- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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Consular Duties in General. — Staff. — Office.

CHAPTER I. — General Duties.

§ 1. Consular duties in general.

Every Consular Officer is under obligation to perform the duties
of his office in accordance with the existing laws and according to
instructions transmitted to him, and must, by his behaviour whether
on or off duty, show himself worthy of the respect which he should
attach to his position.

It is the sacred duty of every servant of the Russian State to
guard and protect, to the best of his knowledge, power and ability,
all rights and prerogatives appertaining to His Majesty the Emperor.[1]
Every official is expected to make it his immediate duty to be
well acquainted with all the laws and regulations of the State and
to maintain their integrity to the very best of his ability, as the
fundamental basis of the fair and equitable conduct of all business.[2] In
particular, Consuls are required to watch, each one in his own Consular
district, over the interests of Russian and Finnish trade and shipping.[3]
The Consul is responsible for the legality of his official actions.
With regard to his behaviour outside of his official sphere, it is
impossible to lay down any fixed rules. Tact and experience are, here,
the best instructors. Careful preliminary investigation is especially
necessary when joining clubs, associations, &c.

The Consul must treat as confidential all matters which come
to his knowledge in his official capacity.

Russian Consuls must conform, in the exercise of their official
functions, to the laws of the Russian Empire, to the Circulars of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the instructions of the Legations,
Embassies, or Consulates to which they are subordinate and to those
of the Ministries of Finance, Trade and Commerce, and Marine.

On the other hand, Consular Officers must also be guided by the
law and usage of the district in which they exercise their office. If
the local government has not granted the Consul special rights and
privileges by agreement between itself and the State whose agent
the Consul is, he is subject, in all his official actions, to the laws of
the country in which he resides, and may not, therefore, place himself
in conflict with them. In his official intercourse with the Ministry
or other authorities of the country in which he resides, the Consul
must be careful to observe propriety and the established etiquette
and not make pretensions which might lead to disputes. Even in
the most delicate explanations, he must know how to uphold his
dignity, not forgetting the respect due to the Government with which
he has to deal. In short, while taking care that the prerogatives

[1] Reg. of Civil Service, Art. 706.
[2] Reg. of Civil Service, Art. 708.
[3] Cons. Reg., Art. 1.

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