to Mr. Dougherty.
Washington, September 28,
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.
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
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.,
[Inclosure 1 in No. 116.]
Mr. Wood to Mr.
Consulate-General of the United States,
Rome, August 29, 1888. (Received September
Sir: As is known to the Department of State,
pork and pork preparations in any form whatsoever, and without
distinction of country of origin, have been prohibited articles of
import into Italy for more than nine years past.
In truth, United States pork and pork preparations were interdicted on
February 20, 1879; and on May 6 of the same year the interdiction was
extended to all countries. So that since the latter date there have been
no further imports of these articles into this country.
I now have the honor to inform you that on the 16th instant the Italian
minister of the interior issued a decree ordering that on and after that
date pork and pork preparations coming from Austria-Hungary should be
allowed to enter the Kingdom.
Two copies of this decree, with translation, are inclosed herein.
The ministerial decree states that the interdiction on pork and pork
preparations from Austria-Hungary has been raised, as it has been found
that the swine of that Empire are free from trichina.
Could the Italian Government be satisfied that there is no danger from
trichina in American pork, it is possible that this country, which prior
to 1879 was a considerable market for our product, would again be opened
to our trade.
In communicating the above information, I believe it may be interesting
for our Government to know that in Italy a large proportion of the
smoked hams and shoulders and sausages are eaten uncooked. By the
well-to-do classes they are eaten as relishes; for the poor they
constitute real articles of food; but in both cases they are chiefly
I am, etc.,
Charles M. Wood,
Vice Consul-General in
[Inclosure 2 in No.
1888.—Marine Health Order No. 10.
The minister of the interior by virtue of the law of March 20,1865,
Supplement C, on public health, having ascertained that throughout the
Empire of Austria-Hungary swine (il bestiame
porcino) are perfectly free from trichina; decrees:
That, from now on, it shall be permitted to introduce into the Kingdom
the flesh of swine salted, smoked, or otherwise prepared (le carni suine salati affamicati od altrimenti
preparate) coming from the aforesaid Empire of
The prefects, captains of ports and port officers, and the customs
authorities of the Kingdom are charged with the execution of this
Rome, August 16,