No. 35.
Mr. Delaplaine to Mr. Blaine.

No. 453.]

Sir: Referring to dispatch No. 438, I herewith inclose a copy of the reply (received to-day) of the imperial and royal minister for foreign affairs to Mr. Kasson’s note of March 18, 1881, the latter containing a formal protest against the official order of prohibition of the importation of swine meat and swine products from the United States into Austria-Hungary.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 453.—Translation.]

Minister for Foreign Affairs to Mr. Kasson.

The undersigned has had the honor to receive the esteemed note of the 18th instant, wherein the Hon. John A. Kasson thought proper, in the name of his government to protest against the order issued on the 10th instant, by the government of both halves[Page 54]of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, prohibiting the importation of swine, pork, bacon, and sausages from the United States of North America.

So far as this protest is based upon article V of the treaty of commerce and navigation, of August 27, 1829, the undersigned begs leave to remark that the prohibitory order in question was issued solely out of regard to the public health.

The stipulations of article V of the aforesaid treaty cannot be considered in this case, since the renunciation therein provided for of the issuance of orders, prohibiting importation, which are not of a general nature, cannot operate against the issuance of prohibitory orders based upon sanitary grounds.

All practice connected with treaties has confirmed this view, and this practice was enforced towards the United States of North America when Austria-Hungary was obliged to prohibit the importation of North American potatoes in order to prevent the introduction of the Colorado beetle. The American Government at that time made no objection.

The intention of the provisions of article V cannot possibly be to prevent the contracting parties from adopting such measures as may be required for the protection of public health in their respective countries. Supposing, for instance, that a pestilence should break out in one of the two countries, the country afflicted by the pestilence would have no ground of complaint against the other for a violation of the treaty if it should prohibit the importation, from the afflicted country, of any articles considered directly dangerous to health.

The case is similar, in the present instance, in which the importation of American productions has been prohibited, for the reason that the consumption of those productions must be considered, on the authority of experts, as decidedly dangerous to the public health.

The sanitary congress which met at Amsterdam in the year 1879, unanimously declared that the introduction into Europe of American pork, bacon, and sausages should, in its opinion, be prohibited.

In several places in this monarchy, especially at Trieste, since the year 1879, trichinæ have, on examination, repeatedly been discovered in American hams and shoulders.

The precautionary measures then adopted to prevent the introduction of trichnæ, consisting of a careful inspection and examination of all pork imported from North America, did not satisfy the people of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

The issuance of an order prohibiting the importation of swine and pork from the United States of North America, was therefore urgently demanded.

Similar orders are now in force in Italy, Germany, and France.

With regard to the failure to issue a proclamation notifying the Government of the United States, beforehand, of the proposed enforcement of the order in question, the undersigned begs leave to remark that sanitary regulations always take effect in Austria-Hungary on the day of their promulgation, and that, as a consequence, no previous notice in regard to the adoption of the measure in question could be given to the government of the country concerned.

The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to renew to the honorable chargé d’affaires the assurance of his most distinguished consideration.

For the minister of foreign affairs,