to Mr. Evarts.
Brussels , May 5, 1879. (Received May 19.)
Sir: The industrial, agricultural, and horticultural exhibition which is to be held in this city next year, as one of the features in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the existence of Belgium as an independent nation, is to be purely national.
A belief that it will partake of an international character seems to be gaining ground in some quarters of America, and I think it well to correct such an impression. No foreign exhibitors will be invited or allowed to participate, as its object is only to display to foreign nations the resources and capabilities of Belgian industries. Ground has been broken for the construction of the necessary buildings, which, according to contract, are to be ready for occupancy by June 1, 1880. The formal opening will take place June 15, 1880, and the doors are to be closed October 15 of the same year. Competition will be invited in every industry known to the country, and those of our citizens whose interests or pleasure incline them to a critical inspection of Belgian products could have no more favorable opportunity than this will afford. Furthermore, in view of the great numbers of people who are sure to be present, it might not be an inopportune time for Americans to have some of their wares on hand. Of course they would be denied the power of competing for prizes, and no unusual privileges would be conceded for the introduction of goods, nor could they be displayed in the exhibition building, but those whose enterprise should be sufficient to induce them to overlook these obstacles would be rewarded with an audience not only numerous but from every section of Europe.
The object of this dispatch, however, is to make known that the coming exhibition is to be strictly national, and in no sense whatever international.
I have, &c.,