Mr. Reid to Mr. Blaine.

No. 99.]

Sir: My dispatch No. 79 of October 19 advised the Department that General Franklin and myself had called on Mr. Spuller and stated that, if the French Government still entertained any doubts as to the healthfulness of American pork, we were instructed to invite an official inspection of the products of that class then at the exhibition, which were, for this purpose, placed entirely at the disposal of the French authorities.

Mr. Spuller haying agreed to confer on the subject with his colleagues, an answer was expected before the close of the exhibition. After waiting 10 days beyond that date, I wrote again to the minister on November 16, explaining that the exhibitors of American pork were only awaiting his decision to pack and remove their goods; that, with a view of lending his assistance to the French inspectors, Mr. Bickford, superintendent of the agricultural section, had postponed his departure to the 27th; and that, if an inspection was to be made, it ought to take place before that date.

On the same day the French officials at the exhibition gave notice that the demolition of the agricultural gallery (where the American pork was placed) must begin on the 25th. Informed at once of this fact by Mr. Gunnell, engineer of the United States commission, I again, under date of the 18th, addressed Mr. Spuller, calling his attention to this additional reason for early action on the offer I had made, under instructions from my Government, over a month ago.

On the 21st Mr. Spuller replied, stating that, in the opinion of his colleague who had charge of the health department, an inspection of the meat shown in the exhibition would not have the importance my letter seemed to give it, as the superior quality of this meat, established already [Page 281] by the awards it received, would not prove that the mass of American hog products is equally good. With the wish, however, to comply as far as possible with your intentions, a French professional inspector would place himself at the command of Mr. Bickford to receive any information and explanations on the subject.

The substance of this reply was communicated to Mr. Gunnell, and Mr. Charrin, the French inspector, and Mr. Bickford are now in communication.

I have, etc.,

Whitelaw Reid.