to Mr. Dougherty.
Washington, September 28, 1888.
Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of a dispatch dated the 29th ultimo from our consulate-general at Rome, informing the Department that by a ministerial decree of the 16th ultimo, the introduction of swine products of Austro-Hungary into Italy will hereafter be allowed in exception to the general prohibitory decree of the 6th of May, 1879, on the ground that Austrian pork had been ascertained to be free from infection.
You will find in your archives an instruction to Mr. Marsh, dated June 10, 1881, directing him to transmit a copy of the official report of this Department on the subject of American pork to the Italian Government, urging at the same time on it the propriety of abolishing, or, at any rate, of modifying the prohibitive decree against American pork of the 20th of February, 1879. It does not appear from, subsequent correspondence how far these instructions were executed or what effect, if any, followed.[Page 1048]
I therefore now send you another copy of the document referred to, with the request that you will promptly investigate the state of the case as reported by the consul-general, and, in connection therewith, again call the attention of the Italian Government to the arguments of this Government in support of the healthiness of American pork, and also to the fact that under our commercial treaties with Italy the United States is entitled to the same treatment as the most favored nations as regards the importation of her products.
This Government believes that the arguments which were advanced in 1881 hold equally good now, and that American pork, if a fair examination be made of it, will more than hold its own in comparison with that of Austria or other foreign nations, the existence of trichinosis in Europe being due, it is believed, in all cases which have been officially investigated, to the prevalent custom of eating pork in a perfectly uncooked state.
I am, etc.,