Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 2, 1878
Mr. Everett to Mr. Evarts
Berlin , March 18, 1878. (Received April 5.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 45, of the 11th of March, I have the honor to inclose an official copy of the substitute bill, with translation. This bill, after much debate and several long speeches by Prince Bismarck, was finally passed as it reads on the 11th of March, by 171 to 101 votes.[Page 205]
It is not yet known what the practical effect of it will be as regards the present Prussian ministry.
I also beg leave to inclose a report sent in to the Reichstag on the question of emigration during the year 1877. A very lengthy plan of a bill on this subject is now before the Reichstag, which I will forward in its final shape if it becomes law.
I have, &c.,
Draught of a law concerning the representation of the imperial chancellor.
We, William, by the grace of God Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia, &c., enact, in the name of the empire, the assent of the federal council and of the imperial Parliament having been first had, as follows:
- § 1.
- The countersigning by the imperial chancellor necessary to the validity of the ordinances and decrees of the Emperor, as well as all other duties imposed on him by the constitution and the laws of the empire, may, in accordance with the following provisions, be performed by representatives appointed by the Emperor upon motion of the imperial chancellor in cases where his performance of them is prevented.
- § 2.
- A representative in general may be appointed for the entire domain of the business and duties of the imperial chancellor. Also for those individual branches of office which are subject to the proper and immediate administration of the empire, the chiefs of the highest imperial administrative bureaus subordinate to the imperial chancellor may be invested with authority to represent him in the entirety or in particular parts of his business domain.
- § 3.
- The right is reserved to the imperial chancellor also during the continuance of a representation to exercise every official function himself.
- § 4.
- The provisions of article 15 of the imperial constitution are not affected by this law.
Report upon the work of the imperial commissioner for the superintendence of emigration for the year 1877, submitted to the German Parliament.
The imperial commissioner invested with the function of superintending matters connected with emigration has, during the period which has elapsed since his last report, exercised the duties of his office in like manner as in former years. He has compelled entire compliance with the existing regulations touching the interests of emigrants on the part of the revision authorities of the country, of emigration agents, and of all other persons engaged in forwarding emigrants, and has guarded the interests of emigrants to the best of his ability.
The lodging-houses in which the emigrants are cared for at the different sea-ports while awaiting the departure of vessels have at various times been inspected with reference to their spaciousness, arrangement, and cleanliness, as well as to the proper observation of the schedule of prices agreed upon.
The reception at the railway-stations in sea-ports of arriving emigrants as well as their embarkation and the provision made for them on board ship have been watched over whenever possible.
The vessels used for forwarding emigrants have almost all been personally inspected by the imperial commissioner associated with the appointed inspecting committees of the country, and only the steamers sailing from Hamburg excepted, while the commissioner inspected all vessels departing from and arriving at Bremerhaven. Emigrant sailing-vessels were without exception personally inspected by the commissioner. No ships were inspected at Stettin, as during the period in question passengers were forwarded on such ships in but few instances, and for the reason that pursuant to a communication from the royal police-direction at Stettin, vessels, having on board fewer than 12 passengers where no longer to be subject to revision; that is, were not to be considered emigrant vessels. From information furnished the commission from Stettin, but 38 emigrants in all were forwarded thence on 15 vessels. At the inspections which took place the sea-worthiness of the vessels with all their appurtenances, as well as their adaptability for the reception and conveyance of passengers, was ascertained, and to this end the construction of suitable arrangements for the proper [Page 206] ventilation and lighting of the quarters allotted to passengers have been directed and their execution compelled.
This was done with particular care on sailing-vessels where the accommodations constructed for passengers were not of a permanent nature, and strict attention paid that separate spaces, that were measured at every inspection and found on the whole to be sufficiently roomy, were not filled with a larger number of passengers than the regulations allowed, as was in former times in some instances the case.
