The Acting Secretary of Agriculture (Marvin) to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary: Reference is made to a serious outbreak of typhoid fever in Montreal in the early part of the year 1927, which was first called to our attention by your letter of March 2679 (FA 158.429/188 and 189) transmitting a letter from the American Consul at Montreal dated March 25, 1927.80 This matter was taken up at [Page 113] once with the United States Public Health Service and as a result of a conference with that service, an embargo was placed on all milk, cream and dairy products coming from the territory within a radius of 200 miles of Montreal, on the ground that such products might be dangerous to the health of the people of the United States, such goods being refused entry in accordance with the provisions of the Federal food and drugs act. As conditions improved, this embargo was lifted over a portion of the territory concerned and in letter of May 7, 1927,81 we advised you that the embargo had been removed insofar as it concerned the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, except the city of Montreal itself and its immediate vicinity.

Conditions did not improve rapidly in the city of Montreal and the embargo has existed up to the present time, although requests for the removal have been made from time to time. In our letter to you of May [December] 27, 1927,81 in reply to your letter of December 8,81 (FA 611.424–53) we made statement to the effect that “in view of the nature of the advice received from the United States Public Health Service it is believed that the time is not propitious for withdrawal of the embargo, but that as soon as our Public Health Service feels that it is entirely safe to withdraw this embargo, steps will be taken to remove the prevailing restrictions.”

In your letter of May 16, 1928,81 (FA 611.424 Milk–24) you enclosed a despatch from the Consul at Montreal calling attention to improvements which had been made at Montreal and pointing out that shortly the Canadian authorities would present a full statement and request that the embargo be lifted. Such full statement of the case with information regarding conditions prevailing at Montreal and regarding additional steps which have been taken to secure adequate sanitary control and adequate sanitary conditions has now been brought to the attention of the United States Public Health Service and that Service has made an investigation of the matter on the ground and has reported to this Department that the epidemic has entirely disappeared and that sanitary conditions and sanitary control have improved markedly in every way to the extent that they are at the present time thorough and efficient and the opinion has been expressed that conditions no longer obtain which would be a basis for further continuance of the embargo. In consequence, this embargo has been raised effective September 4, 1928, and we would request that the American Consul at Montreal and the Canadian Legation, with whom you have had communication regarding this matter, be formally notified to that effect.

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In conclusion, I wish to thank you for your hearty cooperation in this matter and to thank the American Consul at Montreal for the interest which he has taken and for the valuable information which he has furnished.

Sincerely yours,

C. V. Marvin
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  2. i. e., the telegram of Mar. 25, 1927, from the consul general at Montreal, p. 108.
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