No. 713.
Mr. Heap to Mr. Blaine.

No. 7.]

Sir: The ministry of foreign affairs sent a circular to this legation on the 20th of April last, informing it that the importation of American pork was forbidden from that date on account of its being infected with trichinæ.

I have addressed a note to the minister for foreign affairs on the subject, calling his attention to the hasty manner in which it was assumed that American pork was so infected, and asking his excellency what it was proposed to do with that which might be en route to Turkish ports.

I inclose copies of the circular, and of my letter to the minister for foreign affairs, with translations of both.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 7.—Translation.]

Sublime Porte. Ministry of Foreign Afeairs.

(Gt. No. 62186. St. No. 26.)


Verbal note.

In consequence of the existence of trichinæ in the salt pork imported from America, the Sublime Porte has decided to prohibit, until further notice, the importation of this meat in the empire. As regards pork which may already have been imported [Page 1180] and is for sale in the shops, it will be taken possession of by the agents of the municipality upon payment of its value as estimated by the custom-house, to be immediately destroyed.

In bringing this measure to the knowledge of the legation of the United States, the ministry of foreign affairs requests it to give the information to its citizens.

To the Legation of the United States of America.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 7.—Translation.
No. 39.]

Monsieur le Ministre: Referring to the circular of the imperial ministry of foreign affairs, dated the 20th of April, 1881, and numbered 62186, 26, in relation to the interdiction set upon the importation into the empire of salt pork from America, I beg permission to ask your excellency to inform me when and where the existence of trichinæ in American pork has been ascertained.

It is true that a report was spread in France that trichinæ existed in American swine, and that this rumor induced that government to adopt measures which were afterwards found to be rather precipitate. But these reports were afterwards fully disproved by careful and minute examinations in America, where the existence of trichinæ was not confirmed except in very rare and exceptional cases, such as, for that matter, occur in all countries.

The circular of the ministry of foreign affairs goes on to state that the pork which has already been imported and is for sale in the shops shall be seized by the municipality, upon payment of a price to be fixed by the custom-house. But no mention is made of that which, in ignorance of the decree, may be on its way to Turkish ports, and which cannot be re-exported without serious loss.

If, previous to adopting so arbitrary and radical a measure against importations from the United States, the Sublime Porte had named a commission of experts to examine carefully, and with the aid of the microscope, the salt pork offered for sale in the markets, there is reason to believe that, as regards trichinæ, the examination would not have proved unfavorable to the pork imported from the United States.

The Government of the United States will learn with regret that the Sublime Porte has thought it necessary to adopt so hastily a measure which affects in so serious a manner one of the most important articles of produce of the United States.

In submitting these remarks to the enlightened appreciation of your excellency, I beg you to accept, etc.