Mr. Roosevelt to Mr. Olney.

No. 459.]

Sir: Referring to your instruction No. 681, of the 29th of April last, I have the honor to inclose herewith copy of a note addressed by Mr. Bayard to the secretary of state for foreign affairs on the 20th ultimo, together with the reply thereto of the 19th instant, relating to the restrictions which are imposed upon the admission of American cattle to British ports.

It will be observed with regret that the British board of agriculture decline to modify the present regulations, requiring the slaughter at the port of debarkation of cattle imported from the United States.

I have, etc.,

James R. Roosevelt.
[Inclosure 1 to No. 459.]

Mr. Bayard to the Earl of Kimberley.

My Lord: I have the honor to ask your lordship that representations may be made to the proper local authorities having control of the reception and distribution throughout this Kingdom of cattle imported from the United States for food purposes, in order that the interests of all parties concerned in production, transportation, agistment, and consumption may be alike favorably treated.

I am instructed that the restrictions at present applied prevent the convenient distribution throughout the Kingdom of American cattle to British pasturage and their consequent increase in weight and improvement, with profit to the agriculturist as well as to the butcher.

From a sanitary point of view, the American inspection, I am assured, leaves nothing to be desired, and the proof is unquestioned that not a single case of disease has been introduced by cattle shipped from the United States, having first undergone there the inspection prescribed by law; so that the intermingling of such live stock with the herds of these islands would in no degree endanger the health of the latter.

Penning up the cattle on their arrival at Birkenhead and other ports of entry, and compelling their speedy slaughter at these points, unquestionably creates an adverse discrimination against the ownership of the cattle so treated, and at the same time interferes with an improvement in their weight and value which would be to the profit of British subjects, arising out of their transportation inland, and their preparation for market at convenient points in the hands of purchasers in this country.

The interests connected with agriculture are just now everywhere depressed, and it is quite obvious that cooperation to relieve these producers, as well as the great body of consumers, is most desirable and worthy of encouragement.

Information has been given at this embassy of energetic efforts on the part of the classes in this country directly interested in the trade in live cattle to obtain by amendatory legislation a relaxation of those ironbound restrictions which compel almost instant slaughter of cattle at the points of arrival, and forbid transportation inland to wholesome and improving pastures, at localities adapted to the preparation of cattle for market.

Under the instructions of my Government I beg very respectfully to urge these considerations upon those charged with Her Majesty’s Government, so that the trade between the two countries may be increased for the mutual benefit of both, and to that end present restrictions which are without apparent benefit to anyone may be relaxed in the interests of everyone.

I have, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Page 361]
[Inclosure 2 to No. 459.]

The Earl of Kimberley to Mr. Bayard.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to state that the note of the 20th ultimo respecting the regulations requiring the slaughter of cattle imported from the United States has received most careful consideration by the board of agriculture. The board regret that it is not possible for them, consistently with their statutory obligations, to comply with the wishes expressed by your excellency, and to dispense with the requirement in question. Since the date of the Earl of Rosebery’s note of the 14th of March, 1893, cattle have from time to time been landed in this country from the United States which on examination have been found to be affected with pleuro-pneumonia, and this fact of itself, the board observe, leaves them no alternative but to come to the conclusion that this requirement must be maintained.

I have, etc.,