Mr. Reid to Mr. Blaine.
Paris , August 15, 1890. (Received August 25.)
Sir: On Wednesday last the minister for foreign affairs had his first diplomatic reception since the interview reported in my No. 215 of August 5. In that interview Mr. Ribot had quoted one of his colleagues as saying that Germany had excluded American pork before France did, and I had claimed that this was a mistake. I now called on the minister, and, giving him the inclosed memorandum of dates, pointed out that while France had absolutely prohibited all American pork products since February 18, 1881, Germany had continued to admit everything, excepting sausages and sausage meat, until March 6, 1883, over 2 years later. I also pointed out that the previous action of Italy should not be considered, since that was not a special discrimination against the United States alone, like the French decree, but an impartial exclusion of all foreign pork. The minister replied, “We do then seem to have been the first.” To which I rejoined, “Yes; you were the first aggressors; you set the bad example, and that is why I appeal to you to be the first to undo the wrong.” He went on to say, however, that a bill had been prepared fixing the duties on pork; that this would be submitted on the first day of the next session of the Chamber (in October), and that then the Government would hope to be in position to take some action.
From remarks made in previous conversations I apprehend that these duties will be highland that the new duty on pork proposed in the tariff bill now under consideration in the United States Senate will be quoted as an example and a justification.
I have, etc.,