Mr. Blaine to Mr. Lincoln.
Washington, March 4, 1890.
Sir: I inclose for your information a copy of a letter from the Secretary of Agriculture, dated the 18th ultimo, relative to the prohibitory measures of certain European Governments against American live cattle and meat products. The order of Her Majesty’s Government, as Mr. Rusk states, was based upon the existence of contagious pleura-pneumonia in our cattle, which has now been entirely eradicated except from a very small area (two counties on Long Island and one in New Jersey), over which a strict quarantine exists. As a matter of fact the disease no longer prevails in any section of the United States from which export steers are obtained. Other statements are cited tending to show the harshness of the prohibition in question alike to the subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of this country.
As a preliminary measure for securing information in regard to the character of the disease found in the American cattle slaughtered in England, the suggestion is made that an arrangement be proposed to Her Majesty’s Government by which one or more of the veterinary inspectors of the Department of Agriculture may be stationed at the English “foreign animals’ wharves.” “These inspectors,” states the Secretary of Agriculture, “would observe any affected animal which might be discovered, and by promptly notifying this Department it would be possible to trace the history of such animals and determine definitely if they had ever been exposed to a contagious disease.”
You will suitably present these and the other facts recited by the Secretary of Agriculture in his letter for the consideration of Her Majesty’s Government, and express the hope that the proposed arrangement may be effected; or that the removal of the restrictions now imposed or their essential modification, in view of the assurance herein contained that contagious pleura-pneumonia no longer exists in the United States except in the small and unimportant area indicated, may be made in the interest of American producers, as well as English consumers.
I am, etc.,