Mr. Ewing to Mr. Olney .
Brussels , December 19, 1895 . (Received Jan. 4, 1896.)
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If the order of exclusion should be withdrawn, I am confident such conditions would be imposed on the shippers of American cattle as would render the privilege substantially worthless.[Page 36]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.,