File No. 821/36–38.

Ambassador Francis to the Secretary of State.

No. 453.]

Sir: Supplementing my No. 373, dated November 14, 1907,1 I have the honor to inclose copies of a note and an accompanying memorandum (with translations) received to-day from Baron Aehrenthal in which are defined the position of the Governments of Austria and Hungary on the subject of the admission within their borders of American meats.

I am, etc.,

Charles S. Francis.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to Ambassador Francis.

Mr. Ambassador: A few days ago yon were kind enough to speak to me regarding two subjects in which you were greatly interested—the expulsion of the naturalized American citizen, Selig Fink, and a protest on the subject of the importation of meat products from America into Austria-Hungary.

Concerning the case of Selig Fink,2 I may refer you to the note No. 7925, dated February 3, 1908, which the ministry for foreign affairs has addressed to you on the subject.

With reference to the other matter, I beg to place herewith at your disposal a statement in which is defined the position of the Imperial and Royal Government regarding the importation of meat products from America.

Accept, etc.,


Statement of the foreign office.

This protest is made, first, against the law of 1906, by which the importation of cattle and of fresh and preserved meats from non-European countries is limited [Page 33] so that the importation can only take place with special permission, which must be obtained in each case, and, secondly, against the demand that pork meat brought from the United States for import into Austria-Hungary must be accompanied by a certificate which states that the meat has been microscopically examined in America.

So far as the law of 1906 is concerned, it affects America only with reference to cattle and beef meat. The importation of hogs, hog meat, bacon, and sausages is allowed in accordance with the terms of the law of 1891.

The United States now enjoys a privilege over all other non-European countries, for the reason that the importation of hogs and hog meat from those countries is absolutely forbidden.

The demand that cattle and beef meat be admitted without restriction can not be granted, for the reason that we have no knowledge whatever of the veterinary regulations of the United States.

The enormous production, as compared with our own, of meat in the United States makes it impossible to control this production by similar regulations, and as rigid, as ours. It is impossible to treat foreign products more favorable than our own.

It should here be noted that Germany forbids the importation of cattle and fresh beef from the United States.

So far as the certificates of microscopical examination are concerned, the United States has recently passed laws abandoning them.

On the ground of sanitary policy, we can not concede the contention relative to the importation, of pork, etc., without a certificate of microscopical examination, for the reason that the importation of meat containing “trichina “can only in this way be prevented. Cases are on record where meat containing “trichina” has been imported into Austria-Hungary from America.

There is clearly no prohibition of the importation of pork meat into Austria-Hungary, and it lies with the Government of the United States to reintroduce microscopical examination in order that entry of meat which has been so examined and found wholesome may be permitted.

In Germany the importation of all prepared meats is regulated by laws regarding meat inspection.