Mr. Uhl to Mr. Bayard .

No. 651.]

Sir: I inclose herewith copy of a dispatch, No. 11, of November 19, 1894, from the United States commercial agent at Swansea, in regard to the treatment of men employed to care for cattle shipped on steamers plying between the United States and European ports; also, copy of correspondence had with the Danish minister at this capital1 and with the Treasury Department, touching this subject.

You will bring this matter to the attention of the British Government, expressing regret that our laws do not afford a means of remedying the evil complained of, and suggesting that local regulations might be invoked to prevent the landing of such men unless provision is made for their temporary support or reshipment.

I am, etc.,

Edwin F. Uhl, Acting Secretary.
[Page 729]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 651.]

Mr. Davies to Mr. Uhl .

No. 11.]

Sir: Three men, claiming American citizenship, this morning applied to me for assistance to return to the United States, and as their case seems typical of a large number of others that have come under my notice, I beg to lay it before the Department in the hope that what seems to be a growing evil may be mitigated.

These men state that they, with some fifteen or twenty others, were engaged at an office in Greenwich street, New York City, to take care of cattle shipped on the steamship Monomoy, of the Hogan (New York) Line of steamers from Hoboken to Havre. The steamers of this line, though sailing under the British flag, are said to be owned in the United States. The men say that they were promised $10 upon arrival at Havre. They also say that they signed no papers of any kind before sailing. Upon their arrival at Havre they say that the foreman who had charge of them gave each of them a franc to pay for a night’s lodging, and promised to meet them the following morning and give them the money due them. This, they say, he failed to do and they received no money and no tickets for their passage back to the United States. The captain of the Monomoy allowed them to work their way from Havre to Swansea, but would not allow them to work their way on to the United States. The men are now here, ragged, penniless, and hungry.

The captain of the Monomoy says that he can not allow these men to work their passage to America except under instructions to do so from the office of the owners at New York.

The number of destitute cattlemen applying to me for assistance is so great (an average of half a dozen a week) as to indicate that men are systematically deceived and cheated by the employees of the shippers of live cattle from the United States, if the stories they tell are true.

These men coming from New York have no papers of any kind. Cattlemen coming from Baltimore and Newport News have, however, shown me “cattlemen’s passports,” bearing the seal and signature of a collector or deputy collector of customs.

I have in some cases been able, through the kindness of the local agents and captains of lines of steamers trading from Swansea to the United States, to secure opportunities for destitute cattlemen to work their passage to America. But the cases deserving assistance have become so numerous that my efforts in this direction are now almost uniformly unsuccessful.

Perhaps the publication of a warning in the newspapers in the cities from which live cattle are shipped, which might be effected through the United Press or Associated Press, would put possible victims on their guard.

I am, etc.,

David C. Davies,
United States Commercial Agent.
[Page 730]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 651.]

Mr. Hamlin to Mr. Olney .

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant, transmitting copy of a dispatch from the commercial agent at Swansea reporting that there are at that place three United States citizens who were employed on the steamship Monomoy to take care of cattle on the passage from Hoboken to Havre, and that these men are in a destitute condition. It is noted that the commercial agent reports further that on the average half a dozen destitute citizens apply to him weekly for aid.

As these citizens were not shipped under the laws of the United States, and as the vessels in this trade are mainly under the British flag, I have the honor respectfully to suggest that a copy of the dispatch be transmitted to the British ambassador at this capital.

The matter has been referred to the Bureau of Navigation.

Respectfully, yours,

C. S. Hamlin, Acting Secretary.
  1. Printed on page 214, ante.