Minister Wilson to the Secretary of State.

No. 54.]

Sir: I have the honor to advise the department that one Oscar Van der Meersch, claiming to be a special delegate for Belgium and Holland of the department of agriculture, commerce, and emigration of the State of South Carolina, and actually holding a commission in that character from the governor of South Carolina, is at present in Belgium actively engaged in encouraging emigration to the State of South Carolina.

While engaged in this work he has come in conflict with the Belgian authorities for violation of that section of the Belgian code which requires special governmental authorization for agents of this character.

Mr. Van der Meersch has, by letter and in person, requested my intervention to procure him the necessary authority for the prosecution of his work; this I have declined to do, for the following reasons:

Official propaganda encouraging emigration is not viewed with favor by the Belgian Government.
The encouragement of emigration to the United States is contrary to public policy, as defined in the recent presidential message.
I have no instruction from the Department of State to render assistance to the agent of the governor of South Carolina.

I have, etc.,

Henry Lane Wilson.