This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Holland has entered the convention. When all the world agrees, there will be no use for the Berne convention, and, like the poet's baby when it is dead so early we may wonder why it was ever born. When America and England enter, the Phylloxera may be risked with an oath on the top of it, but the oath is worthless before!
To avoid misunderstandings it seems to me not superfluous to say a few words about the position of the kingdom of the Netherlands on the Phylloxera question. The Netherlands have waited as long as possible to adhere to the Berne convention. Arrangements had been made with almost all the States which were parties to the Berne convention, to allow introduction of Dutch plants and trees with the certificates issued by the Dutch community authorities. In March, 1883, the German Phylloxera laws, however, came into execution, and by that law the entrance was forbidden of every rooted plant, tree or shrub from those countries which were not a party to the Berne convention. To make possible the continuation of the very important importation of these articles from Holland into Germany, it became necessary that this country should adhere to the Berne convention, the annoyance occasioned thereby being inferior to the loss of gain, which would have been the consequence of non-adhesion.
The new 'Dutch Phylloxera laws are ruled on the same way as in Belgium. For example, from the United States of North America, as a government which does not take part in the Berne convention, free introduction is allowed, (and for these articles, certificates of origin are not wanted,) wine grapes, dried grapes, lees of wine, grape seeds, cut flowers, vegetables fresh and dried, flower roots, seeds and fruit. As for wine grapes and lees of wine, there are some prescriptions given as to their packing. Entrance and transit of living vine plants or dried vine branches, is not allowed without special permission of the Minister of Commerce, and this permission can only be given if the products come from a district not infested by phylloxera. The introduction of all plants, trees, shrubs, etc., except vines or parts of vines, of which free admission, as above stated, is not allowed, can take place in the Netherlands, if they are carefully packed, but such as to allow examination of the custom house officers, and if they are accompanied by a certificate of origin conforming to those prescribed by the Berne convention. If such a certificate is not sent with the consignment of plants, etc., they are inspected by the official experts at the cost of the receiver before their delivery is allowed.
If there is found nothing suspicious, they are delivered; if the contrary they are returned or destroyed, according to circumstances.
The horticultural trade from America to Holland ought in consequence not to suffer the least by the new Phylloxera laws of this country; only the exporters of plants, etc., ought to take care not to send vines or parts of vines with other plants, and to conform themselves to the rules, which do not give much trouble.
As for transit to Germany, it will not be possible in my opinion to send American plants through Holland to Germany. It is most probable, if not certain, such plants, even if allowed to pass, after examination of the experts, the country of the Netherlands, would be refused at the German frontier, as coming from a country which has not adhered to the Berne convention, and whose rooted plants are forbidden to enter the German empire.
Haarlem, Feb. 14th, 1884