Mr. Bancroft to Mr. Fish.
Berlin, November 21, 1873. (Received December 11.)
Sir: I received your instruction No. 626 just as I was on the point of reporting the circumstances of the expulsion of three persons from the district of Saarburg, mentioned in my No. 527, having had my last interview on the subject with this government on the 19th.
The legation received, on August 1, a communication from Luxembourg, signed Peter Puhl, Johann Wirtz, and Peter Blasius, complaining that they, American citizens, had been ordered out of German territory.
The legation at once addressed a note in their behalf to the foreign office, and subsequently, in a personal interview, and again in writing, renewed the application. The legation was, meanwhile, left by the parties, notwithstanding its repeated requests for definite information and proofs, in great uncertainty as to the merits of the case.
When, therefore, the reply of the government was received, approving the expulsion and assigning as its reason that the persons expelled had violated the laws of the land by enticing laborers to emigrate, the legation could make no further representation; nor have these persons, since they have been informed of the ground of their expulsion, given any satisfactory account of their real business in Germany although repeatedly urged to do so. They have, however, remained in Luxembourg, just over the German border, whence they have recently addressed to me a further appeal, still failing to state what is the real business for which they wish td return to Saarburg.
The legation has taken great pains to solicit the facts from the complainants, but without success. They confine themselves to affirming that their business in Saarburg was not to entice workmen to emigrate, without disclosing what is their object there.
On the other hand the German government has exhibited to me the reports of its officials, and assures me that the matter has received the most thorough and impartial investigation; that as the result of that investigation it appears that these men were agents of manufacturers in America to induce the emigration of workmen from Saarburg, where there are large manufacturing establishments; that they pursued their agency with considerable success; and that in the procedure they violated the laws of the kingdom.
Here there was a direct conflict of statement between the complainants themselves and the German government which I was not able to reconcile; but, on the one hand, the legation had only the naked denial of the men; on the other, official documents reporting the results of the investigation.
I inclose copies of the notes exchanged with the government on the subject.
I remain, &c.,