- 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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P. v., Ch. i.

is invited to certify that " from a document or documents produced
before him it appears," etc., etc.

A Consular Officer with the least experience will not be caught with
this bait ; the fact is, that a properly certified translation is of no use
without the original document, whereas an independent certificate
granted by a Consular Officer is valid without it. It thus becomes
possible that after receiving the independent certificate referred to
above a translation made of the document and certified can be used
for purposes of fraud.

It often happens that translations or copies produced for
certification are found on examination to have been done carelessly and to be
full of errors. As the Consul assumes the responsibility for the
correctness of the translation or copy, he has a right to demand that the
translation or copy shall be correct, and, if such is not the case, to
return it to the applicant for correction. The Consul is under no
obligation to make the corrections himself, his part is confined to
certifying the correctness of the document. Unfortunately, this
simple arrangement does not always appear to be clear to the
applicants. They demand from the Consul that he shall himself correct all
translations or copies submitted to him, which would involve the
loss of much time, especially when the documents in question are

Sometimes the Consulate is approached by persons of both sexes
desirous of obtaining employment in factories, business houses,
educational establishments, private families, etc. The applicants are all
convinced that the Consul is obliged to accede to their requests, the
more so, as they have heard that one or other of the Consular Officers
has at some time really been able to obtain employment for a
compatriot. This is a complete misunderstanding. The truth is, that
cases in which employment is obtained through a Consular Officer are
very rare and are quite accidental in character. Sometimes, though
very seldom, the inhabitants of the country apply to a Consular Officer
requesting him to recommend them persons having certain exceptional
qualifications, such, for instance, as a knowledge of the Russian
language. If, at the same time, there happens to be some one who is
capable of taking the position thus offered, it is of course possible
to accommodate both the parties. But, as stated, such cases are
rare and occur accidentally, as the Consul is not in a position to know
of vacancies in the labour market, while, on the other hand, employers
are not likely to take on persons merely because they possess a letter
of recommendation from a Consul, as is usually supposed to be the
case. An employer only gives work to those of whose services he can
make use in the pursuit of his business. Hence the Consul’s assistance
in this respect should be confined to giving the applicant the addresses
of agencies and registration offices engaged professionally in such

Friction also takes place on the question of letters of introduction.
Persons quite unknown to the Consulate apply for letters of
recommendation for all sorts of purposes, such as to obtain situations, to effect
business transactions, etc. Consuls may give letters of
recommendation so as to enable the applicant to obtain access to libraries, private
museums and other places to which the general public is not admitted,

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