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PROHIBITION OF AMERICAN CATTLE.
Mr. Gresham to Mr, Ewing.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, August 24, 1894. Reported that Belgium prohibits landing American live cattle because of danger from pleuro-pneumonia. Secretary of Agriculture authorizes positive denial of that disease in the United States. As important cargoes are afloat and under charter, you will ascertain facts of alleged prohibition and make above denial if necessary.
Mr. Ewing to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Brussels, August 27, 1894. (Received August 27.) No prohibition yet, but under consideration. Will prevent if possible.
Mr. Ewing to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Brussels, August 31, 1894. (Received September 11.) SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on August 24 of your cablegram.
As no reports concerning the matter had reached the legation, I requested our consul at Antwerp, by telegram, to investigate at once whether such prohibition was existing, and I also called on the Belgian minister of foreign affairs to procure the necessary information, and to prevent, if possible, the issuance of any such order.
In the absence of the minister of foreign affairs, I was informed by his chief of cabinet that no prohibitory order had yet been issued, but that in view of the fact that two cases of pleuro-pneumonia had been discovered in cattle imported from the United States by the steamer Minnesota, the minister of agriculture, of industry, etc., was then considering the issuance of a decree placing under quarantine in the ports of Belgium cattle imported from the United States.
I strongly insisted upon the denial of our minister of agriculture of the existence of such disease in cattle being shipped from the United States and upon the loss that would be entailed upon shippers of cattle then afloat bound for said ports. He promised to call the attention of the minister of agriculture immediately to my protest. On my return I sent you a telegram as follows:
No prohibition yet, but under consideration. Will prevent, if possible. And I also addressed to the minister of foreign affairs an official communication embodying the matters stated in my verbal communication above referred to.
On August 27 I received from the department for foreign affairs a copy of the ministerial decree which also appeared in the ofticial paper, Le Moniteur Belge, the next day, and of which I send you herewith a printed copy with a translation.
You will perceive that, by the terms of article second, animals en route one day after the date of publication of the decree aforesaid are permitted to be disembarked at the port of Antwerp on the condition that they be slaughtered at the " abattoir public.”
This modification of the general quarantine was the result of my protest and was the best I could procure for the present.
On August 28 I cabled you as follows: Ministerial order subjects American cattle forty-five days' quarantine. Cattle en route before August 29 are excepted on condition that they must be killed at public slaughterhouse.
I have ascertained the following facts:
There were shipped from Baltimore by the S. S. Minnesota, July 29, 1894, 350 head of live cattle in two consignments.
They arrived at Antwerp August 14, all the cattle in apparently good condition. Since that time 291 had been killed up to August 28. Out of that number two cases of diseased cattle were found as discovered by an examination of the lungs after death, and these were pronounced cases of pleuro-pneumonia by the Belgian veterinary surgeon.
The 59 remaining cattle were at the last above date apparently in good health.
I am informed by W. H. Wray, D. V. S., now in the employ of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that he had just examined the cases referred to, and that in his opinion they were not cases of contagious pleuro-pneumonia, but were well-pronounced cases of catarrhal pneumonia with coexisting pleurisy, and he claims that it is the same disease about which the same controversy has been in England.
However this may be determined, the Belgian authorities have felt themselves justified in the preventive measures which they have taken.
The only American cattle I can hear of en route to Antwerp are two consignments, one on board the Rialto, 134 head, and one on board the Lepanto, 337 head, both of which would come within the exception embodied in article 2 of said ministerial decree.
I have requested the U. S. consul at Antwerp to cooperate with the agent of the American shippers in watching and reporting the result of further examination as to all American cattle slaughtered at Antwerp, and if results should corroborate our theory I hope to be able to obtain such a modification of the prohibitory quarantine as will entail as little loss and inconvenience to American shippers as possible. I have, etc.,
Jas. S. EWING.
[Inclosure in No. 83.- Translation.] The Minister of Agriculture, of Industry, and of Public Works :
Considering the royal decree of the 13th of October, 1890, modifying article 49 of the rules of general administration of the 20th of September, 1883, relative to the sanitary police of domestic animals;
Reconsidering the ministerial decree of the 14th of March, 1884, designating the ports (Antwerp, Ghent, aud Ostend) which may be utilized for the importation and exportaiion of domestic animals;
Reconsidering the ministerial decree of the 28th of July, 1891, stipulating that the animals imported through these ports are there subject to a quarantine of three days;
Considering that contagious pleuro-pneumonia has been discovered in bovine animals exported from the United States of America, and that consequently there is reason to suspect all the animals of the bovine species of that country to be afflicted with that disease;
Considering article 60 of regulations of 20th September, 1893, which fixes at fortyfive days the delay of sequestration of bovine animals suspected to be contaminated with that disease;
Considering the report of the veterinary inspection;
Article 1. By a modification of the decrees of the 14th of March, 1884, and of the 28th of July, 1891, above referred to, and until further ordered, the importation of animals of the bovine species imported from the United States of America may not take place at any other port than Antwerp.
Such animals will be subject in said port to a quarantine of forty-five days.
Article 2. Nevertheless, the animals in course of expedition on the day after the day of publication in the Moniteur of the present decree may be disembarked in the port of Antwerp on the condition that they be taken to a public slaughterhouse (abattoir public) to be killed there under the delay provided for by the regular rules.
