Mr. Adee to Mr. Ewing.

No. 158.]

Sir: Referring to previous correspondence relative to the action of the Belgian Government in prohibiting the importation of American cattle into Belgium, I inclose for your information a copy of a letter of the 22d instant,1 from the Secretary of Agriculture, inclosing a copy of a communication to him from Messrs. Patterson, Ramsay & Co., steamship agents of Baltimore, Md., on the subject, stating that the Belgian Government has revoked for the remainder of the season the decree by which the importation of Canadian cattle into Belgium was prohibited.

It would appear, as the Secretary of Agriculture well states, that if the prohibition of Canadian cattle into Belgium has been removed, the same concession should be granted to the trade of this country.

The prohibition was, as you are aware, imposed on the ground that the cattle from the United States had been declared affected with pleuro-pneumonia and Texas fever. This Government constantly gives the closest attention to the sanitary condition of cattle in all parts of this country. The official reports on the subject establish the fact that the allegation that pleuro-pneumonia exists among the cattle of the United States is unfounded and based upon errors of diagnosis, as there have been no cases of this disease in the United States for several years.

Our cattle are now equally free from Texas fever, but as the Secretary of Agriculture observes, even if we admitted that cattle affected with Texas fever had been found among our exportations, we should still protest against the prohibition of the trade on that account, as the disease is not disseminated by affected cattle. Although from 100,000 to 400,000 head of United States cattle have been exported to Europe annually during the past fifteen years, there is no case on record of any disease having been disseminated among European cattle by animals from this country.

You are, therefore, instructed to recall this subject to the attention of the Belgian foreign office; and in view of the action which has been taken with reference to Canadian cattle and in consideration of the [Page 35] present good sanitary condition of all kinds of live stock in this country, express the hope entertained by this Government that it may be found practicable to revoke the decree prohibiting the importation of American cattle into Belgium.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary
  1. Not printed.