The Belgian Minister to the Secretary of State.

No. 379.]

Mr. Secretary of State: Under date of January 19 last I had the honor to transmit to your excellency the text of the draft of an arrangement for the unification of the formula of heroic medicines.

A number of States have advised my Government that they are in position to proceed with the signature of the contemplated arrangement. They are—apart from Belgium—Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain, Greece, the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

The Imperial German Government has waived the insertion in the protocol of signature of the second paragraph of the reservation that is now embodied in the draft.

On the other hand, it has expressed the wish that some changes, of form only, be made in the text of its declaration, which would be worded as follows:

The Imperial Government does not assume, from its signing the present arrangement, of any obligation other than that of exerting its influence at the proper time—that is to say, when the German Pharmacopœia is next recasted, so as to have it agree with the present arrangement.

At the same time, the Imperial Government reserves the right of making in the provisions of the said arrangement such changes as may be deemed necessary on the one hand to take notice of the advance of the sciences of medicine and pharmacy, and would on the other hand be desirable from the standpoint of the unification of the German Pharmacopœia.

For its part, the British Government has asked that the following declaration regarding the adhesion of British colonies, which is already found in other diplomatic arrangements concluded by Great Britain with foreign countries, be inserted in the protocol:

The Government of His Britannic Majesty declares that it reserves the right to adhere to and denounce the arrangement for each one of the British colonies or possessions separately.

[Page 82]

As your excellency is aware, the draft of the protocol contains the reservation, herein below quoted, also formulated by the British Government, It would precede that which I have just mentioned.

The Government of His Britannic Majesty declares it reserves the right to make in the provisions of the present arrangement such minor changes as may be required from time to time by the advance of the sciences of medicine and pharmacy.

Several of the States hereinbefore named have asked that a similar reservation be inserted on their behalf.

This request is in perfect harmony with the spirit in which the resolutions framed at the Brussels conference were adopted, and it seems that it might be met by embodying in the protocol, immediately after the reservations of the several Governments, a declaration worded as follows:

At the point of proceeding with the signature of the present procès-verbal, the undersigned declare they agree in recognizing that the right considered in the first of the reservations formulated by the British Government belongs to all signatory powers.

I am instructed to bring the foregoing to the knowledge of the American Government and to acquaint it with the great importance the Government of the King would attach to knowing at the earliest date that it is ready to proceed with the signature of the instrument intended to give the diplomatic sanction to the resolutions of the Brussels conference.

The signing of that instrument would be all the more opportune as the pharmacopœias recently published by the Netherlands and Belgium have been made with due regard to all the decisions of the Brussels conference and the new Austrian Pharmacopœia is in accordance with the same decisions, except the points concerning which the Austrian Government had announced its intention to make reservations. The Pharmacopœia Commission of the United States has, on many points, been inspired by the same decisions.

Under the circumstances, it seems highly desirable that all the Governments should, without delay, enter into an engagement with which some of them have already complied in full.

I beg your excellency to accept, etc.,

Bn. Moncheur.