to Mr. Bayard.
Paris, May 12, 1887. (Received May 27.)
Sir: In a conversation with Mr. Flourens yesterday at the foreign Office, I touched upon the relations of France with the different European [Page 299] countries in reference to the exhibition to be held here in 1889, and I expressed my regret that the French Government had taken so little interest in the legislation proposed for the inspection of foreign salted meats. The repeal of the prohibitory decree excluding American meat having been made dependent upon the enactment of such a law, I felt at liberty to recur to the subject whenever circumstances seemed in my judgment to render such reference appropriate. In recalling his attention to this subject I said that while full liberty was conceded to France to tax American meat at as high a rate as the meat of any other country, its exclusion could not fail to create a very unpleasant feeling when the sanitarial consideration which originally caused its exclusion no longer existed. He listened with great attention and interest, recognizing, as M. de Freycinet always did, that the real obstacle was in the strong feeling which dominated in the Chamber of Deputies in favor of protecting all agricultural products and which always found a representative in the cabinet. He said his colleague, M. Develle, at the present time represented this opinion very strongly, and though M. Lockroy, the actual minister of commerce, might be favorable to an immediate repeal of the prohibitory decree, he would encounter opposition from several of his colleagues. Mr. Flourens requested me to confer With Mr. Lockroy at my earliest convenience, and it was agreed we would renew our conversation after I had conferred with Mr. Lockroy.
I have, etc.,