to Mr. Blaine.
Paris, March 24, 1881. (Received April 7.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose copies of telegrams regarding the decree prohibiting the importation of American pork, sent and received since the date of my dispatch No. 439, of date February 26, 1881.
The French Government has consented to receive, and to deliver to consignees, subject to inspection and condemnation of such as is found to be diseased, all pork which had actually been shipped from its original starting point by packers and merchants prior to the date of the decree of prohibition. Positive proof, however, will be required that the meats were actually in transitu before the decree was promulgated.
I have sent copies of your telegrams on this subject to Mr. Lowell, United States minister at London, as you directed.
The inspection of American pork here has demonstrated that a considerable percentage, just how large cannot be ascertained, as reports are conflicting, is infected with trichinæ, and the prejudice among Frenchmen against it so great that sales by retail dealers are largely suspended. Some dealers inform me that they cannot dispose of American pork and hams at any price. But as the price of French pork has greatly advanced since the decree of prohibition was promulgated, it is not likely the present state of things will continue. The French people of the poorer classes must have American pork, and in time the decree will, I am confident, be revoked, but I do not expect it at present.
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I have, &c.,