The supplies of provisions were examined with reference to quantity and quality, the number of the various receptacles for provisions being determined, and a number of such receptacles for each kind of provisions selected at random, and subjected to an exact examination as regards quality and weight. If any provisions deficient in excellence were found on board, the entire number of receptacles for the particular kind of provision were examined. Provisions not found to be good were required to be removed at once from the vessel and replaced. An attempt to introduce on board a neighboring vessel provisions that had been rejected upon an inspecion was discovered, and information of the fact furnished the authorities.
German vessels containing emigrants met with no accidents at sea during the past year.
Quite a large emigration took place during the past year from Russia (government of Orenburg) to Brazil. So-called German-Russians, settled in this government, had sent a deputation to Brazil to look into the circumstances and examine lands with reference to their suitableness for settlement. This deputation had returned with very favorable reports, which induced a number of their countrymen to emigrate; the intelligence spread by the deputation, and which had no foundation in fact, that the passage to Brazil would be free and that the Brazilian Government would, upon their arrival, provide fully for their necessities, contributed greatly to the movement.
As the Brazilian Government officially denied these representations, the imperial commissioner at once reported the state of affairs to the proper authorities, and, in consequence, measures were adopted to prevent Russian emigrants provided with insufficient means crossing the German-Russian frontier and thus becoming a burden to the German public. Several parties of such Russian emigrants, who had nevertheless succeeded in crossing the frontier and in reaching Hamburg or Bremen without being in possession of sufficient money to pay their passage to Brazil, had enough for the passage to North America, and went there instead; the rest were compelled to remain behind, and, for the time being, were housed and cared for at the expense of the state or conveyed back to Russia. Thus 35 of these emigrants remained at Hamburg from July 28 to November 15, and, assisted by the Catholic committee, were maintained at the expense of the state. Quite a good offer to procure for them work and a support in Mecklenburg was rejected by them, with the statement that they were willing to live in a Catholic country only. On the 15th of November these 35 people were (a number of persons without means having already been returned to and received in Russia in the mean while) at their request, taken to Berlin by a Hamburg official, and thence sent back to Russia.
Among the Russian emigrants recently arrived at Hamburg the measles broke out, and in order to prevent the spread of the disease, the further conveyance of those attacked by the disease, their families, and of all those who had lodged in the same houses, had to be desisted from for the time being. These persons (several hundred in number) are still in Hamburg, awaiting the recovery of those attacked in order to take passage in the next vessel in the event of no new cases of the disease making their appearance.
Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope, which began in 1876 with 75 emigrants, has largely increased in the course of the past year. Persons going there—mostly Germans and Danes, and who must be cultivators of the soil—receive from the colonial government free passage, and each grown person, according to his desire, twenty acres of land suitable for cultivation at the price of 10 shillings per acre, subject to the obligation of paying the purchase-money to the government within ten years. The emigrant assumes no further obligations, but is, immediately upon his arrival at the Cape, master of his own actions.
As complaints had reached here from emigrants that upon their arrival at the Cape they were not sufficiently cared for, that no lodgings were provided for them, and that the land assigned them was covered with bush, &c., care has been taken that before the departure of the vessel the entire body of emigrants are once more, in the presence of an official of the emigration bureau, made acquainted with the exact conditions of the Government of Cape Colony, in order that no one may be in doubt as to what awaits him there, and they are required to sign a memoranda of such fact. For the rest, according to intelligence received, the position of emigrants to the Cape seems in general to be a not unfavorable one.
An official communication was received by the imperial commissioner to the effect that agents of the North-German Lloyd had applied to the Government of the Kingdom of Würtemberg for permission to sell American railway tickets to emigrants. As [Page 207] the emigration regulations prohibited the sale of all railway tickets of countries beyond the seas, the matter was brought up for discussion before the Bremen emigration bureau. The North-German Lloyd had, in order to effect its purpose, adopted the expedient of executing contracts with individual passengers for their conveyance to their final destination in the interior of America, their railway tickets not being furnished them until they surrendered their ship tickets upon arriving in America. The police tribunal at Bremen saw in this a proceeding in conflict with existing law, and condemned the North-German Lloyd to a small pecuniary fine.
