Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 6th ed.  –  Online updating pages

Chapter 9: Consulates

p. 142, mid-page: ‘It was not until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that the state slowly began to assert its control over the consuls and require them to place the national interest first …’. It’s worth adding here that it was in 1649 that English consuls became public servants appointed by the government rather than the merchants. Thereafter, their priorities were political intelligence and reports on shipping movements (warships as well as trading vessels). They were greatly resented by the merchants, often incompetent because the positions were used for patronage purposes, and not always in the right places. See the Introduction to Platt’s Cinderella Service; Fraser, pp. 5, 70-1; and Barbour, the last two in additions to ‘Further reading’ below.

pp. 152-3, honorary consuls: A report on corruption in the appointment of rogue honorary consuls, among them drugs traffickers, money launderers and dealers in illegal arms has just been published (November 2022) by a team of investigative journalists (see Cenziper and others in Further reading below).

Further reading

Barbour, V., ‘The Consular Service in the Reign of Charles II’, American Historical Review, vol.33. April 1928

Cenziper, Debbie et al, ‘The global threat of rogue diplomacy’ (ProPublica: New York, 14 November 2022)

Fraser, Peter, The Intelligence of the Secretaries of State & their Monopoly of Licensed News 1660–1688 (Cambridge at the University Press: 1956)