Mr. Ewing to Mr. Olney.

No. 139.]

Sir: Referring to dispatch No. 131, of May 31, 1895, I have the honor to state that such investigation as I have been able to make in an informal manner among the butchers and cattlemen with whom I have been able to communicate does not sustain the charge that Canadian cattle shipped from Canada to Havre find their way into Belgium.

I will, however, continue the investigation, and will report the result to your Department at as early a date as possible.

Referring to all the correspondence on the subject of the exclusion of American cattle from Belgium, I have the honor to state that I sent to-day the following communication to the Belgian minister of foreign affairs:

Legation of the United States,
Brussels, August 22, 1895.

Mr. Minister: Referring to all the correspondence on the subject of the exclusion of American cattle from Belgium, and referring especially to my communication of October 3, 1894, to his excellency, Count de Merode Westerloo, then minister of foreign affairs, and to his reply thereto of January 8, 1895, I have the honor again most respectfully to call the attention of your excellency’s Government to the reconsideration of that matter.

In the answer to my last communication on the subject his excellency (the then minister of foreign affairs for Belgium) was pleased to say:

“In transmitting to your excellency two copies of the text of this decree I wish to give you the assurance that the Government of the King will not fail to waive the new measure as soon as circumstances will permit to do so.”

Relying upon this assurance, my Government has rested for many months, hoping that the ministerial decree of prohibition, which has been so detrimental to important interests of American citizens, would have been repealed.

I am now instructed by my Government to earnestly call the attention of your excellency to the great hardship of which it complains, and to request that the matter may be submitted to the consideration of the proper department of the Belgium Government.

In this connection I beg to communicate to your excellency a copy of a letter, written by Hon. J. Sterling Morton, Secretary of Agriculture for the United States, to Mr. Burnett Landret, Bristol, Pa., in which the subject is very fully discussed.

A copy of said letter was sent to the State Department and inclosed to me in a dispatch in which I was requested to avail myself of any opportunity to recall the subject of the letter to the attention of the Belgian foreign office.

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Mr. Minister, as the subject is the only one which in any degree affects the most friendly relations between Belgium and the United States, may I not earnestly express the hope that His Majesty’s Government may find it practicable, in view of all the circumstances suggested in this and former communications, to withdraw the ministerial order of the 29th day of December, 1894? It would afford me great pleasure to be able to communicate such result to my Government.

Please accept, etc.

I assume that it is the desire of the State Department to have definitely determined the question whether the exclusion of American cattle from Belgium is to be final, and for economic reasons, or merely temporary and for sanitary reasons, as is claimed, and if the latter, that the order be repealed within a reasonable time; and unless I receive contrary instructions I will insist upon its speedy determination.

I will communicate the answer of the Belgian Government to my foregoing letter as soon as received.

I have, etc.,

James S. Ewing