No. 361.
Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard.

No. 543.]

Sir: Referring to my No. 472, of August 29, 1887,* concerning the facilities given in New Caledonia to liberated convicts to proceed to the United States, I have the honor of sending herewith a copy and translation of a note received through the minister of the navy and the colonies from the governor of New Caledonia.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

Robert McLane.
[Page 508]
[Inclosure No. 543.—Translation.]

M. Nouet, governor of New Caledonia and dependencies, to the minister of marine and colonies:

Mr. Minister: In a dispatch of the 13th of August last, No. 629, you did me the honor to transmit to me a copy of a letter from Mr. McLane, Minister of the United States in France, in reference to the facilities said to have been granted by the local government to liberated convicts for going to San Francisco, and you ask me to give you explanations on that subject.

The commercial agent of the United States would appear to me to have transmitted erroneous information to his Government, resulting, undoubtedly, from an incomplete knowledge of the regulations in regard to the authorizations of departure granted to liberated convicts.

In fact, persons of this category, compelled to reside in New Caledonia, obtain, in certain cases, permissions to depart for the countries which they designate; some, among them have been thus authorized, upon their demand, to proceed to San Francisco, but not only nobody has been encouraged to go to that city, or anywhere else for that matter, but as far as San Francisco is concerned I have refused permission for the voyage on several occasions.

There has never been a question of appropriating a part of the local budget for the transportation of liberated convicts to the United States.

According to the American representative at Noumea, the French Government of fers a subsidy for a line of steamers from Noumea to Tahiti and San Francisco. Mr. Morgan seems to have neglected to procure his information from sufficiently authoritative sources. I believe, in fact, that several inhabitants of Papeete have expressed the desire of seeing a regular service established between New Caledonia and Tahini and that the council general of the latter colony has voted a certain sum destined to encourage and to aid that enterprise; but there has not, to my knowledge, been any question of prolonging this line to San Francisco.

Whatever may be the case, however, I have taken note of the instructions contained in your dispatch above mentioned of the 13th of August, and no liberated convicts shall be hereafter authorized to depart for the United States.

I am, etc.,