroad.

Apportionment of Allowances

The Secretary of State is hereby authorized to make such allowances within the amount appropriated from year to year to any or all diplomatic offices and to any or all consular offices designated below, as he may deem desirable to accomplish the purposes for which representation allowances are granted.

The following places are hereby designated as capitals of countries, within the meaning of the act of May 24, 1924, where there are no diplomatic missions. Consular offices at these places may be granted representation allowances.

Capital Country
Aden Aden
Algiers Algeria
Baghdad Iraq
Barbados British West Indies
Batavia Java
Beirut Syria
Belize British Honduras
Calcutta India
Colombo Ceylon
Curasao Netherland West Indies
Dakar Senegal
Danzig Free City of Danzig
Funchal Madeira
Georgetown British Guiana
Gibraltar Gibraltar
Hamilton Bermuda
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Jerusalem Palestine
Kingston Jamaica
Lagos Nigeria
Leopoldville Belgian Congo
Lourenço Marques Mozambique
Luxemburg Luxemburg
Malta Malta
Martinique French West Indies
Monaco Monaco
Nairobi Kenya
Nassau Bahamas
Saigon French Indo-China
St. John's Newfoundland
St. Michael's Azores
San Marino San Marino
Seoul Chosen
Singapore Straits Settlements
Suva Fiji Islands
Sydney Australia
Tahiti Society Islands
Taihoku Taiwan
Tananarive Madagascar
Trinidad Trinidad
Tunis Tunisia
Wellington New Zealand


Representation allowances are granted to the offices determined by the Secretary of State, to be administered personally by the official in charge of such office. Detailed accounts shall be submitted monthly as to the expenditures made and the purposes for which they were made. Supporting vouchers shall be supplied in all cases for expenditures over $5 made under paragraphs 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the section of this order entitled "Scope of Representation Allowances." A specific exception to this requirement is made under paragraph 2, where a function takes place at a representative's home. Vouchers need be submitted in this case only where a caterer or similar purveyor is called upon. In other cases, an officer's certificate as to expenditures made in this connection will be sufficient. In all cases of receptions, dinners, and other entertainment, sufficient information should be included in the account to show the total cost per capita, which shall constitute sufficient detail for accounting purposes.

With regard to expenditures under paragraphs 3 and 6 of the section mentioned above, the amounts expended shall be supported by certificates of the officer in charge, except that where any expenditure exceeds $15, a supporting voucher must be obtained.

The amount granted to any one office should normally be divided into four equal parts, to be availed of to that extent every three months. This will permit an expenditure of more than one-twelfth of the fund in any one mouth, but will nevertheless prevent a too early exhaustion of the fund. If more than one-fourth is spent in any three months, an explanation should accompany the account for such excess expenditure.

Due to express provisions of law, representation allowances may not be used for expenses in connection with any of the following objects:

1. Hire, purchase, operation, maintenance, or repair of any motor-propelled passenger-carrying vehicles.

2. Club or association dues.

3. Printing or engraving expenses.

4. Purchase of alcoholic beverages.

According to law, competitive bids must be obtained for all expenditures in excess of $100, except where it is manifestly impossible to obtain such bids, when the circumstances rendering the submission of such bids impossible must be completely set forth.

The utmost care shall be exercised in the submission of the accounts for this fund, under the provisions of this order. The character of the appropriation is such that it is incumbent upon each officer in the field who has charge of the expenditure of this appropriation to make certain that the items for which he spends the money are amply justified.

Signature of Herbert Hoover

The White House,
July 22, 1930.

Herbert Hoover, Executive Order 5400—Regulations Governing Representation Allowances Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/361103

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