to Mr. Noyes.
Washington, March 15, 1881.
Sir: Your No. 439, relating your action with respect to the late decree of the French Government prohibiting the importation of American pork into France, has been received. I have pleasure in approving your course, and I trust that your discreet and conciliatory efforts towards procuring such modification of the enforcement of the decree as will relieve legitimate commerce from a sudden and disastrous check may be successful.
The publication in the London Times on the 19th of February ultimo, of a report made in December last, by the then acting British consul at Philadelphia, has occasioned widespread alarm, and given rise to correspondence with the British legation here, and with the boards of trade of the great pork producing and shipping centers. Mr. Crump’s report, besides stating that “immense mortality among swine by a disease known as hog cholera” exists (from which disease 700,000 head are stated to have died in Illinois during the past year), proceeds to confound that disease with the entirely distinct disorder of trichinosis, of which latter he relates certain horrible examples.
The most searching investigation fails to show the basis of these published statements. While the mortality among very young swine from the so-called hog cholera has been less than for several years past, the health of the full-grown hogs (which are alone packed as pork) has never been better in the great producing States, and the absence of communicable diseases among them has been most noteworthy.
In view of all the facts accessible to it, this Department cannot but reach the conviction that the good faith of the British representative at Philadelphia has been imposed upon by designing speculators to the great injury of legitimate trade.
My predecessor sent you a telegram on the 7th instant in the following words:
Noyes, Minister, Paris:
Published statements of mortality among swine are false.
Since that date, my correspondence with the British legation here has not elicited any ground for the extraordinary report of Mr. Crump. You may therefore unhesitatingly deny it, in view of the mass of direct testimony to the contrary possessed by this government, in case the French minister should appeal to it as justifying interdiction of, or onerous interference with, the pork trade of this country.
I am, &c.,