- Yg. 1929, No. 19 -
In dealing with the budget of the Foreign Office in the Budget Committee of the Reichstag, we once again discovered how expensive our political field service works. Especially because his officials, from Ambassador to Legation Secretary, receive fabulous salaries.
The highest paid civil servant of the German Republic, the President of the Reich, has monthly 15 000 Mark. The ambassador in London gets just as much; get more: the ambassador to Buenos Aires (15 300 Mark), the ambassador to Madrid (15 400 Mark), the one in Washington (17 800 Mark) and the one in Moscow (19 200 Mark). The Chancellor has a monthly income of 4250 Mark; as Legation Secretary in Tehran he would get 300 Mark on. The Envoy in Tehran has about 10 000 Mark, who in Budapest is not quite 10 000; Stresemann, the head of our foreign policy, does not face up to 4000 Mark, his right-hand man in the Foreign Office, State Secretary von Schubert, on 2300 Mark on a monthly basis. On the other hand, a German consul in Gdansk gets 2400 Mark, the one in Curitiba (which is the capital of the Brazilian state of Parana) 5400 and a legation council in Athens 9000 Mark. Every month, dear readers, you may not even be used to such figures for an annual income.
Of course, domestic salaries and foreign salaries may not be placed next to each other, as well as domestic and foreign wages. If you want to compare both, you have to know what the needs of living abroad and inland cost. Hiebei will show that you may need twice or even three times as much money abroad to live as at home. So perhaps one will not object if foreign officials claim twice or three times the salary they have previously received in Berlin. But there are still no such numbers as the ones listed.
One comes to them only when one makes the foreign employees of the republic another concession: that they do not live abroad in the same way, but considerably better than at home. Namely because they must represent as advanced posts of a large people in front of the public of foreign countries. Namely, of course, the chiefs of the individual missions, the ambassadors and ambassadors. They must simply, it is said, live on a large footing, circulate with the best circles, give splendid festivals and societies: so that the reputation of their people is not impaired, and because after many old experiences with champagne glass or Havana often the most important diplomatic talks take place , Therefore, if one did not want to jeopardize the professional purpose of these officials, one could not help but make appropriate sums of money available to them. Except, for example, it would only be taken from the richest families of the homeland, which, however, would be dangerous for reasons of material fitness and, moreover, would be inapplicable in a republic.
This reason for the overpayment of foreign diplomats will seem plausible. He may have been in earlier times. Today it is valid only conditionally. For today politics is no longer made exclusively in courtly "cabinets", in the small circle of some presidents, following any social "events", but in parliaments and supervisory board meetings, between the sober walls of workrooms, if at all in club chairs and with the cigarette case in his hand. And the "representation" that used to have meaning in expressing or feigning power is nowadays, where there are statistical manuals, above a modest limit an empty, unnecessary or even ridiculous externality.
Gustav Stresemann, who has defended his budget in the budget committee and thereby complained about the unreasonable type of representation through "mass feedings" and the like, which means no pleasure, but a torment, knows this. But, he added, if all the others do so (including the Russian foreign representatives!), Then one can not demand from our ambassadors "that they alone observe a different way of life."
So? Why not? Would it be a shame if the representatives of a people who, first, has lost a great war and, secondly, is doing so much too well for its moral and spiritual quality, set a good example?
After the American War of Independence, I believe, the envoys of the young American state in European capitals were all over the place when they did not appear at official receptions and state celebrations in a gold-tanned tuxedo, but in the modest suit of homespun spun at home and woven cloth.
America did not fare badly, I mean. His diplomats, as far as I know, still disdain today, where they embody the most powerful empire in the world, the European courtier's costume, which is still fashionable as a diplomatic uniform.
The German Republic, on the other hand, has these, together with their ship's hat and sword, on 1. January 1929 re-launched.
1929, 19 wrench