711.359 Sanitary/494: Telegram

The Secretary of the American National Livestock Association (Mollin) to President Roosevelt

Amazed at disclosure made by Leopoldo Melo, Argentine Delegate to Havana Conference of Foreign Ministers, that you had told him “that the present hour of political struggle is not propitious to raise this issue (of Argentine meat imports) because some Western Senators are possibly more inclined to listen to the aspirations of their voters than to the facts of the case as explained by the President.”

Mr. Melo further states, according to The Associated Press “that these words of the President, delivered with his habitual tone of cordial sincerity, and other well-known expressions of ranking administration members of the Democratic party such as Mr. Hull and Mr. Welles lead to the conviction that when the present hour of political agitation has passed, the propitious moment will arrive to raise again and solve the important problem which worries our livestock breeders.”

The question of protecting the herds and flocks of this country from foot and mouth disease is not a political issue and we will be just as much opposed to any move to modify the present sanitary embargo after election as we are now opposed and have been ever since the signing of the iniquitous Argentine sanitary convention more than 5 years ago. In behalf of the livestock industry, the great basic industry of this country, I urge you to recall the Argentine sanitary convention from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and thus take away from the industry the constant threat of a move that would be the most disastrous one ever made.

If you have been misquoted by Mr. Melo, such action on your part would do more than anything else to settle the issue once and for all. The present embargo is a necessary one and a just one. It applies to all countries alike and it is unthinkable that it should be modified in any least degree.

F. E. Mollin