No. 127.
Mr. Morton to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 324.]

Sir: I availed myself of an occasion during a recent personal interview with Mr. Challemel Lacour, the new minister of foreign affairs, to call his attention to the subject of the decree prohibiting the importation into France of American salted meats, and subsequently addressed a, communication to him on the subject, a copy of which I have the honor to transmit herewith.

In relation to this subject I have had different interviews with the representatives of the Chambers of Commerce of Paris, Marseilles, Bordeaux, and Havre, who take a special interest in the importation of American meats, and propose to make joint representations to the minister of commerce and to originate a sytem of petitions among the working classes of France urging the repeal of the decree.

This move, if properly directed, will be, it is hoped, effective. I have been, however, so often disappointed that I will not venture to count upon the success of the present movement, though it is well calculated to reach the end desired. I may add that at the conference for the protection of industrial property, which was presided over by the minister of commerce, and attended by the director of exterior commerce, I insisted with both these gentlemen upon the necessity of the abrogation of the decree.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 324.]

Mr. Morton to the minister of foreign affairs.

Sir: I beg leave to call the attention of your excellency to communications which I have had the honor of addressing to your predecessors, Mr. St. Hilaire and Mr. Gambetta, with reference to the decree prohibiting the importation of American salted meats into France.

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This decree has now been in force for more than two years, while similar products from all other countries have, been freely admitted in France.

An examination of the subject will, I trust, not only satisfy your excellency, but also your honorable colleague, the minister of commerce, that the decree was issued under a misapprehension of the facts bearing upon the question, and that there are no valid reasons why this exceptional measure, only applicable to the Government of the United States, should be abrogated.

The Government of the United States yields to none in its desire to protect the public health, and claims that the searching and careful investigation conducted by a most competent officer detailed for the purpose by the Department of State, clearly established the unfounded and erroneous character of the statements regarding the alleged unwholesome qualities of American hog products, upon which the issue of the prohibitory decree was based. The result of the examination was presented to Mr. St. Hilaire by my predecessor, General Noyes, on the 23d of June, 1881.

I beg leave also to refer to the report of the National Academy of Medicine of France on the question propounded by the Government regarding the necessity of an inspection of foreign pork, and which, after referring to the free admission of American and German pork for many years, without inspection, and its extended use in the manufacturing and industrial districts of France, states that the disease called trichinosis, with the exception of a single case, has not been observed in any part of France.

I can but believe that your excellency’s Government will, after a consideration of all the evidence now before it, cheerfully place the Government of the United States upon the same footing as all other friendly nations by the revocation of the decree.

I avail, &c.,