- 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., Сн. i.

co-operation against their fellow-countrymen in Russia. All this is
evidence of a complete misunderstanding of the duties of the Consular

Those commissioned by the Government on special errands abroad
receive particular attention and assistance from Consular Officers ;
but here, again, it is necessary to determine what shape such assistance
ought to take. In such cases the Consular Officer advises the parties
where to apply in order to obtain the information they seek, or he
furnishes them with letters of recommendation, which secure them
introductions to persons or institutions connected with the objects
of their visit. The Consul is sometimes required to draw up lengthy
statements for them and to do their work for them. This is outside
the province of a Consul.

Consuls are also expected to render assistance to foreigners, when
possible, with advice or instruction. But if the enquiry relates to
matters of a local character, relating to individual towns in our
extensive fatherland, Consuls are unable to render such assistance. The
required data is not always available, as the Consulates do not receive
regular official information about the individual towns of the Empire.
More detailed information of this kind can and should be obtained from
the foreign Consuls in Russia.

CHAPTER II.—Assistance with Regard to Trade.

to Russian

Consular Officers are required to give information to all Russian
subjects applying to them, whether they reside in their Consular
district or not, on all subjects relating to business and, in particular,
on matters of trade and shipping, either from their own knowledge
and experience, or by making inquiries of the local authorities,
merchants, and others. They are also required to supply
information as to commercial matters in their districts, and to give their
views as to the expediency of establishing direct business relations
between Russian firms and those of their Consular districts. If the
opinion entertained by a Consular Officer is not favourable to local
trade, or if he is unable to speak highly of the financial conditions
of the local tradespeople, he is recommended to exercise every caution
in giving his opinion, as he may risk prejudicing his official position
without doing any service to the person interrogating him. In like
manner, Consular Officers should be cautious when giving information
about individuals, or regarding the solvency or credit of firms, as he is
unable to insure himself against the indiscreet or compromising use
of such information, while taking all the responsibility which the
expression of such opinions carries. If the Consular Officer prefers
to withhold the required information altogether, he can supply the
enquirer with the name and address of a firm in his district qualified
and willing to supply it. When giving information himself, he should
do so conscientiously and to the best of his knowledge. He should,
on every occasion, stipulate that he assumes no commercial
responsibility for the opinion expressed. If requested to name a business firm


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