Ambassador Reid to the Secretary of State.

No. 225.]

Sir: I have the honor to report the receipt of a letter from the Federation of Grocers’ Associations of the United Kingdom inclosing me a copy of a letter and resolution which they had sent in full [Page 799]to the President, and the substance of which they had previously cabled him. They intimated to me a hope that they might receive from the President, through me, something on the subject which would be of a reassuring character for the trade and might promote the interests of packers of American canned meats.

As the President was known to be at Oyster Bay and the time was short, I finally concluded, after some hesitation, to send a careful dispatch direct to him on the subject without making any immediate response to the Grocers’ Associations or committing the President in any way.

On receipt of his cabled reply, however, I hastened to forward it to the meeting of these associations at Sheffield. It was immediately read in their convention, a resolution concerning it was passed, it was published broadcast, and at the request of the associations I have consented to let them make a photolithographic copy of the original dispatch for wide distribution. It is already evident that the impression produced has been most favorable, and it is hoped that it may have some effect in reviving the trade which had been so materially checked.

I beg to inclose herewith copies of the letter from the Grocers’ Associations, the President’s letter, and my letter to the secretary of the Grocers’ Federation transmitting it, together with the response from the Grocers’ Associations.

I have, etc.,

Whitelaw Reid.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Giles to Ambassador Reid.

federation of grocers’ associations of the united kingdom.

Sir: I have now the honor to inclose yon a copy of the letter embodying the resolution which we cabled to the President of the United States yesterday.

I have likewise the honor to inclose you a copy of the programme of the annual conference of this federation, which will be held at Sheffield next week. On page 53 of this programme you will see that the subject is coming up for consideration, and if it were possible for us to receive from the President, through you, sir, any reply to our cable which would be of a reassuring character, I believe that it would prove to be in the best interests of the packers of American canned meats and of the trade in such articles in this country.

I have, etc.,

Arthur J. Giles, Secretary.
[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Giles to President Roosevelt.

Sir: I have now the honor to inclose you a copy of the resolution which we cabled to you briefly yesterday, and to express the hope that we shall receive some intimation from you that you are satisfied that such alterations have been made in the methods of packing canned meats in the United States that we may be assured that the Government will now give its certificate to all such goods, so that the distributers in this country may be able to assure the British public.

The present state of alarm is almost paralyzing the trade in American canned meats, and we have been compelled to pass the resolution which I have the honor to inclose, and which I cabled in brief yesterday, in order that we may assure the public as to the care which is being taken by the distributer to see that the food supplied is of the best quality.

I have the honor to inclose a copy of the programme of our annual conference, which will be held at Sheffield next week. On page 53 you will see there are [Page 800]resolutions which will come up for discussion on the 11th instant on this subject. I hope that it may be possible for us to receive an assurance, either direct or through your ambassador, which will assist us in our deliberations.

I have, etc.,

Arthur J. Giles, Secretary.
[Inclosure 3.]

resolution.

That the Grocers’ Federation cordially supports President Roosevelt in the action he is taking for the purpose of securing such a rigid inspection of American preserved provisions as to provide against the possibility of the continuance of such a shocking state of affairs in the factories as has been exposed recently.

Unless this federation, representing 14,000 grocers, receives an assurance that in future American preserved provisions will be issued with a proper government certificate as to the soundness of their condition for human food, the executive will recommend at the annual conference on July 10 that the trade should cease to stock such goods until these assurances have been received.

[Inclosure 4.—Cablegram.]

President Roosevelt to the American Embassy, London.

You are at liberty to inform the Grocers’ Federation that under the new law we can, and will, guarantee the fitness in all respects of canned meat bearing the government stamp. If any trouble arises therewith, protest can be made, not merely to sellers of goods, but to the United States Government itself.

Theodore Roosevelt.
[Inclosure 5.]

Ambassador Reid to Mr. Giles.

Sir: Referring to the resolution by the Federation of Grocers’ Associations of the United Kingdom, and to your letter to myself of 3d of July, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a cable dispatch which I have received from the President of the United States.

I have, etc.,

Whitelaw Reid.
[Inclosure 6.]

Mr. Giles to Ambassador Reid.

federation of grocers’ associations of the united kingdom sixteenth annual conference, sheffield, 1906.

Sir: I have to thank you for your letter and copy of President Roosevelt’s cable, and I have the honor respectfully to ask you to forward the President the copy of the resolution as given on the other side.

I have, etc.,

Arthur J. Giles.

[Subinclosure.]

That this conference of the Federation of Grocers’ Associations has received with great satisfaction the cablegram from President Roosevelt assuring us as retail distributors of food that his Government guarantees the soundness and wholesomeness of American packed meats; that this conference desire to tender their most sincere and respectful thanks to President Roosevelt for his courtesy in the matter, and also sincerely thanks the American ambassador, the Hon. Whitelaw Reid, for his prompt action and his courtesy.

Signed on behalf of the Grocers’ Federation.
Arthur J. Giles
.