Report of the Secretary of State.
Having received by reference a resolution of the Senate of January 7, 1896, of the tenor and in the terms following, to wit—
Resolved, That the President he, and he is hereby, requested, if not incompatible with the public interests, to transmit to the Senate a copy of the report and accompanying documents of a special agent of the United States heretofore sent to the Fiji Islands to investigate the claims of B. H. Henry, of Oregon, and other American citizens for compensation for certain lands alleged to have been owned by them in said islands and claimed to have been appropriated by the British Government, which report is now on file in the Department of State—
I transmit herewith a copy of the report referred to in the resolution.
The resolution also calls for copies of the documents accompanying said report. They are not hereto appended, because their nature and extent and the amount of time and labor involved in making such copies [Page 740] can not, it is believed, have been understood by the Senate in passing the resolution. The chief clerk of this Department reports that compliance with the resolution, so far as it relates to accompanying documents, involves the copying of 1,717 pages of written matter (foolscap) and 163 pages of printed matter. In addition, the documents called for comprise 44 maps and 4 British Blue Books (852 pages folio in all), two of which at least can not be supplied by the Department nor probably be obtained by purchase.
It is obvious that months must elapse before such an addition to its ordinary work can be accomplished by the limited and already overworked clerical force of this Department. It seems highly probable, too, that the attention of the Senate being drawn to the subject, the call for accompanying documents can be greatly modified without in any way prejudicing the objects which the resolution has in view. I submit this partial report upon the resolution, therefore, in the belief that in view of the facts the Senate may desire to take some action which, while leaving the resolution equally effective for its real purposes, will make its demand upon this Department less sweeping and less onerous.
February 14, 1896.