to Mr. Blaine.
Berne, April 18, 1881. (Received May 2.)
Sir: I have so frequently dwelt upon the temptations afforded the communes of this and other European countries to get rid of their paupers at the expense of the people of the United States, that I deem it proper to bring to your notice another powerful cause contributing to that abuse, namely, the activity and machinations of unscrupulous emigrant agents.
The increased emigration has given rise to several newspapers being entirely devoted to the question. Among them is the Helvetia, published weekly, as a supplement to the Schweizer Handels-Courier of Bienne, Canton Berne.
In the number of April 10 appears an appeal for aid from the Emigration and Colonization Society of Basle, of which I inclose a copy and translation. It is a carefully drawn and plausible request for assistance to enable those to emigrate who now have to be helped by public charity at home. In the same paper there appears as a regular advertisement an announcement of an emigrant agency at Neuchatel offering “special arrangements for persons without means.” I say that it appears as a regular advertisement; it appears in Nos. 13, 14, 15, and 16, of Helvetia. It is in a measure owing to the activity of such people as those composing the Emigration and Colonization Society of Basle and the “Bureau Maritime” at Neuchatel that the emigration of paupers and other unfit emigrants is rendered easy. It is worthy of re mark that the papers of the “Helvetia” class are silent on the Böttstein case, and refrain from referring to it.
The advertisement in the Helvetia is similar in tenor to one appearing at intervals in the Intelligence Blatt of this city in 1879, from another agent whose terms were slightly different, but who likewise offered “special arrangements for persons without means.” The latter advertisement no longer appears. Whether its disappearance is due to the fact that the business no longer requires advertising or to the intervention of the authorities I am unable to say, but according to the Intelligence Blatt of February 13, last, the agent inserting it was punished for a violation of the cantonal regulation concerning emigration. The punishment inflicted does not appear to deter others from inserting advertisements of a like nature.
I inclose a copy and translation of the advertisement appearing in the Helvetia.
I have, &c.,