to Mr. Blaine.
Berne, April 9, 1881. (Received April 23.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 386, I have the honor to inclose herewith an extract from the Journal de Genève of to-day, with a translation thereof, in which the action of the commune of Böttstein in sending its prostitutes to the United States is justified; the United States is regarded as the reformatory of Europe and compared with England’s penal settlements.[Page 1134]
The writer admits the frequency with which Swiss communes send us their infirm and helpless, and he maintains that we should not complain of their so doing; he claims that Switzerland is no worse than other countries in this respect, and alleges that the Swiss emigrants do not furnish us with a greater proportion of objectionable immigrants than other countries, and, in the particular case in question, thinks too much attention is being paid to it, “as it is not stated that the women were incapable of work.”
I invite your special attention to the article in question as emanating from Berne, and from the correspondent of one of the most influential newspapers in this country.
When I asked you to telegraph me in case the women were returned to Böttstein, I did not suppose that everybody in this country would be pleased, but I certainly did not suppose that a respectable newspaper would be found defending the action of the communal council in sending them to America.
The article is in itself an evidence of the debasing tendency of assisted emigration, as well as an admission that we are being used as a Botany Bay for the benefit of Swiss communes.
* * * * * * *
I have, &c.,