File No. 15885.
The Netherlands Chargé to the Assistant Secretary of State.
Washington , September 30, 1908 .
Mr. Assistant Secretary of State: The Inter denomination Council of Women for Christian and Patriotic Service (156 Fifth Avenue, New York) has addressed to Her Majesty the Queen, my gracious sovereign, a petition praying that she may be pleased to take the initiative of a law prohibiting the propaganda made, as it seems, by the “Missionary Propaganda of the so-called Mormon Church, or Church of the Latter-day Saints.”
The petition is based on the following grounds:
- Because they have a missionary center at Rotterdam; and from the number of young women being brought to the United States it is evident they are making numerous European converts to a form of religion which teaches polygamy as a religious practice.
- Because their work amounts to a branch of white slavery traffic, numerous instances being found of women, who, brought here by them, are abandoned and left to be objects of charity in various communities, apparently because their eyes are opened to the iniquity of the system, and they refuse to accept the polygamous practices of the so-called church.
- Because there is now a bill before our Congress at Washington proposing to add an antipolygamy amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which legislation will put an end to the polygamous practice and teachings of the Mormon Church in this country; and if other countries simultaneously enact legislation against this practice the young girls, now being deceived under the guise of religion, will be protected not only at our ports of entrance, but also against such teachings in their home countries.
Before reaching a decision on the said petition the Queen’s Government wishes to learn the opinion of the American authorities regarding the arguments advanced in its support, and more particularly points 2 and 3 as well as to whether it is true that the Mormon religion is, in our days, opposed to polygamy.
I have therefore the honor to have recourse to your excellency’s habitual obligingness and to ask that you will kindly put me in position to transmit to my Government the official information above referred to.
Thanking your excellency in advance for such action as you may be pleased to take on this note, I embrace this opportunity to renew, etc.