to Mr. Magee.
Washington , March 4, 1886.
Sir: I have received your No. 51, of the 26th January last, on the subject of the proposition of Consul Cooper, to require of emigrants to America a certificate of character from the United States consul at the port of embarkation.
The statements which you make of the evident disposition of the General Government to place all possible obstacles in the way of any known attempt to ship the pauper and criminal class to this country, together with other remarks which you offer on the subject, seem to warrant your opinion that the proposition of Consul Cooper should not at present be entertained. It may be true in the United Kingdom that certain municipalities, or the officers of those municipalities, attempt from time to time to rid themselves of objectionable characters in this way, and, as you suggest, the secret methods employed in such cases make it difficult to detect the agents, and the most effective measures to prevent the deportation of these unwelcome classes will doubtless be taken by the police authorities.
Where you become aware of actual deportations to any given port of the United States a telegram from you, giving the date and port of embarkation, the name of the vessel, and a description of the emigrants, might be received in season to prevent the landing of the parties on our shores.
I am, &c.,