No. 318.

Mr. Phelps to Mr. Bayard.

No. 95.]

Sir: Referring to Mr. Frelinghuysen’s instruction to my predecessor, No. 1006, of the 20th of October, 1884, in relation to the action of Mormon emissaries in India, I have the honor to acquaint you that immediately after its reception, on the 4th of November, 1884, Mr. Lowell addressed a note to Lord Granville, requesting, if practicable, that some measures might be taken to check the proceedings of these emissaries at Calcutta in promoting the emigration of their converts to America.

I have now received a reply to this note from Mr. Currie on behalf of Lord Salisbury, who states that the Government of India considers that the harm done by the Mormons during their stay in the country has been inappreciable, and that in the opinion of the Government no special [Page 449] measures are at present necessary, but that in the case of unlawful recruiting of men or women, the provisions of the penal code would be applied.

I inclose herewith a copy of the correspondence with the foreign office on this subject, and also the original printed documents which accompanied Mr. Currie’s note, of which it does not seem necessary to keep copies on our files.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 95.]

Mr. Lowell to Lord Granville.

My Lord: I have the honor to acquaint you that I have been informed by Mr. Frelinghuysen that he has received a dispatch, dated on the 30th of August last, from Mr. J. A. Leonard, the American consul-general at Calcutta, reporting the arrival there of three Mormon emissaries, and asking whether any means exist of preventing the emigration of converts, and whether any action on the consul’s part for such an object is required.

Inasmuch as the Mormons practicing polygamy constantly increase in numbers by reason of accessions from abroad, recruited by emissaries from Utah operating beyond the reach of the laws of the United States, my Government is obliged to avail itself of the good offices of the authorities of foreign countries to oppose and check, as far as practicable, the emigration of these people. The Secretary of State therefore desires to bring this communication of the consul at Calcutta to the attention of Her Majesty’s Government, with the request that appropriate instructions may be issued to the proper authorities with a view to checking the proposed shipment of Mormon recruits to the United States from India.

I am well aware that a correspondence upon the subject of restricting Mormon emigration from this Kingdom to America has already taken place between this legation and the foreign office, and that your lordship’s predecessor, the Marquis of Salisbury, in a note to Mr. Hoppin, then chargé d’affaires of the United States, dated on the 19th of January, 1883, stated that Her Majesty’s Government could do no more than to give public notice of the illegal character of Mormon marriage according to the laws of the United States, and Sir E. Y. Henderson, the commissioner of police, acting under the immediate authority of Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for the home department, caused such notices to be issued in London and Liverpool.

It would be gratifying to my Government if, under the laws and customs of British India, some measures could be taken to check the proceedings of the Mormon emissaries at Calcutta more active and effectual than the issuing of the notices above mentioned; but if this method is the only one practicable, I have to request your lordship to bring it to the attention of the authorities in India with a view to its adoption there.

I have, &c.,