Mr. Bayard to Mr. McLane.
Washington, October 17, 1885.
Sir: Your dispatch No. 73 of the 28th ultimo, reporting your action in making application to the foreign office for an order canceling the prohibition of the importation of American pork into France, has been received and read with interest and satisfaction.
Your presentation of the subject as contained in your note of the 23d of September to Mr. de Freycinet is approved. All the points appear to be well taken, except possibly the suggestion that as the legislature which adopted the resolution requesting the Executive to delay its repeal until a law providing inspection should pass had adjourned without enacting such a law the force of the law was exhausted.
If, as Mr. de Freycinet states, the life of the Chamber of Deputies is, like that of our Senate, continuous, and a pending measure can be taken up in any session at the point where it rested on previous adjournment, this argument may lose some of its force. As to this we cannot undertake to say how far the French legislative rule differs from our own, but without founding argument on the technical strength of this point (which would undoubtedly apply in the case of the Congress of the United States) even stronger equitable considerations present themselves.
A resolution of this character is advisory merely; it has not the continuing force of legislation. A reasonable limit is to be assigned to the duration of its effects and they should not outlive the legislature, which so distinctly announced its intention to provide an alternative remedy and failed to do so.
The important interests of two peoples should not be indefinitely denied consideration because of inaction in such a case, and it may be justly contended that the Executive is fully warranted in resuming all the control of the matter it had before the conditional request of the legislature was made, in which case the power of the Executive is ample. This view may be presented should an occasion arise for a further discussion of the subject with the foreign office.
I am, &c.,