Mr. Olney to Mr. Eustis .
Washington , October 12, 1895 .
Sir: In further reply to your No. 379, of the 24th ultimo, touching the prohibition of the importation of American cattle into France and the newspaper statements to which the French minister for foreign affairs adverts as conclusive of the existence of epizootic disease in the United States, I have now to apprise you of the receipt of a letter from the Secretary of Agriculture, of the 9th instant, upon the subject, which is practically as follows:
The communication of Mr. Hanotaux gives the impression that the French Government is unwilling to give serious consideration to the representations made by you under instructions from this Department. After the French Government had been officially informed that there has been no pleuro pneumonia among the animals of the United States for several years, and that our cattle are free from Texas fever, but that in case this disease should affect them there would be no danger of its introduction into France, as the disease is not disseminated by affected cattle, the reference to alleged epizootics of cattle reported in the newspapers is an extremely unsatisfactory answer. The French Government would certainly have a right to complain if this Government accepted newspaper statements in regard to the diagnosis and prevalence of epizootic diseases in France, and, in doing so, rejected their official reports. It can be no less a cause of complaint for this Government that unauthorized newspaper reports are apparently accepted as more reliable than the representations amply made by the Government of the United States after careful investigation and a thorough knowledge of the subject.
It is not to be understood that the Secretary of Agriculture alleges that there has been absolute freedom from Texas fever in the United States during the year, but he does affirm that the disease is not epizootic and that it has been thoroughly controlled under the Federal regulations, so that there is no danger of the infection being carried into France or other foreign countries. Because of the existence of a district in this country in which Texas fever is epizootic the Government of France excludes our live cattle, even when shipped for slaughter, although there has never been a case of Texas fever produced among the cattle of Europe by the millions of head of cattle which have been shipped there from the United States, and although what is known of the disease clearly indicates that it is impossible for this to occur under the regulations of this Government. On the other hand, it has been freely admitted by the French Government, in their official [Page 414] publications, that both pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease have existed in that country during the last year, and yet this Government has shown its friendly inclinations toward France by admitting French cattle for breeding purposes. It certainly is much less dangerous to admit cattle for immediate slaughter at the port of landing than it is to admit them for breeding purposes, and allow them to go into the herds of the country, even after a reasonable quarantine.
It is well, therefore, to state to the French Government that if, under the conditions as they exist in this country, it is necessary for the protection of the French herds that the cattle from the United States be excluded, the same process of reasoning would make it equally essential to the protection of the cattle of the United States that French cattle, particularly the Normandy breed, which is now attracting much attention here, should be excluded from the United States. There is no demand nor desire in this country for unnecessary restrictions upon the importation of animals into this country, but if this Government makes favorable regulations for the admission of French cattle, thereby taking some risk of the introduction of diseases, the French Government should be equally liberal in its regulations and accept its share of the risk which attends such international trade. Any sanitary authority, however, must admit that the danger of introducing pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease into the United States with French cattle is many times more serious than the danger of conveying Texas fever from this country to France, even if such danger exists.
You will suitably communicate these views to Mr. Hanotaux.
I am, etc.,