The Problem of the Immigrant
Chapter 14 Continued

Emigration Discouraged.

Under date of April 13, 1904, a general circular was issued by the Hungarian Government to the local authorities, including those at Fiume, the Hungarian port on the Mediterranean, indicating the manner in which the new emigration law was to be administered. Notice was also given that special circulars would follow -- one dealing with the shipping of emigrants, and their sanitary and moral protection; one especially devoted to the manner of housing and boarding emigrants in Fiume; one concerning the military service due to the country from citizens; and a fourth setting forth the method of obtaining passports and particularizing their use, and prescribing for the collection of statistical data concerning emigrants.

In this general circular emigration to Brazil was prohibited, and a temporary concession granted to the Cunard Steamship Company for transporting emigrants from Fiume to the United States was continued in force, pending the making of the final agreement between Hungary and the Cunard Company which is now in force.

The rate of fare to be paid by emigrants to the Cunard Company was fixed on ships of not more than fifteen marine miles speed, at 180 crowns for individuals over twelve years of age, and 90 crowns for children between the ages of one and twelve; on ships of more than fifteen marine miles speed, at 200 crowns for those over twelve years, and 100 crowns for those between one and twelve; and it was further provided that children under one year of age, if traveling in the company of grown persons, should be carried free on any vessel. Various other restrictions made in the interest of the emigrants were placed upon the company.

This general circular from the Minister of the Interior concluded as follows:-

I further make it the duty of all the executive authorities to follow with the most vigilant attention, in their respective jurisdictions, the matter of emigration in its every phase, to endeavour to ascertain the reason for emigrating, and to take steps, so far as lies in their power towards the removal or remedying of national, economic, or moral evils and injury caused by emigration or traceable to it; especially to make reports to their superiors, but under all circumstances to endeavour with good counsel and kindly explanation to dissuade emigrants from emigrating.

I further expect the various authorities, in case the causes of emigration are insurmountable, and in case emigration cannot be prevented by legal means, and emigrants are not to be dissuaded from their intention by good counsel and enlightenment, to at least endeavour to the best of their knowledge and will to carry out the intention of the law, which is that emigration takes place in the manner and direction most in conformity to the interests of the State, and still more to those of the emigrants.

Especially, let the authorities know it to be their duty to render impossible the working of secret agents of unlicensed transportation companies, to search them out and to severely punish them, and to control vigilantly the agents or representatives of the licensed transportation concern, so that their actions be kept strictly within the limits of the law, and in no case develop into encouragement of emigration.

Only One Route From Hungary.

In carrying out its agreement with the Cunard Steamship Company, whereby that company established a new line running between Fiume and New York, the Hungarian Government issued a circular under date of April 13, 1904, which practically makes the Fiume route the only one by which an emigrant can comfortably leave Hungary for the United States. This circular sets forth that --

The route via Fiume is laid down first of all, and a license for the transportation of emigrants has for the present been given only for this route.

Routes via other ports lying outside of Hungary will be designated only in case the emigrant cannot be transported via Fiume. Such routes will always be designated in the license granted to the particular concern.

If any one should intend to emigrate across the sea in a different direction from the designated route, he cannot be prevented therefrom by forcible means; but in his own interest he must be warned that the Hungarian authorities have no means of affording emigrants such protection and assistance against injuries and losses that may occur on other routes, as we are assured them on the designated route.

Instructions for Enforcing the Law

Under date of April 18, 1904, a circular was issued containing lengthy and detailed instructions for the carrying out of the emigration law of 1903. These instructions cover the entire field indicated in that law, from the control of emigration agencies to assistance of the emigrant even after he has landed in a foreign country. Each section and paragraph of the law is taken up seriatim, and amplified in such manner as to leave no doubt as to its meaning or the manner in which it should be administered. Under the powers conferred by the law, detailed instructions are also given as to how emigrants shall be cared for and protected, and what measures shall be required of the steamship company at Fiume for housing, feeding, and otherwise caring for, their steerage passengers.

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