to Mr. Blaine
Vienna , March 12, 1881. (Received March 26.)
Sir: Recurring to the subject of my dispatches Nos. 428 and 430, I have now to add that on the 8th instant I received very opportunely your telegram of the following tenor:
Published statements of mortality among swine are false.
I made it the occasion of a further communication to the minister for foreign affairs, as follows:
Vienna, March 8, 1881.
Dear Baron Haymerle: Referring to my conversation with you of the 28th ultimo, and to my note of the 1st instant inclosing “memorandum,” I beg to call your attention to a telegram received to-day from the Secretary of State at Washington, which denies the reports put in circulation by interested parties respecting the prevalence of disease among American swine.
In this connection I beg that the attention of the proper authority in Austria and in Hungary may be called to the fact, as reported to this legation, that examinations [Page 43] have shown more condemnations of German and Servian swine meat on account of the presence of trichinæ than of American. A quantity of Westphalian hams are reported to have been recently confiscated in this city on that account. It is believed that when the reports made are duly considered by the respective governments, it will appear to them necessary to make one rule equally applicable to the importations from all countries.
Believe me, dear Baron Haymerle, your most obedient servant,
JOHN A. KASSON.
On the evening of the same day, meeting me in society, he said that he had received this note, and had already ordered its transmission to the Austrian and Hungarian Governments. Your telegram was opportune, especially because there had at the time appeared in the journals a statement that the municipality of Pest had just addressed to the government there a petition for the prohibition of the importation of lard, of pork, and of fat coming from America. By my advice the consul at Pest was instructed to remonstrate with the local authorities for reasons given, and his action thereon he afterwards reported to the consul-general.
I have now exhausted all the preventive means which occur to me as being in my power to reverse or modify the intended action of the two governments.
It has also been the subject of conversation between two of the ambassadors and myself, in which I sought to dissipate the groundless alarm, and indicated what is generally believed to be at the bottom of the difficulty, namely, the wish to obstruct and even abolish American competition in the home markets of Europe.
* * * * * * *
We are so far removed from the countries of interior Europe that their governments are not so careful in treating economic questions involving our interests alone as they are in dealing with like questions affecting their immediate neighbors. Their sense of international justice is also largely influenced by the widespread fear among their people of the effect of the recent development of the products and of the industry of the United States and of the resulting competition in European markets. These fears particularly apply to the agriculture of America. The taxation of real estate here is very burdensome. In America it is light. Rents must here, in large proportions, be paid to landlords. In America the farmer is usually free from rent charges. Here lands have been highly paid for. There they were bought comparatively cheap. These considerations are pressed upon the governments. It is more than possible that they will lead to palpable injustice and inequality towards the United States in the near future. Hence the question whether Congress ought not to arm the Executive with the power to impose temporarily a percentage of discriminating duties oh the products of the soil and of the industry of those nations which apply discriminating duties or regulations against the products of the soil or industry of the United States.
Some two years ago I had the honor to advise you that the condition of public sentiment in this country, and on this continent generally, gave serious cause for alarm to American interests. I beg now, in view of the partial realization of those fears, to renew that declaration, and to direct attention to remedial and precautionary measures.
I have, &c.,