In consequence of this occurrence the Bremen regulation for the conveyance of emigrants was, by legislation, so amended that the paragraph in question—which read, “The sale of tickets for the further conveyance from the place of landing beyond seas to the destination in the interior is forbidden to every one”—has received the addition: “This prohibition has no application to contracts which, by means of an instrument of writing, embrace the obligation to convey by sea as well as by land beyond seas.”
With proper supervision, the introduction of this measure, especially when exercised by responsible corporations, would not work detriment to the emigrants, but would rather afford them a small advantage. The imperial commissioner has received from the North-German Lloyd the assurance that in cases where an emigrant should determine during the passage either to remain at the port of landing or to join a party having another place of destination, the money already paid here for his conveyance by railway should not be lost to, but eventually returned, him.
A young man emigrating from the Kingdom of Prussia, via Hamburg and Liverpool, to New York, was, it is stated, while in a state of intoxication, swindled by two relatives, by means of a deed of gift, out of the small estate he left behind, the deed to take effect in case he should not return. These relatives had circulated in the former home of the emigrant, in order to obtain possession of his property, the report that he had died during the passage. Information as to the facts was sought by the mother of the emigrant in Liverpool and America, and it was ascertained that the emigrant had not died, but arrived safely in New York. Other serious complaints have not been received.
In conclusion, the following statement of the statistics of emigration for the year 1877 are furnished:
In all, there emigrated from the ports of Hamburg and Bremen to places beyond seas 41,759 persons (50,577 in 1876). Of this number, via Hamburg, 22,570 persons (last year, 28,733); via Bremen, 19,189 persons (last year, 21,642).
Of those emigrating via Hamburg, there were forwarded directly, in 80 steamers and 11 sailing-vessels, 18,573 persons; indirectly, via England, 3,570 persons; in 72 vessels not declared as emigrant-ships, 427 persons.
Among these persons there were adults, 17,289; children aged from 1 to 10 years, 4,083; children aged less than 1 year, 1,218.
Further, of the male gender, 13,840; of the female gender, 8,730. Total, 22,570.
Of those emigrating via Hamburg the destination was
|The West indies||274|
|Brazil and the La Plata||2,920|
|Cape of Good Hope||1,295|
|Indirectly, via England||3,570|
|Various translantic ports||427|
Among the 19,189 persons forwarded via Bremen, there were—
|Children, aged from 1 to 10 years||3,160|
|Children aged less than 1 year||1,096|
Of these the destination was—
|New Orleans and Havana||858|
|The La Plata||781|
All the emigrants via Bremen were forwarded in 101 steamers of the North German Lloyd.
As regards nationality of the 41,759 emigrants via of Hamburg and Bremen, 21,618 were foreigners, as follows:
|Via Hamburg.||Via Bremen.|
|From Denmark, Sweden and Norway||1,215||4|
|From other foreign countries||3,789||4,589|
While emigration in general from German ports has in the past year decreased by 8,818 persons as compared with the year 1876, emigration to the Cape and to Brazil and the La Plata states has increased by 2,936 persons, the increase being entirely due to the Russian tide of emigration to South America. This tide of emigration also induced the North-German Lloyd to depart from the habit of former years, and take up the conveyance of emigrants from Bremen to Brazil. The North-German Lloyd declares that this conveyance shall not embrace German emigrants.
As emigration in general, so has also indirect emigration via English ports, decreased. In the year 1872 the proportion of indirect emigration of the entire emigration via Hamburg was 26 per cent.; in the year 1873, 33.2 per cent.; in the year 1874, 29.2 per cent.; in the year 1875, 30.9 per cent.; in the year 1876, 24.6 per cent.; in the year 1877, on the other hand, only 16.7 per cent.