Mr. Gresham to Mr. Le Ghait .
Washington , February 14, 1895 .
Sir: Referring to your note of the 19th ultimo, relative to the considerations which induced your Government to prohibit the importation of cattle from the United States into Belgium, I have the honor to inform you that the Department has received a letter on this subject from the Secretary of Agriculture, in which he says that it is due to the stock industry of the United States that your Government should be informed that there has not been a case of contagious pleuro-pneumonia among the cattle of the United States for nearly three years, and that consequently it is impossible that the American cattle referred to in your note were affected with this disease when they were landed in Belgium.
The Secretary of Agriculture adds that it is universally admitted by scientists that pleuro-pneumonia can only arise from contagion transmitted from an animal affected with that disease, and that it is also generally admitted that the history of the animal must be taken into consideration in diagnosing contagious pleuro-pneumonia, because the lesions of this disease can not, in many cases, be distinguished with certainty from the lesions of noncontagious diseases of the lungs.
In view of the excellent sanitary condition of the cattle of the United States, it is hoped by the Department that your Government may be able to see the way clear to revoking, at an early day, the order excluding American cattle from Belgium.