No. 216.
Mr. Von Eisendecher to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

Esteemed Mr. Secretary of State: The United States minister at Berlin some time since communicated to the secretary of state for foreign affairs the instruction sent to him by his Government, under date of March 14, 1883, relative to the German prohibition of the importation of American hogs, &c.

In connection with this communication, for which the chancellor of the Empire feels grateful to your Government, the Imperial Government desires, referring to the previously received note of the United States minister, again to explain its own position in this question.

The aforesaid note of Mr. Sargent made an unpleasant impression in Berlin, both because of its interference in the domestic affairs of Germany, and of its tone, which was not in harmony with the friendly relations existing between the two Governments. The German Government is consequently much gratified to find that the Government of the United States does not adopt the position taken by its representative in his aforesaid note.

In issuing the prohibitive decree in question the object had in view was simply the adoption of a sanitary measure. The only design of Germany was to protect her own population from disease, and there is less reason to suppose that there was any intention to pursue a course calculated to influence the relations existing between Germany and America, inasmuch as similar prohibitions of the importation of American pork have long existed in other countries, viz, in France, Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Greece, which circumstance has occasioned no similar proceeding on the part of the American representative at Paris, Rome, Vienna, or Athens.

This difference of action causes the more surprise at Berlin, since in Germany only does this complaint made by America furnish ground to the political opponents of the Government on which to base their denunciations of its course.

The trade in hogs and their products is subjected to the most rigid control in the interior of Germany. Not only does the sale of pork containing trichinӕ subject the seller to severe penalties, but even the manufacture (through negligence) of pork products that may endanger the health of the consumer.

There are, moreover, in the various districts of Germany police regulations providing that all pork shall be examined, and that all hogs before being slaughtered (even by private parties) shall be subjected to a microscopic examination. Butchers are, furthermore, obliged to slaughter their hogs in slaughter-houses which are under police inspection. The prohibition of the importation of these products of the American market was therefore indispensable to the observance of strict impartiality toward citizens of the German Empire and foreigners.

With regard to the proposition to allow the American slaughter-house .arrangements, &c., to be examined by a commission of German experts, the Imperial Government gladly recognizes the good intentions thereby manifested; it is unable, however, to reach the conviction that such an examination would secure the desired result, since, although the Imperial Government does not doubt that precautionary measures are adopted in many such establishments in America, or that the products in question [Page 407] are prepared with care and under proper inspection, it nevertheless thinks that it is impossible to secure and maintain uniformity among all such establishments in the United States, and a German commission will never be able to become convinced, even from the most complete arrangements of exporting houses, that the latter are able to furnish a constant guarantee of safety from trichinӕ. The sending of such a commission would doubtless reveal the best intentions and the most perfect order in the establishments visited by it, but also the impossibility of preventing the exportation of trichinous pork even when every conceivable precaution is taken.

It may be remarked in conclusion that a petition remonstrating against the prohibition to import American pork was some time since received from the tradesmen of Königsberg, some of whom, and the very ones who had been most prominent in getting up the petition, have since been punished for selling trichinous American pork.

Accept, &c.,