Count Corti to Mr. Fish.
Washington , April 27, 1874. (Received April 28.)
Sir: Your excellency is aware that public attention in the United States has for some time been seriously occupied with the subject of foreign vagrancy in this country, especially that of children, who are induced by false promises to leave their native land, and who are subsequently reduced to a condition of the utmost wretchedness. The Italian Parliament long since took this state of things into consideration, with a view to the complete suppression of this odious traffic, It has now just passed a law, which was promulgated December 21, 1873, whereby a number of acts connected with the matter are made criminal offenses, and corresponding penalties are provided therefor. It hopes by this means to prevent, or at least considerably to diminish, the traffic in question.
The efficacy of this law would, however, be considerably increased if foreign governments would co-operate in its execution.
I am aware of the difficulties which present themselves in these States when it seems desirable to extend the powers of the central government. I, nevertheless, feel confident that your excellency will be pleased to give some attention to this subject, in order to see if there is any means of coming to an agreement in relation to the matter. The government of the King would be happy to take into serious consideration any [Page 630] proposition that the Government of the United States might think proper to make to it, either for the adoption of additional articles to the extradition treaty now in force between the two countries, or for any thing else.
I have, to this effect, the honor to inclose to your excellency the text of the law in question, and I beg you to accept the assurances of my very high consideration.