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117. Numbering dispatches.—Dispatches must be bered consecutively, beginning with the acceptance of the office and continuing consecutively during the term of the incumbent. A vice-consular officer, acting in the absence of his principal, or when from a vacancy or other cause he is in charge of the office, should continue the series of numbers of the principal or of the late consul, as the case may be. This series will, in the case of a vacancy, be continued until the entry of a successor upon his duties. A new series should not be begun with the new year, and the series of numbers of dispatches to the Department of State must not be used in communications to other Departments.
Such dispatches as fall under the following heads should not be numbered:
1. Forwarding quarterly accounts and returns.
6. Forwarding reports called for by circulars, and, in general, all reports by consular officers which are not called for by numbered instructions.
7. Acknowledging receipt of monthly Consular Reports.
All quarterly accounts and returns should þe transmitted under the cover of one dispatch when practicable.
118. One subject.—Each dispatch is, as far as possible, to be confined to one subject, and is to be divided into paragraphs when treating of the several parts of a subject.
119 Correspondence of subordinates. The official correspondence of consular agents, and of marshals, interpreters, and consular clerks, will be submitted to the examination of the principal consular officers to whom they are subordinate or to whose offices they are assigned. Consular agents are not authorized to address the Department of State directly, or to make their reports or returns, except through their respective superiors.
120. Form of dispatch.-All dispatches to the Department of State should begin upon the third page of the sheet. The second line on the first page should contain the number of the dispatch and the station of the consulate; the third line, the date of the dispatch; the fifth line, the name of the consular officer and of the Assistant Secretary of State; the seventh line, the general subject of the dispatch; and the subsequent lines of that and the following page (if necessary) a synopsis of the contents. A pro forma dispatch will be found in the appendix. (Forms Nos. 6 and 7.)
121. Inclosures.-In transmitting inclosures in dispatches, the contents of the inclosures are to be briefly stated in the body of the dispatch, and attention is to be directed to such points contained in them as may appear to be particularly deserving of notice. In each case, following the signature, the consul should subjoin a "List of inclosures," showing the names of the persons by and to whom the inclosure is written and the subject. Tabular statements accompanying dispatches are in all cases to be footed up. 122. Newspaper extracts.—All extracts from newspapers
sent as inclosures must be neatly cut out and pasted upon cap paper corresponding in size with the dispatch, or, when that is not practicable, two copies of the newspaper should be sent. All newspapers containing matter referred to in a dispatch and not sent under the same cover with the dispatch should be addressed in care of the Bureau of Indexes, with an indorsement on the cover showing the number and date of the dispatch to which the matter therein contained refers.
123. Translations.—When inclosures are in a foreign language, exact copies of the originals are to be forwarded. Translations of these should also accompany the dispatches, unless, from pressing emergency, no time is allowed to make them. In the case of vouchers for expenditures, the translation must be attached to each voucher. Translations are not required of books, pamphlets, or entire newspapers sent as inclosures.
124. Indorsement of inclosures.—Whenever it is mentioned in a dispatch that a paper is inclosed, an oblique line is to be made in the margin thus (/), and above such line is to be placed the number corresponding to the number of inclosures. All inclosures should be indorsed and numbered. The numbers and indorsements, especially on all accounts and returns, should show briefly but clearly what the inclosures are, and should correspond to the description required in the “List of inclosures" prescribed in paragraph 121. The vouchers of an account should not be set out in the “List of inclosures," but the account only.
125. Series of inclosures.—Each series of inclosures is to be numbered anew in each dispatch, commencing with No. 1; and when there are more inclosures than one in a dispatch, each inclosure is to be numbered in the order in which it is to be read.
126. Copies as inclosures.-In transmitting copies of correspondence with dispatches, consuls are requested to use half sheets of paper in all cases where they will suffice to contain the text of the note to be copied. In making copies of correspondence the blank space on a page at the end of one communication should not be used to begin another. The copy of each communication should be on its own sheet, or, if brief, on its own half sheet. Copies should not be made on alternate pages unless intended as copy for the printer.
127. Reference to previous subjects.—When consuls write upon any subject upon which they have previously written, they will be careful to refer to the number of such previous dispatches, both by number and date.
128. Folding and sealing. All dispatches are to be folded
like those sent from the Department of State. Gum, sealing wax, or wafers are not to be put upon the dispatches or the inclosures, but only on the envelopes which cover them. Paper envelopes should be used for all official communications which cross the ocean in a sealed pouch, and they should be sealed with mucilage alone, unless the communication must go in the open mail from the consulate where it is written to the place where it is put in the pouch; in which case wax or paper seals may be affixed to guard against possible opening of the envelope while in transit over the foreign mail route. In other cases cloth-lined envelopes and wax seals will be used when deemed necessary for the safe transmission of the inclosure.
129. Address of dispatch.--All communications to the Department of State should be in the form of dispatches addressed to the Assistant Secretary of State. Consular officers should not have recourse to private letters addressed to the Secretary of State or to other officers of the Department upon topics relating to the official business of their consulates. Where dispatches are regarded as especially of a reserved or secret nature they may be marked “ Confidential.” All envelopes covering consular dispatches should be addressed to the Department of State. (Form No. 8.)
130. Dates of reports.—Dispatches are never to be antedated; and when returns which are ordered to be transmitted “quarterly,” “half-yearly,” or “annually” can not be completed on the last day of the quarter, half-year, or year, as the case may be, for want of sufficient information on that date, or for any other reason, the consul will notify the proper Department thereof, and the returns will be made up to that date as soon as practicable thereafter.
131. Special reports.-Reports or returns ordered by special instructions are to be sentas inclosures in separate dispatches, each dispatch relating solely to the report or return as ordered
to be made by such instructions. The several quarterly reports prescribed by these regulations, of which a recapitulation is given in paragraph 587, should be transmitted in a single dispatch, not in separate dispatches. The quarterly account, however, with the Department of State should be sent in a separate dispatch.
132. With whom may correspond on public matters.-A consul will hold correspondence on public matters (independently of that which his official duties require him to conduct with the local authorities and individuals of the place where he resides, and officers or others employed in our commercial marine) with the Secretary and Assistant Secretaries of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Comptroller, the Auditor for the State and other Departments, the Register of the Treasury, collectors of customs as to invoices and prices cur. rent, the diplomatic representative of the United States in the country where he resides, other consular officers, and with naval or military officers in the service of the United States who may be employed in the neighborhood, and to whom it may be necessary to communicate immediately any event of public interest, and with no other persons. (Paragraph 591.)
133. On private business matters.—The prohibition of the foregoing paragraph does not apply to correspondence between a consular officer and citizens of the United States touching the private business matters of the latter. This class of correspondence is on the consul's side official, but is not on public matters. (Paragraph 459.)
134. Correspondence with other Departments. With the exception of the correspondence with the Treasury Department respecting accounts, and such other correspondence as special provisions of law or these Regulations may require him to have with other Departments or officers, he will conduct no official correspondence with any other Department except