Previous posts in this discussion:
PostDeclarations of War and "Demanding Your Passport" (Edward Jajko, USA, 05/02/15 3:14 am)
On 1 May, Anthony Candil wrote about the US and Spanish ambassadors "demanding their passports" as their respective nations entered into the 1898 war. Did/do ambassadors have to surrender their passports to the states they are posted to?
JE comments: I've often had the same question. I came across this interesting 1950 essay from Lord Vansittart, a long-serving British diplomat. Even at that time, "asking for your passports" was an anachronism. Might it have been the same in 1898?
I hope Tim Brown will give more details. Certainly the most awkward duty of a diplomat is to have the final conversation with your counterparts of a host country with which you're at war. What do you do, wish them good luck? Say "we should do lunch when it's over"?