No. 231.
Mr. Blaine to Mr. Noyes.

No. 363.]

Sir: I inclose herewith for your information a copy of a letter to this Department from the firm of S. Davis, jr., & Co., making some statements in regard to the proceedings of the French authorities in reference to certain lots of pork sent to France by them for sale.

In view of the great hardships to which this firm have been exposed by the action of the French Government, based upon false reports as to an extraordinary prevalence of trichinosis among the hogs of this country, I will thank you to bring the complaints of Messrs. S. Davis, jr., & Co. to the attention of the French foreign office with a view of obtaining for them such relief as may be practicable.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in 363.]

S. Davis, jr., Co. to Mr. Blaine.

Dear Sir: It has been suggested to us that we advise you of the course pursued in Paris with our meats, and to offer letters.

We send copy of one entire, with comments below.

In contrast with it, where our hams passed “with honor,” another house, with hams packed the same day here and forwarded by same steamer, were rejected in Paris, and lot sent back to Havre. This, too, after passing inspection at Havre.

[Letter from Havre.]

Lot per “Volner” found sound by the government inspector, and, with authority of consignees, forwarded to Paris. (Second lot.) But they may be rejected at Paris like the first. Here they do not find trichina, but it appears they find some in Paris, and then immediately destroy the meat.

Mr. P. returned us here nine crates (from Paris). We will try and sell the hams; but it is a pity to see how these hams are damaged; the covers are off, and they have holes as big as a thumb.

Paris, March 4, 1881.

S. D., Jr., & Co., Cincinnati:

Your invoice of January 22 reached me to-day, after passing the ordeal of microscopical examination with honors.

The delay and trouble and consequent expenses are so great that I can hardly say whether I am glad or sorry that the invoice of January 4 has at last reached Havre. * * * * Many persons are, of course, prejudiced against American pork. This was, no doubt, the only object of the recent decree.

I hear that some members of Bordeaux chamber of commerce, who were deeply interested in the American pork trade, came here recently, and, choosing some freshly killed French pigs at the abattoir, had them analyzed with the result that several were found to be more or less infected with the newly-invented disease.

That I understood to be with the object of showing that trichina is possible in French pigs. Many here contending that, in the way they are fed, they are more liable to have them than ours, as we have sounder and fresher food.

S. DAVIS, Jr., & CO.

[Page 408]

We desire to state that this has been the most favorable season for curing meats that we have had for years, and with consumers here and abroad the cure has been pronounced better than last season.

We take great pains with meats for export, being drier than domestic meats when shipped, and for two years have had double covers.

And one matter, very important—for there have been complaints that meats are sent over not fully cured, and sometimes true, and so ordered by French people—we have not this season, or at any time, sent any hams but those fully cured. We have, by cable and letters, given a portion of this information to Governor Noyes, who has our hams for his own use, and whom the writer well knows.

You can see our losses are likely to be severe and portion of meat may be returned here, and some destroyed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servants,

S. DAVIS, Jr., & CO.