File No. 7661/19–21.

Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State.

No. 613.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 606, of the 12th instant, inclosing two tins of Underwood’s deviled ham, in which it is claimed that boric acid existed, I have the honor to report that Doctor Suarez now informs me that he was mistaken and that boric acid does not exist in the tins of the size forwarded to the department, but only in the smaller tins, of which I inclose herewith a sample for analysis.

In accordance with your cable instructions of the 11th instant, I asked for a new analysis of the deviled ham, and I inclose herewith a translation of same. As this analysis of a small tin does not belong to the consignment now in dispute, I have asked for a further analysis of a small tin belonging to this shipment, which I shall hope to have in a few days, and in addition to the analysis of the Argentine Government, Messrs. Lafitte and David, the agents of the Underwood [Page 29] company here, are having a private analysis made, of which they will furnish me with copies.

I have pointed out to Doctor Suarez that it is hardly possible that boric acid can be found in tins of one particular size and not in another, as all the ham is undoubtedly prepared by the same process, and that it is a mere matter of chance whether it is put into large or small tins while it is almost always absent in the large size.

I am, etc.,

Charles S. Wilson.

The sample of deviled ham (large tin), with the inclosed note, does not contain boric acid in an appreciable quantity, which corroborates previous analyses, i. e., that in the large tins of this product there is found only some traces of boric acid, while in the small tins it has always been unquestionably present.

Together with the above-mentioned sample an analysis has been made of a small tin sent previously, and in this latter there exists boric acid in a proportion equal to 0.007 per cent (BO3H3); the quantity of chlorid of sodium (salt) in the same was 2.80 per cent, and it is calculated that the boric acid which would correspond to a kilo of this salt would amount to 0.25.

In the sample sent there was found 3.16 per cent of chlorid of sodium, and as in this boric acid does not exist in appreciable quantities, while in the other, which contains less salt, boric acid does exist, it is difficult to admit that this last substance constitutes an impurity of the salt employed in the curing of hams.

P. Laverino.

Division of Agriculture, Chemical Laboratory.