Mr. Draper to Mr. Sherman.

No. 22.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of the 22d instant, granting me leave of absence for sixty days. I will take advantage of it, beginning with August 1 next, as it may be desirable to await for a few days a reply to my note of the 15th instant, addressed to the minister of foreign affairs, concerning the importation of meats. I inclose herein a copy of the note, that you may be informed of the exact standing of the negotiation and may give further instructions should any be required.

During the month of August I expect to be at St. Moritz, Switzerland, only a few miles from the Italian frontier, and to keep in daily communication with the embassy.

I am, etc.,

William F. Draper.
[Inclosure in No. 22.]

Mr. Draper to the minister for foreign affairs.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to state that I am instructed by my Government to address you upon a subject concerning which there has been some correspondence previous to my arrival in Rome.

I am informed that on January 26 last a decree was issued by the royal ministry of agriculture, industry, and commerce providing for the regulation of the importation into Italy by sea of cattle, meats, etc.

In the third section of the decree it appears that meats from the United States must not only be accompanied by a sanitary certificate of origin issued by the competent local authorities, but the certificate must be viséed by the Royal consul or consular officer having jurisdiction in the place from which the meat is shipped.

On the other hand, for meats from the European countries named in this section, the certificates issued by the local authorities are made valid without the necessity of the consular visé.

On April 1 last Mr. Larz Anderson, chargé d’affaires, addressed to your excellency a note on the subject of this discrimination in accordance with instructions received by him from the State Department at Washington.

I find an acknowledgment of this note on the files of the embassy [Page 364] under date of April 7 last, but no further reply. If one was sent I would be greatly obliged for a copy.

Mr. Anderson’s departure and the illness of his successor, Mr. Hale, during the month before my arrival may have interfered with the continuity of the negotiation, especially since I have only just been informed that the question was pending.

I now hear from my Government that the attention of the embassy of His Majesty the King of Italy at Washington was called to this discrimination some months since, and that under date of May 26, 1897, His Excellency Baron Fava notified the Department of State that the question would be submitted for examination to the zootechnic epizootic board at one of its next sessions.

This note is said, moreover, to make the following statements:

His Majesty’s Government, however, desires to perform a friendly act toward that of the United States by frankly forewarning it that it could in no case be induced to modify the provisions contained in the aforesaid decree in accordance with the desire expressed by the Federal Treasury Department (Department of Agriculture) if the United States should persist in retaining in the new customs tariff the exorbitant duties to which I have had the honor to call your excellency’s attention in my preceding written and verbal communications. The same warning has been communicated with the same amicable intent by my Government to the representative of the United States at Rome, who has presented a complaint similar to that which, after receiving your excellency’s note of March 15, I transmitted to the royal ministry of foreign affairs.

As before stated, there is no record at the embassy of the reception of “the warning with amicable intent” to which His Excellency Baron Fava refers, and as I am instructed by my Government to make further representations to your excellency on the subject, I would be glad of a reply covering Mr. Anderson’s note and this one.

I also venture to express the hope that the views stated in the letter of Baron Fava, above quoted, are not the present views of His Majesty’s Government.

I avail myself, etc.,

William F. Draper.