Mr. Storer to Mr. Sherman.

No. 83.]

Sir: Acting under the instructions of your No. 88, dated January 14, 1898, to make inquiries regarding the truth of newspaper reports of proposed regulations of importation of salted meats, I beg to report the result.

The minister of agriculture informs me that no new regulations rendering more difficult the importation of salted meats and no new charges for inspecting same have been or are sought to be imposed. The regulations are exactly the same as imposed some four years ago, and the amount charged to cover the cost of making the inspection remains the same. An administrative change in the mechanical working of the inspection of importations through Antwerp for consumption in Belgium was found to be necessary, and, since the beginning of the year 1898, some of the inspections are made by the General Government at the place of sale instead of at the place of importation. This modification was rendered advisable by the neglect of local authorities to follow the law requiring them to inspect thoroughly the several packages which had been passed at Antwerp by “sample inspection.” No greater hardship is imposed on the importers, nor is any discrimination shown toward or against the importations from any country, all being treated alike.

The statements I have given are those of the minister, as at present this legation is not in possession of the Belgian regulations of importation, [Page 164] the only copies of which, attainable having been transmitted to the Department by this legation March 10, 1897, were translated and published in Consular Reports No. 199, Vol. LIII, of April, 1897.

I have, etc.,

Bellamy Storer.