Mr. Schuyler to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Athens, October 19, 1883. (Received November 7.)
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 5, dated September 18, 1883, relative to the present status of the admission of American pork at European ports, as also of nine copies of the pamphlet on American pork, six copies of a French translation of the same through the American legation at Paris, and a copy of [Page 544]House Executive Document No. 209, Forty-seventh Congress, first session.
Referring to my dispatches No. 8, dated February 10, No. 29, dated May 7, and No. 31, dated July 25, I have further to report my action on the subject.
About April 20, after Mr. Tricoupis had given up the foreign office and Mr. Contostavlo had been appointed minister of foreign affairs, I received a circular on the importation of pork, dated April 7 (19), of which I inclose a copy and a translation. I immediately went to see Mr. Contostavlo, and expressed my regret that an additional circular should be issued, when the question of the prohibition of pork was under discussion between the two Governments in consequence of the circular of January 11. He professed his entire ignorance of the matter, as he had just entered office, and promised inquiry.
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As the result of several consultations with the prime minister, the minister of foreign affairs, and the minister of the interior, the question was twice sent back to the medical council, and on each occasion this body, composed of three physicians practicing in Athens, at the’ head of which is Dr. Soutsos, the chief medical officer of the army, refused to rescind the action which it had already taken. The reason given was that the importation of pork had been prohibited in France, and as a southern people like the Greek was especially susceptible to anything which bore upon the health of the population, the medical council had considered it necessary to follow this precedent.* * *
When the medical council had twice refused to revise their action, I considered it my duty to bring to the notice of the authorities the fact that their action in the case was contrary to the provisions of Article VIII, of our treaty with Greece of 1837. Mr. Contostavlo said offhand that sanitary considerations took precedence of all others. I replied that this could only be the case where they were mentioned in the treaty; that there was often a provision in treaties that prohibitions applying to a single country might be made where sanitary measures warranted it; but that without such a provision I could not admit its propriety, especially as in the treaty of 1837, the article about quarantine (Article XV) showed that sanitary questions had been considered by the negotiators.* * *
After receiving your dispatch No. 5, dated September 18, I addressed to Mr. Contostavlo a note on the subject, dated October 17, a copy of which I herewith inclose, marked 3, and of which I trust that you will approve.
I have, &c.,