No. 215.
Mr. Von Eisendecher to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

Sir: I have received from my Government copy of a note addressed by Mr. Sargent to Count Hatzfeldt, under the date of February 23, of this year, for the purpose of preventing the ultimate proclamation of the prohibited measures resolved upon by the confederate Governments, against the importation into Germany of American bacon, hams, and pork.

[Page 405]

Under instructions from the chancellor of the Empire, I have the honor to communicate to you the following reply to the note in question:

The prohibition resorted to by Germany is a measure of internal German legislature, found necessary after careful investigation on sanitary grounds and closely connected with the internal institutions of the country.

Germany has always carefully avoided all interference in regard to measures which other Governments, and especially the Government of the United States, think just to adopt in the interest of their country.

This principle of non-interference has been preserved by Germany also in relation to the high and often prohibitive duties imposed upon German industries in the United States in consequence of their adopted financial system. Germany has never even ventured the slightest remarks in this respect tending to suggest an eventual friendly consideration of German interests in the framing of American internal laws and measures. In the prohibition referred to above, however, higher interests of the nation are at stake than tariff laws, that is the protection of the people against a danger to health. Now, as Germany by its strict and rigorously enforced legislation affords the same protection to its people at home against all danger from German cattle and hogs, it cannot possibly treat the foreign producers better than its own.

An investigation of the American methods of raising hogs and preparing hog products by a commission of German experts in the United States could not effect a material change in this respect.

Germany taking fully into account the very considerable importation of German cattle into England, would nevertheless not feel at liberty to request the British Government to inquire into the necessity of the restrictions imposed upon the importation of German cattle into England by a commission traveling over Germany. The measures adopted in England against the importation of German cattle are also based upon sanitary but much less important reasons than those existing in Germany in regard to American pork. Even the most favorable report rendered by such traveling members of a commission about the health of German cattle and the methods adopted in Germany for its preservation would not constitute a sufficient motive for the British legislature to recall their sanitary precautionary measures.

Austria-Hungary also, to whose cattle the German frontier has been closed upon sanitary grounds for a number of years, has not considered the suggestion of an inquiry by German officials within its possessions as a likely means to have that prohibition removed or made less rigorous.

These extensive and long-established prohibitive measures against Austria-Hungary, a country bound to Germany by the closest political and commercial ties, may at the same time be mentioned as a proof that, taking for granted an impartial and unbiased consideration of the question, such measures which due regard for the health of the people compels the Government to adopt need in no way interfere with our friendly relations existing with Austria, England, and America.

Expressing the hope, in the name of my Government, that the foregoing remarks may receive at your hands the appreciation warranted by the happy and friendly relations of both nations and their Governments,

I avail, &c.,