Sir: I have had the honor to receive your excellency’s note of the 9th instant, in which you inform me that the sanitary order m regard to the United States, lately issued by her Majesty’s government, applies to the United States without any discrimination.
Having the fullest confidence that the enlightened government of her Majesty would feel, equally with myself, unwilling to impose any unnecessary restrictions upon the peaceful commerce of the two nations, I cannot but think that this order has been issued under influence of a caution which has not been sufficiently discriminating, and that its application to all the United States is much more stringent than is necessary for that protection from contagion which it it is the object of her Majesty’s government to attain. I am not able to state the precise distance from the New England States to New Orleans, where it is said the cholera prevails, but I think I am safe in asserting it to be more than 1,500 miles, and there is, as will appear when the facts of the case are fully known and considered, no more necessity or propriety in declaring Boston, or indeed all the New England States, to be infected because a disease has been found to exist in New Orleans, than there would be in making the same order because some other part of North America, Mexico for instance, had been found to be thus infected. In the absence of any news from the United States, or of any instructions from my government on this subject, I cannot, in justice to my own clear convictions of duty, refrain from urging this matter upon the attention of her Majesty’s government, in the hope that when the facts in the case are fully known, her Majesty’s government will so modify this order, that it shall not be made to apply to those States of the federal Union as [Page 530] shall be found to be not only entirely free from the existence of any contagious disease, but also from the suspicion thereof.
The undersigned avails himself of the present occasion for renewing to his excellency the minister of state the assurances of his most distinguished consideration.
His Excellency the Minister of State.