Mr. Thieriot to Mr. Hay.

No. 58.]

Sir: Referring to my No. 55, of November 26, with reference to the sale of Ayer’s medicines, I have the honor to state that I have just received a letter from the J. C. Ayer Company on the above subject, of which the inclosed is a copy. I await Department’s instructions how to proceed further in this matter.

I have, etc.,

J. H. Thieriot.
[Inclosure.]

J. C. Ayer Company to Mr. Thieriot.

Sir: We regret exceedingly to learn from Messrs. James Cassels & Co., our resident agents at Oporto, that in the Diario do Governo of 20th ultimo notice was given that Ayer’s Sarsaparilla, Ayer’s Cherry Pectoral, and Ayer’s Ague Cure had not been approved of by the conselho de saude because they were secret medicines. This announcement is a strong disappointment to us, as we had confidently anticipated, despite the long delay on the part of the Portuguese authorities in considering the case, that a favorable decision would be given. On the 27th ultimo we were advised by the Secretary of State at Washington that cable instructions had been again sent requesting you to use your influence to obtain the authorization of our medicines. We beg that, despite the notice referred to in the Diario do Governo, you will urgently insist that the Portuguese Government shall approve of our Cherry Pectoral and Sarsaparilla (the Ague Cure is not of so much importance), on the ground that they have been approved of elsewhere; that they are recommended by very many Portuguese physicians and medical men; and particularly that these medicines are not secret medicines, because the formulas are sent to all medical men requesting same. In fact, we have no objection whatever to the publication of our formulas, and our medicines can not properly be classed as secret medicines.

We are informed that Williams’s Pink Pills, a British preparation, had not met with the approval of the conselho de saude, but the British minister used his [Page 438]influence in favor of their approval with the result that the Portuguese Government ordered the conselho de saude to reconsider its decision, and the outcome was that Dr. Williams’s Pink Pills finally received the approval of the conselho de saude, despite the fact that the formula of this medicine is actually kept a secret.

We have invested large capital and have expended much energy in establishing our business in Portugal, which has been in existence now for some thirty years. It is, therefore, a great injury to our interests to come under the ban of the conselho de saude in this arbitrary fashion, and we sincerely hope that you will oblige us by acting as strongly in the matter as may be possible.

Thanking you in anticipation,

We have, etc.,

J. C. Ayer Company.