No. 177.
Mr. West to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

Sir: I have the honor to submit to you herewith a memorandum on the state of the labor traffic in the Western Pacific islands, and the steps which it is proposed to take to lessen the abuses which have arisen in connection with it. I feel confident that, in the interests of humanity, you will give this subject the consideration which its importance merits, and which you will not fail to appreciate.

I have, &c.,



The state of the labor traffic in the Western Pacific islands has recently engaged the serious attention of the colonial governments interested, and of Her Majesty’s Government, and steps are being taken which it is hoped may tend to lessen the abuses which have arisen.

One of the first evils with which they have had to contend is the indiscriminate sale of arms, ammunition, dynamite, and alcohol to the islanders, and in the interests of humanity it is sought to prevent the supply of such articles. They have come to the conclusion that the best way of putting an end to a trade so injurious to the populations [Page 254] of these islands would he by international agreement, to which the great powers and the United States should be parties.

Her Majesty’s Government, therefore, would be glad to know whether the Government of the United States would be willing to enter into such an agreement.