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Foreign Switching Theory


The world situation being what it is, a member of our diplomatic service has a more than ample number of miseries. But Ambassadors from the United States have found that their international aggravations are accompanied by several from home. The most obvious and depressing of these is financial. An Ambassador must be well endowed if he is ever to make use of his training, as his salary of $25,000 can not cover the entertainment and social expenses of a diplomatic representative in the major foreign capitals. Rather than do the obvious by raising the salaries and expense accounts, the Secretary of State and the President have appointed wealthy men to those positions where expenses are highest--most of these being in Western Europe. It is obviously unfortunate to disqualify well-trained career diplomats where they are needed because they lack sufficient capital--and sufficient influence in the Capital. And, whether the President realizes it or not, there are not enough wealthy men who are also qualified Ambassadors.

Another problem which hampers the diplomatic corps is Washington's habit of moving them about every three years, oft-times at the worst possible moment. For example, the United States Ambassador to Sweden, John M. Cabot, will be transferred to Colombia this spring. Cabot is extremely popular in Sweden and, moreover, Sweden is now under the strongest Soviet pressure in years. By removing Cabot, the United States removes a prop from Sweden's stand against Russia and raises doubt in Swedish minds as to the sincerity and intelligence of United States support.

If the gentlemen in charge of Foreign Service affairs had some more money for their Ambassadors and a bit more common sense in dealing with them, the morale and the efficiency of our representatives abroad would be noticeably improved.

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