to Mr. Evarts.
Berne, January 24, 1881. (Received February 9.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 326, respecting the action of the town of Gersau, in the canton of Schwytz, in furnishing the unemployed citizens of that place with subsidies to emigrate, I have now the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter from Consul Byers, transmitting a letter from the authorities of Gersau, and a copy of the ordnance passed at a town meeting held August 22, 1880.
An examination of these documents shows that the authorities of Gersau have resorted to the same method as those of Zug to rid themselves of those persons out of employ who might desire to emigrate. Already 29 persons have thus been assisted to emigrate, and have been furnished with 5,755 francs ($1,110.72), an average of 191.55 francs, or $37.97, apiece.
The population of Gersau is given as 2,270 under the census of 1870. It is claimed by the authorities of the town that all the assisted emigrants were able-bodied young men.
It will be seen that the amount furnished these emigrants leaves them but a bare pittance on their arrival in the United States. It may well be doubted whether such emigration will be beneficial to the country of their immigration. Certainly our experience of assisted emigration from Switzerland to the United States should prompt us not to trust the decision concerning the fitness of such emigrants to the communes having a material interest in getting rid of them.
I inclose full copies of all the correspondence, with translation thereof.
I have, &c.,