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Fessels and seamen (Form No. 167); account for compensation from consular fees received (Form No. 116); account for salaries of consular clerks (Form No. 165); account for loss and gain by exchange, consular service (Form No. 92); and any account specially ordered to be sent to the Treasury Department.
540. Preparation of accounts.—The quarterly or other accounts went to the Department of State should be inclosed in a single dispatch. An account ordered by special instructions should be sent in a separate dispatch. A transcript of all accounts should be recorded in the proper consular record.
Dispatches forwarding quarterly accounts or transmitting advice of drafts should not be numbered. (See also paragraph 117.)
541. To be stated in currency of the United States.—All accounts of consular officers must be stated in the currency of the l'nited States; and all drafts on the Secretary of the Treasury or the Secretary of State must be drawn, not in foreign money of account or currency, but in the money of the United States. In all cases when the disbursements are actually made in foreign currency the vouchers themselves should be taken and rendered to the Treasury in the same currency in which the disbursements are made; and when the value quoted in the Secretary of the Treasury's quarterly proclamation of ralue of foreign coins (paragraphs 528, 585) is not used in the reduction of the payments to the currency of the United States, katisfactory evidence should accompany the accounts as to the correct valuation of such foreign currency in the coinage of the United States, or the standard money of the country n which the transaction occurred, either in the form of a ertificate of a responsible banker or of the consular officer uimself based on authentic quotations. (See paragraph 578.) There a currency foreign to the standard currency of the ountry where the consular officer is located or a depreciated
currency of said country is involved, a certificate must b furnished showing the relative value of the foreign or depre ciated currency to the standard coinage of the foreign country where the consular officer is located.
542. Unless otherwise specially instructed, a proper and satisfactory voucher must be furnished for every disburse ment by consular officers. Vouchers should be in the Eng lish language, or, if not, they should be accompanied by a careful translation. They should be full, showing exactly what the disbursement was for, and should be numbered and referred to in the corresponding account by number Vouchers in a foreign language not accompanied by trans lations will be suspended by the accounting officers. In al cases they must be original. Copies of vouchers will not be audited. (As to vouchers for telegrams, see paragraph 462.
CONTINGENT EXPENSES, UNITED STATES CONSULATES.
543. The account for contingent expenses (Form No. 90) i to be transmitted by consular officers to the Secretary of Stati at the end of each quarter. It must contain every item o necessary disbursement made by him during the quarter fo which it is rendered which he deems properly chargeable to the Government and for which an allowance is claimed.Stat. L., 38. These items are divisible into three classes:
1. Those expressly allowed by the Consular Regulations.
2. Those specially authorized in writing by the Departmen of State.
3. Those made under pressure of an emergency.
In every case the expenditure must be necessary in it nature, reasonable in its amount, and appropriate to the par ticular consulate for which it is made.
Expenditures under the second class will only be authorized
upon written statement of the consular officer, showing the necessity therefor; and where authorized, if for one or more specific items, such authorization will expire when payment therefor has been made; if for regular expenditures from time to time, it will become void at the expiration of the time fixed therein; but in no case shall any authorization above provided for be effective after the termination of the fiscal year in which it was issued.
Where expenditures are made under the third class the voucher therefor is to be accompanied by a sworn statement of the consular officer, setting forth the nature of the emergency calling for such expenditure, and forwarded to the Secretary of State with his next quarterly account.
If the fees applied as directed in paragraph 567 fail to meet this account, the consul will draw for the deficit on the Secretary of State.
544. Rent, salaried consuls.-Consuls and commercial agents in Schedule B, whose annual salaries exceed $1,000 a year, may charge for rent the sum actually paid by them, to an amount not exceeding 20 per cent of the salary named in the statute. The voucher must show that the office is devoted solely to the business of the consulate, and though a consul may occupy a part of the building in which he may have his consular offices as a residence for himself and family, only such part of the premises as are actually occupied for the use of the consular office can be paid for out of the Government's allowance for rent. Consular officers whose annual salaries do not exceed $1,000 a year are not entitled to any allowance for office rent, and no application for such an allowance will be considered. (For form of the voucher for office rent see Form No. 91.)--R. S., sec. 1706. (Paragraphs 64-67.)
545. Rent, unsalaried consuls.--Unsalaried consuls are not entitled to rent, unless the fees collected or fees collected and due for services to vessels exceed the amount which they are allowed to receive for their compensation. In no event can they receive from these sources more than the amount actually paid for rent, which must never exceed the rate of $500 for the year. They are not authorized to draw for the expense of office rent or for their compensation either upon the Department of State or the Treasury. The receipts out of which office rent may be paid are those of the consulate, exclusive of such as may arise from consular agencies.R. S., sec. 1732.
546. Postage.--Consular officers will be required to accompany their postage account with proper vouchers, showing the number and denominations of the stamps purchased and charged for in the account. (Paragraph 542.) Postage is not to be charged in the account of a consular officer except on dispatches and letters received and written by him on official business and by reason of his office. (Paragraph 459.) The accounts for this disbursement will be carefully examined. The Treasury Department has decided that it is unlawful for consular officers to buy postage stamps with Government funds for their private or business letters, or to include in their accounts their private postage as a part of their expenditures for the Government. No allowance for postage of a purely personal character will be made. (Paragraph 115.)
547. Economy in postage.-Consuls will take care to avoid unnecessary expenditures for postage. The use of light paper in formal returns, the limitation of their size, and the excision of blank half sheets from short inclosures are suggested as means to this end.
548. Stationery.—The stationery ordinarily needed in a consular office is in general furnished by the Department of State. A schedule of all the articles furnished to consulates is sent out periodically. By prompt notice to the Department of deficiency likely to occur, consuls need never be forced to purchase such articles in the local market.
549. Freight and charges on boxes and packages to and from the Department.-When boxes and packages are addressed to or from the consul, the voucher should be accompanied by a brief memorandum, showing in general terms their contents.
550. Flagstaff and fixtures, flag, seal and press, record books, and blank forms.—Principal consular officers are authorized to purchase a suitable flagstaff and fixtures on permission first obtained from the Department of State. Flags, seals and presses, record books, and blank forms are supplied by the Department on requisition.
551. Furniture.— It is expected of consular officers that their offices should be suitably and respectably furnished. this purpose they are allowed for furniture such articles as the Secretary of State shall deem necessary for the good of the service. In all cases, before incurring expense for furniture, consular officers will obtain the sanction of the Department of State; and in their applications they will be careful to state the articles required and the estimated cost of each. (Paragraph 431.)
552. Binding.--A consular officer should, as fast as the correspondence accumulates in sufficient quantities, cause it to De neatly bound in the manner prevailing in the consulate. f practicable, it is better to have this work done at his office. The cost is a proper item of contingent expense. Consular eports and printed documents received at the consulate hould not be bound without permission obtained after subaitting an estimate of the cost. 553. Charges not allowed, etc.—No allowance will be made to Onsular officers for expenditures for the following objects: lepairs, or care, or cleaning of office or attendance; donalons, taxes, carriage hire, traveling expenses, statistics, ewspapers, messenger service, and Chinese writers, unless uthorized; contributions to charitable or other objects; forign flags; telegrams, except in cases of exigency; printed