Mr. Ewing to Mr. Olney .

No. 165.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your cablegram of the 18th instant.

The ministerial order by which the importation of cattle from the Netherlands into Belgium is permitted went into effect on the 5th day of this month. I inclose herewith a copy of this order, together with a translation, from which it will be seen that the conditions therein imposed almost render the privilege nugatory. I inclose also herewith a copy of a communication which I have just addressed to the minister for foreign affairs, and of a cablegram just sent you.

I am compelled to express to you the opinion that the present policy of the Belgian Government is to prevent the importation of foreign cattle into Belgium, in the interests of the cattle breeders of this country.* * *

If the order of exclusion should be withdrawn, I am confident such conditions would be imposed on the shippers of American cattle as would render the privilege substantially worthless.

[Page 36]

The methods adopted on this subject by the Agricultural Department are by no means approved by the people of Belgium, or indeed by a large number of the members of the Parliament.

The butchers, the meat vendors, the great body of meat consumers oppose them, and in various ways, by public meetings and petitions to Parliament, have protested against them.

In my judgment, there will be no immediate change in this policy.

* * * * * * *

I have, etc.,

Jas. S. Ewing
[Inclosure 1 in No. 165.—Translation.]

Ministry of Agriculture and Public Works.

Direction of agriculture.—Sanitary regulations concerning domestic animals.—Importation and transit of cattle sent from the Netherlands.

The minister of agriculture and public works, considering the law of December 30, 1882, on the sanitary regulations concerning domestic animals, also the regulations of general administration of September 20, 1883, and October 30, 1895, adopted in execution of this law; reconsidering the ministerial orders regulating the importation and transit of cattle from the Netherlands, and notably the orders dated September 25, 1894, April 18 and November 15, 1895; considering the opinion of the minister of finance, orders:

Article 1. By modification of the ministerial order dated April 18, 1895, is authorized, until further notice, on the conditions hereafter determined, the importation by railway of bovine animals sent from the Netherlands to the destination of slaughterhouses of Brussels, Cureghem-Anderlecht, Antwerp, Ghent, Liege, and Bruges.

The importation will take place through the offices and suboffices of the customhouse designated in the table hereto annexed on the days and hours therein indicated.

The animals, after having submitted at said offices or suboffices to sanitary control, will be sent on toward one of the stations of Brussels (Midi), Brussels (Ouest), Cureghem-Anderlecht, Antwerp, Ghent, Liege, and Bruges, and conducted from there, under the surveillance of the local police, toward the slaughterhouses above designated in order to be there slaughtered at the latest within three days.

Article 2. The ministerial order referred to above of April 18, 1895, is withdrawn in that which concerns animals of the bovine species. However, the importation and the transit of these animals will not take place except through the offices and suboffices of the custom-house designated in the table hereto annexed, on the days and hours designated therein.

On their arrival at the said offices or suboffices the animals will be examined at the expense of the importers by the veterinary in control.

When the veterinary admits that the animals are in good health, he states it in a certificate in conformity to the form hereto annexed, which is delivered to the owner or the conductor in charge of the animals.

The direct transit, without unloading, by the railway of the animals of the bovine species is authorized through all the offices open to that effect and is subjected to no special formality of a sanitary character.

Article 3. The importation and transit of hogs coming from the Netherlands remain prohibited. However, the direct transit, without unloading, by railway of said animals is authorized without any special formality of a sanitary character.

Article 4. The orders of September 20, 1886, August 25, 1894, and of November 15, 1895, are withdrawn.

Article 5. The present order will go into force December 5, 1895.

Leon De Bruyn
[Inclosure 2 in No. 165.]

Mr. Ewing to Mr. De Burlet .

Mr. Minister: On the 22d day of August last I had the honor to address to your excellency a communication on the exclusion of American [Page 37] cattle from Belgium, in which I referred to my communication of October 3, 1894, and to the reply thereto, on January 8, 1895.

I beg, at this time, to call the attention of your excellency to my letter of August 22, 1895 (to which I received no reply), and to all the correspondence on the subject of the importation of American cattle into Belgium. In this connection, I refer to the ministerial order issued by the minister of agriculture and public works on the 26th day of November, 1895, permitting the importation of cattle from the Netherlands into Belgium.

I am in receipt of cabled instructions from my Government to strongly urge the similar withdrawal of the prohibition of importation of cattle from the United States.

I have therefore in the communications, to which I have above referred, called the attention of the Belgian Government to the rigid inspection to which all cattle are subjected in the United States, from the breeding ground to the moment of shipment, and to the successful eradication of pleuro-pneumonia and other contagious diseases, and I have furnished your department with information upon that subject.

In view of the great care and expense of the systematic and complete inspection of cattle for export provided by my Government, and in view of the very slight evidence of contagious disease claimed to have been discovered by the sanitary officials of Belgium, I respectfully, in behalf of the United States, remonstrate against the exclusion of American cattle from the Belgian ports.

In view of the ministerial order of the 26th day of November, 1895, permitting the importation of cattle from the Netherlands, my Government can but feel that the further continuance in force of the ministerial order of the 29th day of December, 1894, would be an unjust discrimination against the importation of American products.

I pray your excellency to accept, etc.,

James S. Ewing