Mr. Vignaud to Mr. Gresham.
Your telegram concerning prohibition of cattle received Sunday. This morning, after writing a strong protest against the action of France, I took it to the foreign office to deliver it myself to the minister. Before reading my communication, he declared that he had personally opposed the measure and had yielded only after obtaining evidence that the cattle were really in bad condition, and having ascertained that two countries at least, Germany and Belgium, had taken similar measures, England having practically done so long ago.
He added that, although very desirous to give you satisfaction in this matter, it would be impossible for him to have the order of prohibition canceled. But that with the view of showing the conciliatory disposition of France, he had insisted for the suppression of the microscopical inspection of hog products asked by us some time ago, and had carried the point.
He then intimated that if our protest was of such a character as to indispose the minister of agriculture, his consent to the suppression of microscopic inspection might be withheld. In short, I understood him to mean that he could fix at once this last affair if he was let alone with the other.
Under these circumstances I deemed it advisable to wait for further instructions before delivering our protest, which I had couched in the firm language used by you. I saw a large importer of American cattle, who admitted that the animals are always in unhealthy condition upon arrival on this side, and that other countries have taken same measures as France.