No. 95.
Mr. Brulatour to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 510.]

Sir: I have the honor to send herewith copy and translation of a bill published in the Journal Officiel of this morning in relation to the introduction into France of all salted, smoked, or preserved pork of foreign origin.

This bill, which was introduced by the minister of commerce, Mr. Herisson, and the minister of finances, Mr. Tirard, allows the importation of salted pork in France, through certain ports which are to be designated hereafter, provided said pork is fully cured, which is to be established by an inspection made by experts appointed by the local authorities and paid for by the importers at the rate of five cents per box or barrel, or three cents per piece of meat when not imported in boxes or in barrels.

The bill is prefixed with a long explanation (exposé des motifs), in which the Government states that it was upon the advice in favor of free importation, given by both the Academy of Medicine and the committee of public hygiene, that the President had canceled the decree of prohibition, and that it was reissued only to comply with the desire expressed by the Chamber in its sitting of December 22d, 1883. The present state of things, however, has given rise to many complaints and inconveniences. The French minister at Washington has made known that retaliatory measures applicable to French wines had been introduced in Congress, and French chambers of commerce have remonstrated against the continuance of a measure which might have such an unpleasant result. The Government therefore, being-desirous of showing that it had no intention of prohibiting altogether these meats, and feeling convinced that the Chamber had no such intention, has come to the conclusion that an inspection, establishing that the meats imported in France are fully cured (that it is very carefully prepared, well preserved, and healthy), would be satisfactory to the Chamber.

A bill providing for such inspection is therefore submitted, with the expression of the desire of the Government that it will be acted upon as soon as possible.

The exposé winds up with the following paragraphs:

The question thus put is one the solution of which ought not to be delayed. From the moment the public health is assured, no reason any longer exists to deprive the population of an alimentary substance to which they had become used.

It is equally important to give to the United States a proof of our firm intention to favor exchange between the two countries. Already, upon the announcement that acceptable dispositions would not fail to regulate the importation of salted meats, a communication tending to the reduction of duties established in the United States upon works of art has been transmitted to Congress and recommended to their attention. There is no doubt, also, that the velleities of prohibition of our wines and liquors would fall through if the dispositions in question were put into execution.

We will add that the Government of the United States appears on their side disposed to take measures with a view to assure the good state of preparation of exported meats, and they announce their intention to establish at the ports of shipment a special service of inspection.

The Journal Officiel contains, also—

  • First, a long report in relation to trichinosis, made to the Academy of Medicine by Dr. Proust in the name of a commission composed [Page 144] of Messrs. Bonley, Bronardel, Chatin, Colin d’Alfort, and La Boulbene, all men of high scientific standing, who agree in stating that, no case of trichinosis having been detected in France and in England, the importation of American salted pork can be authorized in France.
  • Second, a report on the same matter by Dr. Colin d’Alfort and the debate of the Academy pursuant to these reports, which debate ended by the adoption, without opposition, of the conclusion recommended by Dr. Proust and his commission.

The matter was brought yesterday before a committee of the House, which seems to favor the proposition of the Government. A paper states this morning that Mr. Paul Bert has also accepted the proposition, but expressed the opinion that the Government should inquire “as to the practicability of concluding a diplomatic convention with the United States for facilitating the inspection of salt meats in America before shipment.” Mr. Bert believed that “American inspectors might act in accord with the French consuls in America, and after inspection give certificates as to the soundness of each cargo, which would obviate the necessity of renewed inspection on arrival in France.”

I inclose herewith a copy of the Journal Officiel of this day containing the French text of the bill, with its introduction, the two reports to the Academy, and the debate thereon.

I have, &c.,


Project of law having for object the establishment of a service of inspection of pork of foreign origin salted, smoked, or preserved by whatsoever process, presented in the name of Mr. Jules Grévy, President of the French Republic, by Mr. Herisson, minister of commerce, and Mr. Girard, minister of finances.

draft law.

Article 1. Salted pork of foreign origin, corresponding to the kind known in commerce under the name of “fully cured.” may he imported into France through the points of the frontier on land and sea which shall be determined by decree.

Art. 2. At the moment of entry into France the importers should have a statement made that the imported meats correspond to the kind above mentioned, that it is healthy, in a perfect state of preservation, and that the salting is complete.

Special experts designated by the prefects shall be charged to make this verification, according to the mode of examination prescribed by the minister of commerce.

The expenses of the service of inspection shall be at the cost of the importers.

There shall be charged for inspection duty 25 centimes per case or cask, and 15 centimes per separate piece.

For minced meat, small and large sausages, &c., there shall be charged 3 francs per 100 kilograms.

The product of these duties shall be paid into the hands of the receiver of customs, who shall give receipt for the same and distribute it among the experts, according to the provisions which shall be determined by a decree.

The custom-house authorities shall only allow the meat to be removed upon the certificate of the experts, declaring that the conditions required by the first paragraph of the present article are fulfilled.

Art. 3. Shall be punished with imprisonment from two to six months and with a fine of from 100 francs to 500 francs those who shall introduce or attempt to introduce into France, without submitting it to the examination prescribed by the present law, pork of foreign origin, which shall be, besides, seized and destroyed.

Article 463 of the Penal Code is applicable to cases statutable by the present article.

Art. 4. Is and shall remain repealed the decree of the 18th of February, 1881, which prohibits the importation in France of salted pork of American origin.