Mr. Ewing to Mr. Olney.

No. 179.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of April 1, 1896 (No. 200), and also of your dispatch of April 10, 1896 (No. 203), on the subject of the importation of American cattle into Belgium.

I had already, in personal interviews, called the attention of the minister for foreign affairs of Belgium to the matter as discussed in the Chamber of Representatives to which you have called my attention, and especially to the reasons given by the minister for agriculture and public works for opening the frontiers of Belgium to the importation of cattle from the Netherlands. I have to day addressed another communication on the subject to M. de Favereau, the present minister for foreign affairs, of which I transmit herewith a copy.

You will notice that my communications of August 22, 1895, and of December 19, 1895, remain unanswered. I adhere to the opinion expressed to you in my dispatch of December 19, 1895 (No. 165).

The status of the question remains unchanged since that date.

I will add that in a recent personal interview I was assured that the matter would receive prompt attention.

I have, etc.,

Jas. S. Ewing.
[Inclosure in No. 179.]

Mr. Ewing to Mr. de Favereau.

Mr. Minister: As early as August 25, 1894, a correspondence commenced between your excellency’s office and this legation with reference to the exclusion of American cattle from Belgium, and I beg to call your [Page 22] attention to that correspondence, and especially to my communication of August 22, 1895, and to my communication of December 19, 1895, both of which remain unanswered.

I also respectfully ask your excellency’s attention to my communication of October 3, 1894, addressed to His Excellency Count de Mérode Westerloo, the then minister for foreign affairs of Belgium, in which he was pleased to say:

In transmitting to your excellency two copies of the text of this decree, I wish to give you the assurance that the Government of the King will not fail to waive the new measure as soon as circumstances will permit to do so.

Fifteen months have elapsed since this assurance was given, and I have failed by all reasonable efforts to ascertain the intention of the Belgian Government with reference to the subject-matter of my various communications.

By virtue of a ministerial order of the 26th day of November, 1895, the frontiers of Belgium were opened to the importation of cattle from the Netherlands, under the provisions of which many thousand cattle have been and are being imported from Holland into Belgium, and that order remains in full force while the importation of cattle from the United States of America is absolutely prohibited.

My Government is very reluctantly forced to the conclusion that these conditions create an unfavorable discrimination against American products which alike contravene the spirit and letter of the commercial treaty of March 8, 1875, between Belgium and the United States of America.

I am in receipt of explicit instructions from my Government to ascertain whether the Belgian Government is willing to remove any discrimination which may now be made against the importation of American cattle in favor of those imported from the Netherlands or any other countries.

I pray your excellency to accept, etc.,

Jas. S. Ewing.