THE MINISTER. (Signed)
L. DE BRUYN. BRUSSELS, August 25, 1894.
Mr. Uhl to Mr. Ewing.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 12, 1894. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 83, of the 31st ultimo, relative to the quarantine regulations of the Belgian Government applicable to American cattle.
Commending your discreet efforts to secure modifications of the regulations in question, I am, etc.,
EDWIN F. UHL,
ADMEASUREMENT OF VESSELS.
Mr. Le Ghait to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF BELGIUM,
Washington, December 23, 1893. Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE: The Belgian Government has received, as the United States Government doubtless has also, a letter from the London International Statistical Institute, advocating a meeting of an international commission for the unification of the systems of admeasuring seagoing vessels that are now in force in the different countries.
My Government would be glad to be acquainted with the views of the United States Government in relation to this proposition. So far as it is concerned, it would be glad to see this measure carried out, as its utility appears incontestable, and it is prepared to cooperate in any efforts that may be made to this end. I beg, etc.,
A. LE GHAIT.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Le Ghait.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 5, 1894. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 23d of December last, in which you ask an expression of the views of the Government of the United States relative to a proposition for convening an international commission for the unification of the systems of admeasuring seagoing vessels in the various countries concerned.
The matter was promptly referred to the Treasury Department, and I am now in receipt of a letter of the 30th ultimo from the Acting Secretary of the Treasury which contains the conclusions of that Department.
“While the Government of the United States recognizes the utility of uniformity among commercial nations in the methods of admeasuring vessels and is willing to cooperate in any practical measure to establish such uniformity, at the present time it is disposed to believe that more rapid progress toward the desired end can be effected through correspondence and through the concentration of efforts on the law-making branches of the governments of the commercial nations interested than through the convocation of an international conference. It is confirmed in its belief by a view of the parliamentary history of the establishment of the regulations for admeasurement in vogue in the various countries, subsequent to and based upon the adoption of the “Moorsom” system by Great Britain in 1854. It deems appli. cable in part to the proposition for an international tonnage conference the conclusions of the international maritime conference of 1889 concerning the proposed establishment of a permanent international maritime commission. Those conclusions, to which the delegates from Belgium, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, and the United States assented were: “It seems to your committee that such a consulting body of experts would not serve the purpose for which it is intended to be created, viz, that of facilitating the introduction of reforms in maritime legislation, because the advice given by such a commission would not in any way enable the governments of the maritime nations to dispense with the necessity of considering the subjects laid before them and laying the proposals made to them, if adopted, before the legislative bodies of the different states. The consequence of instituting a body like that in question, on the contrary, would, it appears, be this: That merely another investigation of any scheme proposed with a view to reforming international maritime laws would have to be gone through before the opinions of the governments could be taken, and thus the course of procedure as it is now—by correspondence between the different governments-would be made more complicated instead of being simplified.""
It should be observed that the British Government, so far as this Department is aware, has taken no steps to carry out the recommendations of the London International Statistical Institute to which you refer, and that the letter of that institute is based largely upon a report by Mr. M. A. N. Kiaer, director of the Norwegian Bureau of Statistics, whose Government has since (September 14, 1893) enacted a law covering the matter of admeasurements in Norway, and conforming, with certain exceptions, to the system now existing in Great Britain and the United States. Accept, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM.
PROMOTION OF MAJOR FORTÚN.
Mr. Moonlight to Mr. Gresham. No. 8.)
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
La Paz, Bolivia, May 5, 1894. (Received June 1.) SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of note No. 6 to the minister of foreign relations, requesting “if consistent with the views of the Government and the custom in like cases,” the promotion of Maj. Romulo Fortún of the army and an aid-de-camp to his excellency the President of the Republic, for courtesies and kindnesses received on my arrival and during the reception. This, I was assured, was according to custom and was expected.
Inclosed also find reply of the minister of foreign relations, with translation of the same, in which it seems Maj. Fortún had been, along with all leading officers and officials of the army, promoted April 4 on the recovery of the President (who had been sick) and his resumption of the duties of his office, and the case is now in the hands of the minister of war for consideration. I have, etc.,
[Inclosure 1 in No. 8.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
La Paz, Bolivia, April 25, 1894. SIR: The many courtesies received from Maj. Romulo Fortún, of the infantry and aid-de-camp to his excellency the constitutional President of the Republic of Bolivia, induces me to solicit the favor (if consistent with the views of the Government and the custom in like cases) of the promotion of the said Maj. Romulo Fortún to the rank of commandant. I renew, etc.,
[Inclosure 2 in No. 8.- Translation.]
La Paz, May 4, 1894. Your EXCELLENCY: In reply to your kind note of the 25th ultimo, in which your excellency was pleased to request the promotion of Commandant Romulo Fortún, to whose lot it fell, by order of the Government, to do the honors of reception to your excellency from Puerto Perez (to this city), I have the honor to inform you that I have communicated the matter to the minister of war, to whose jurisdiction it belongs.
In the meantime I have the pleasure of notifying you that Commandant Fortún has been included in the promotions decreed by general order of April 4, on the occasion of the restoration of the President of the Republic, and as a reward for the services rendered by the commanders and officers of the army. I renew, etc.,