File No. 7661/28.

The Acting Secretary of State to Chargé Wilson .

No. 146.]

Sir: Referring to your No. 613, of September 25 last, transmitting a sample tin of Underwood’s deviled ham from a lot in which Argentine officials claimed to have found boric acid in sufficient quantities to warrant its exclusion from Argentina, I inclose herewith a copy of a letter from the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the analysis made by his department of the contents of the tin referred to.

I am, etc.,

Robert Bacon.

The Secretary of Agriculture to the Secretary of State .

Sir: Under date of the 2d instant I acknowledged receipt of your letter transmitting a copy of a dispatch from the legation at Buenos Aires, and inclosing a [Page 36] small tin of Underwood’s deviled ham which is supposed to represent the lot in which a chemist at Buenos Aires has claimed to find boric acid.

I have had very careful examinations made of the meat in this tin, and the results are the same as those reported to you in my letter of October 26, 1907, after an examination of one of the larger tins of the same product. Boric acid is present in the meat, but only in the most minute traces, the amount being entirely too small to warrant the belief that this could have been added to the product at any time during the course of its preparation. The amounts of boric acid are only such as might be normally present in the spices and salts which are properly used in preparing deviled ham.

I have, etc.,

James Wilson.