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Executive Order 7439—Amendment of Article XXVIII of the Consular Regulations

August 24, 1936

By virtue of and pursuant to the authority vested in me by section 1752 of the Revised Statutes (U.S.C., title 22, sec. 132), it is ordered that Article XXVIII of the Consular Regulations be, and it is hereby, amended as follows:

1. The centered title preceding section 595 is changed to "Commercial reporting and reporting for other departments and independent establishments of the Government".

2. Section 595 is amended to read:

"595. Object and general character. The main object in view in the preparation of reports should be to supply accurate information for the use of the Government and American business concerns.

"Consular officers should take care that information given in reports is presented accurately and fully, and that facts or figures are not misconstrued in support of their individual theories or opinions. They should not, on the other hand, be mere transmitters of objective data. In addition to setting forth plainly and impartially statistics and positive information, the reporting officer should furnish, in distinct paragraphs, an analytical interpretation of the material presented, and, when appropriate, a full statement of his personal deductions and opinions.

"Data must be obtained, as far as possible, from official sources, and the origin must in all cases be clearly indicated. When quotations are given, they should be carefully designated as such with the proper quotation marks, in order that they may not be confused with individual views or conclusions by the writer. In those portions of reports which are intended for publication, reference to political or controversial matters should be omitted, and particular care should be exercised to avoid unfavorable comments or criticism upon the government, people, or institutions of the country.

"It is a part of a consular officer's duty to transmit promptly to the Department of State commercial and other information of a political or controversial nature whenever it appears that the interests of the United States, or of American commerce, may be served thereby; but such communications should be in the form of separate despatches or special sections of reports conspicuously marked 'Confidential', to indicate that they are intended for the information of the Government alone."

3. Section 597 is amended to read:

"597. Annual report on commerce and industry. As soon as possible after the close of each calendar year, every officer in charge of a consular office is required to submit, in accordance with the procedure established for his office, a report on the development of commerce and industry in his district during the previous year."

4. Section 597(a) is amended to read:

"597A. Current economic and commercial reports. In order that the Department may be kept informed throughout the year upon the economic developments that may be of interest to the American business public, concise, timely reports upon the commerce, finance, and industry of each consular district should be prepared as developments occur. These reports will be used for the information of the Department of State and by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce of the Department of Commerce in the preparation of its reviews of various countries and geographical units."

5. Section 598 is prescribed as follows:

"598. Reports on transportation. Consular officers should submit for the use of the Department of State and other interested departments and establishments of the Government, reports regarding transportation, terminal facilities, and coordination of the various forms of transportation."

6. Section 600 is amended to read:

"600. Voluntary reports. Consular officers are expected to report on their own initiative concerning all matters arising in their districts of a kind to be of use to American business concerns or to the various departments and independent establishments of the Government. In respect to many subjects it will not suffice to report accomplished facts, but officers should study the probable course of development in order that it may be pointed out In time to be of use."

7. Section 602 is amended to read:

"602. Information regarding foreign firms. There shall be maintained in each consular office a list or file of the principal commercial and industrial firms in the consular district, and this information shall be furnished the Secretary of State as he may direct. Brief special lists of foreign firms interested in specific classes of business (sec. 603C) and World Trade Directory reports on individual firms shall be prepared in accordance with specific directions from the Department."

8. The title of section 603(f) is changed to "Transmission of correspondence".

9. The title of section 603(h) is changed to "Consular officers not to act as agents".

10. The words "as usual" in the seventh line of section 603 (j) are deleted.

11. Section 603(k) is amended to read: "603K. Arbitration of disputes. Consular officers are not authorized to act as arbitrators in trade disputes. They may, however, submit with the usual waiver of responsibility the names of individuals considered best suited to act as arbitrators in the event that arbitration seems feasible.

"Surveys. Consular officers are sometimes asked to appoint boards of survey to examine and report on the condition of American merchandise imported into foreign countries of which complaint has been made by the importers. A consular officer has no statutory authority in this respect, and the findings of such a board would be without conclusive effect in the United States. Nevertheless, if the local law does not forbid, consular officers should accede to requests of this character, using their best efforts and judgment to find impartial experts competent to perform the work in hand. The findings of the board may be forwarded by the consular officer, through the Department of State, to the exporter in the United States, together with any comments he may consider appropriate. Oaths of the surveyors to their findings are unnecessary, but may be administered when requested by the person calling for the survey, a fee of $2 (item 33 of the tariff of fees) being charged."

12. The numbers of sections 603(a) to 603 (m), inclusive, are changed to 603A, 603B, etc.

Signature of Franklin D. Roosevelt

August 24, 1936.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Executive Order 7439—Amendment of Article XXVIII of the Consular Regulations Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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