No. 275.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Pendleton.

No. 195.]

Sir: I inclose herewith copies of two communications from the Commissioner of Agriculture with reference to the importation of American plants into Germany.

In replying to the Commissioner’s first letter, I referred him to Mr. Sargent’s No. 211, of the 4th of November, 1883, which gave a full history of the phylloxera convention of the 3d November, 1881, and the German law of July 3, 1883, to carry out the same.

Mr. Sargent appears by that dispatch to have endeavored to obtain from the German Government some mitigation of the restrictions on the importation of American plants, but thus far, it does not appear, with any success.

As there does not seem to be any immediate prospect of the United States becoming one of the signers to the phylloxera convention, or of passing such preventive laws as the terms of that convention require, you are instructed to invite the attention of the foreign office to the matter with a view to informing this Government whether the prohibitory regulations are still in force, and if so, whether any exemption or exception can be obtained for American plants under the provisions of section 5 of the decree of July 4, 1883, and, in this case, what forms must be complied with by American exporters.

You will notice that the Commissioner hopes for an early reply.

I have etc.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 195.]

Mr. Colman to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: I am frequently asked by correspondents who desire to ship plants to Germany in regard to the construction of the German laws governing such importation, and within a few days the following question has arisen: It is understood that a certificate to the effect that the plants to be imported have not been grown near potatoes or grapes is required; what is the form of this certificate, and by whom should it be indorsed?

I should like to procure through your Department, as soon as possible, an authoritative answer to this query, and I should also esteem it a favor if you can secure for me copies of the whole law governing this traffic.

I am, sir, etc.,

Norman J. Colman,
[Inclosure 2 in No. 195.]

Mr. Colman to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 22d instant, replying to mine of the 5th, which asked for certain information regarding the German laws governing the importation of plants from the United States into Germany.

[Page 384]

On consulting Minister Sargent’s dispatch No. 211, dated November 4, 1883, to which you have referred us, we find that the whole matter hinges upon sections 2 and 5 of the Imperial decree of July 4, 1883.

The translation of section 2 reads: “The importation of plants with roots, coming from states which were not represented at the phylloxera convention, into the Empire, is prohibited.”

The translation of section 5 reads: “The Imperial chancellor is empowered to grant exemption to the provision of section 2.”

Inclosure 7 to this dispatch No. 211 is a copy of a communication from Mr. Sargent to Count Hatzfeldt, calling the latter’s attention to the fact that the United States is thus prohibited from exporting plants to Germany, and practically desires that this restriction be removed, and that the plants of American exporters be admitted into the Empire under the same terms with those of states which were represented at the convention of Berne. The case in point was the complaint of Messrs. Roelker & Sons, of New York City.

I have the honor to inquire as to the result of this communication of Minister Sargent’s, and as’ to whether the prohibition has ever been removed. Hoping for an early reply, I remain, etc.,

Norman J. Colman,