Chicago Tribune

Immigration Commissioner Says the Powers Will Not Fight White Slavery.
Report Says Immoral Alien Women Seek Life of Here

Washington, D. C., Jan. 31 --- The treaty ratified by the senate March 1, 1905, providing for universal action of the powers toward the repression of the "white slave" traffic has been declared by Daniel J. Keefe, commissioner general of immigration, to be "practically worthless."

The failure of this convention to accomplish the good expected was explained in a report of the commissioner general, which today was transmitted to the senate by President Taft in response to a senate resolution. In summarizing an exhaustive report, Mr. Keefe says:

"Practically no cooperation at present can be expected from the signatories as regards the enforcement of our immigration laws, with which some of the powers are to be found out of sympathy. The procuration of innocent women and girls for purposes of debauchery seldom, if ever, has come to the attention of the bureau, and as it is the purpose of the treaty to prevent such procuration the treaty's usefulness ends there.

Bureau Needs Enlarged Powers

"Even with the passage of new legislation, with stringent provisions, this bureau, which has been designated by the government in the repression of this traffic, will not be in position properly to enforce the same without specific financial provision being made which will permit of an unremitting warfare against the evil throughout the country as a whole and not in isolated portions alone, this warfare being restricted, of course, to aliens."

After the ratification of the treaty, the bureau of immigration sent letters to the proper officials in France, England, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Spain, Russia, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Canada, Bermuda and Brazil to ascertain the degree of cooperation to be expected of the signatory powers.

The net result of the replies was that no cooperation could be looked for except in specific instances. The reasons for this were many, among them being the lack of legal authority.

Europe Lenient to Women.

"But the principal reason," says Mr. Keefe, "seems to lie in the public attitude toward those women who make prostitution a business, the idea being that the government has no right to interfere with those who follow such a life from choice.

An agent of the bureau who visited England, Belgium, Austria, France, Germany, Russia and Roumania reached the conclusion "that there is no such thing as an international organization --- that is, a close corporation --- having for its object the exploitation of women in various countries by means of the practice of prostitution."

This agent reports that innocent women or girls rarely are imported into this country; the great bult of the women come in as the mistresses of individuals and subsequently adopt or are forced into a life of public shame. Innocent victims, the report says, are selected by procurers in this country.

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