Mr. Draper to Mr. Sherman.
Rome, Italy, January 19, 1898.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction, No. 97, of the 3d instant, in which you inclose a copy of a letter from the Secretary of Agriculture, stating that the consular visé is still required for certificates accompanying meat exports from the United States to Italy; and you add that it is hoped that the Italian minister of commerce has fulfilled his promise to modify this decree by the close of the year 1897. In reply, I have now to say:
As mentioned in my No. 97, of the 27th of December, 1897, the promise of the minister for foreign affairs, in behalf of the minister of commerce, to modify the royal decree requiring the consular visé referred to, was given on the 26th of November last. The resignation of the di Rudini Government and the formation of a new cabinet under the same chief occupied the first two weeks of December—from the 3d to the 14th—as stated in my dispatch, No. 85, of the 15th of that month. Among the changes which resulted was the appointment of a new minister of agriculture and commerce—the Hon. Sig. Cocco-Ortu; and I was not surprised that, in view of the excitement and delay incidental to the crisis on January 1, 1898, I had not learned from the minister for foreign affairs that the promised modification of the consular-visé regulation had been ordered before the close of the year 1897.
On January 6, however, I called upon the minister for foreign affairs, and expressed regret that the promise of the minister of commerce had not been fulfilled. He pleaded the delay and disarrangement of public business incident to the formation of a new government, but promised to see to it that the modification was immediately ordered. Not hearing from him, on January 12 I wrote to the minister for foreign affairs, referring to our conversation of the 6th instant, in the course of which he had assured me that this matter should certainly be attended to. I inclose a copy of my note.[Page 419]
Since then the minister for foreign affairs has been away from his office on account of the illness of his second son, who died day before yesterday. However, as nothing had been heard from his ministry on the subject of the promised modification despite the conversation of the 6th of January and my note of the 12th, and having, meantime, received your instruction No. 97, of the 3d instant, I called yesterday upon Signor Malvano, the secretary-general of the ministry for foreign affairs, and explained to him the urgency of the situation. He promised his immediate attention, and said he would communicate at once with the minister of agriculture and commerce.
I have just received, this afternoon, a note from Signor Malvano, in which he states that the delay now is only a matter of a few days, and inclosing a copy of a memorandum from the ministry of agriculture and commerce which reiterates that the delay attending the modificacation of the consular regulation will now be brief. I send you herewith, for your more complete information, a copy (with translation) of the memorandum from the ministry of agriculture and commerce.
I am, etc.,