to Mr. Putnam.
Washington, March 11, 1881.
Sir: Your No. 54, of the 15th ultimo, giving the outline of a recent interpellation in the House of Deputies touching the importation into Belgium of American salt-pork provisions, has been received. It is gratifying to perceive that the Belgian cabinet is disposed to look at the question fairly and practically, and without heeding the adverse clamor against American pork which is now prevalent in certain quarters of Europe, and which the earnest inquiries of this government fail to trace to any other source than nefarious speculation to the injury of legitimate trade.
I have telegraphed to our legations in London, Paris, and Vienna emphatic denial of the alleged alarming mortality among American hogs. The concurrent testimony of the great packing centers of the West is that the swine of that region have never before been so free from contagious disease or mortality.
I am, &c.,