Mr. Townsend to Mr. Hay.
Brussels , October 26, 1899 .
Sir: Referring to Department’s instructions No. 7, of July 10, 1899, and to my reply thereto, numbered 11, of July 24, 1899, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of a note just received from the minister of foreign affairs, in which he informs me that the minister of agriculture finds it impossible to make any alteration in the royal decree of 22d January, 1897, governing the importation of live stock into Belgium from countries beyond the sea.
The minister of agriculture is also of the opinion that the delay of three days allowed before slaughtering is sufficient to permit the cattle to recover from the effects of the sea voyage.
In this connection I may add that I have had several conversations on this important subject with various members of this Government, and they all unite in expressing the opinion that it will be impossible to alter the existing regulations for the present, and, furthermore, that these regulations apply indiscriminately to all live stock imported into Belgium from countries beyond the sea.
My own opinion is that the minister of agriculture is holding out for a further reduction of duties on sugar imported into the United States from Belgium, and that no further concession will be granted in the matter of cattle imported from the United States until they receive assurances of concessions in the matter of sugar.
I have, etc.,