consular service

consular service

consular service, organized body of public officers maintained by a government in the important ports and trade centers of foreign countries to protect the persons and interests of its nationals and to aid them in every possible way. Consuls are officially recognized by a foreign state through the issuance of an authorization known as an exequatur, which may be revoked by the admitting state at any time. The many duties of U.S. consuls in foreign states include promoting and protecting American commercial interests; issuing passports and verifying citizenship; certifying the sanitary conditions of the cargo, crew, and passengers of vessels leaving for U.S. ports; and mediating with local officials in cases of legal matters involving American citizens. The consular service was once strictly distinguished from the diplomatic service, but because of the interrelated duties of the two branches, the Rogers Act of 1924 consolidated both into the Foreign Service of the Department of State. The Department of Commerce and the Department of the Treasury may place commercial attachés at a consulate office to aid in gathering statistics and promoting trade. The persons of consuls enjoy immunity and extraterritoriality in all matters pertaining to their official functions, and the premises of consulates are likewise privileged. Such privileges are granted either by courtesy or through special consular treaties.
Britain had a functioning consular service in Japan from 1859 after the signing of the 1858 Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce between James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and the Tokugawa Shogunate until 1941 when war was declared by Britain on Japan as the ally of the United States after the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Notable officials

See also

Further reading

  • "Britain's Japan Consular Service, 1859-1941" by J.E. Hoare in Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits, Volume II, ed. Ian Nish, 1997 ISBN 1-873410-62-X
Search another word or see consular serviceon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature