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US Foreign Service; Cordell Hull; US diplomats

Film | Accession Number: 2006.73.1 | RG Number: RG-60.4511 | Film ID: 2820

March of Time, Vol. 5, No. 4
Title on screen: "The Foreign Service"
Footage of cities around the world where the US Foreign Service might be found. Shots of the American flag, the shield of the consulate general, and American embassies. The narrator notes that the most important task of the foreign service officer is to make friends for his country. Washington DC: the Capitol and the Old Executive Office building. Secretary of State Cordell Hull at work in his office. The narrator describes Hull as a man of peace who nonetheless insists that his country must be ready to defend itself. Staged interview with Hull about the objectives of the American Foreign Service. More shots of Cordell Hull while the narrator lists his accomplishments.

Title on screen: "To preserve peace and prevent crises in the years to come, the U.S. State Department is today building up a trained and skilled diplomatic service."

Men and women take the written and then the oral part of the Foreign Service exam. Close up of the "stiff" written examination, which fewer than ten percent pass. A man who has passed the exam takes the oath. A new recruit signs documents and assists American travelers who need help. Further study back in Washington, until the "fledgling diplomat" graduates with a post of his own. Shots of a diplomat working with potential immigrants to the US and aiding American citizens, including helping Americans evacuate in time of war. Refugees board a ship. The most important factor for young diplomats is "his performance as a good neighbor." A diplomat discusses his efforts to aid citizens of his host country in fighting malaria.

Title on screen: "To direct and advise its men in the field, the State Department maintains a staff of foreign affairs experts and division chiefs."

Cordell Hull with several of his undersecretaries. A map with pins indicating troubled areas of the world. CU of the diplomatic passport of the ambassador to Germany, Hugh Wilson, and shots of ambassador William Phillips in Rome.

Ambassador Hugh Wilson, who expressed some sympathy for Nazism, was recalled from Germany in the wake of Kristallnacht. The US never sent another ambassador to Nazi Germany.

Production:  1938
Washington, DC, United States
Rome, Italy
Venice, Italy
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:56:58
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