Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Foster.
London, August 23, 1892.
Sir: With reference to your instruction No. 787, of June 16, ultimo, in regard to the landing here without slaughter of sheep from the United States, and the continuance, of the discrimination against our cattle, I have the honor to acquaint you that I arrived at a time of such political engrossment of all members of the Government that it was not till the 30th of July that I was able to have an interview with Mr. Chaplin, then the president of the board of agriculture, to make some inquiries before addressing a formal communication to the Marquis of Salisbury.
At my interview I opened a discussion of the propriety of the conclusions as to the contagious character of the disease found in the five cattle which have been condemned in the past two years, and found that neither Mr. Chaplin nor his advisors would admit the possibility of any error in the diagnosis of these cases. They said they had been examined by experts whom they named, I think six or seven in number, and that in the face of their reports it was useless to contend that the disease was not of the contagious type. Upon my referring to the fact that all these animals had been traced to healthy origins, and that I supposed it was admitted that the disease could only spring from infection, the answer was made that they had no confidence that the tag used in tracing was in any case the tag belonging to the animal in question; that they knew that the butchers were utterly careless in the distribution of the tags to the lungs after slaughter, and that the system of tagging was rendered worthless at that point, and that it was a difficulty that could only be got over by an amount of supervision which was practically impossible. I may say here that I had, a day or two later, a conference with Dr. Wray, our chief inspector, and he assured me there was no such trouble in fact.
I said to Mr. Chaplin that we could not help feeling that there is a discrimination against our cattle, and that common colds were called contagious diseases, while Canadian cattle were not even examined, and that we would like to see an end put to it. He said that most positively he was against letting United States cattle in free until at least eighteen months had passed without a case of infectious diseases being discovered.
On the 3d instant I addressed to the Marquis of Salisbury the note of which a copy is inclosed, and am to-day in receipt of the note from the Earl of Rosebery, dated the 22d instant, of which a copy is also inclosed herewith, in which I am informed that on and after the 1st proximo our sheep will be admitted without being subject to slaughter under certain conditions which are set forth in the inclosures of this note.
It will be observed that no reference is made to the subject of the admission of cattle.
I have to-day addressed to you a telegram of which a copy is contained herein.
I have, etc.,