The French Chargé (Henry) to the Secretary of State
Mr. Secretary of State: At the time of the establishment of the regulations for the wine-making industry, the Federal Administration authorized the use by American producers, under certain conditions, of some French geographical appellations such as Sauterne, Champagne, Chablis. Deeming that long usage might, up to a certain point, justify this decision, my Government refrained from calling Your Excellency’s attention to the objectionable features this presented for French producers.
But an amendment passed yesterday by the Senate73 would permit the use not only of the appellations above mentioned but those of [Page 126] St. Julien, Médoe, Cognac, and of “any other geographic name of foreign origin”. This amendment, which opens the door to abuses of all sorts, would run the risk of causing the most serious prejudices to French producers, particularly so far as the word Cognac is concerned. The American brandy (eau-de-vie) manufacturers have always used the designation “Brandy” and nothing permits maintaining that the word Cognac has acquired a generic character.
Thus I deem it useful to call Your Excellency’s attention to the grave disadvantages that would be presented by the final adoption of this amendment, which would not fail to disturb French public opinion deeply and compromise seriously the happy results that our two countries have a right to hope for from the recent trade agreement.74
Please accept [etc.]