The New York Times March 8, 1928
OPENS WORLD DRIVE ON DRUG TRAFFIC
Anti-Narcotic Union Plans Active Warfare in All States and Countries.
8,000,000 WOMEN TO AID
Mussolini Quoted as Saying He Would Come Here to Great Meeting in Effort to Fight Evil.
With the promise of active support from Premier Mussolini, Mayor Walker,
Governor Smith and others, the World Anti-Narcotic Union launched yesterday afternoon a
movement intended to be world wide against "the spreading evil of drug
addiction." Plans were completed at a meeting at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy
Park, for active organizations in all States and countries. The New York City Federation
of Women's Clubs pledged cooperation and leaders of the movement said they expected more
than 8,000,000 women to enlist in the drive.
It was announced that Premier Mussolini, in a letter to the committee in charge, had promised to come to the United States to attend the world conference when it is organized.
Says Mussolini Will Come.
"I think very well of the world program as outlined," he was quoted as saying. "I always enjoy working with America and shall continue to throw all my force against this great drug evil which is threatening the world."
"I wish to continue to work with America against it and hope that America will organize the world conference on this serious question, and I will come in person to attend it."
The United States is rapidly becoming the dumping ground of the world's opium, declared Sarah Graham Mulhall, former First Deputy State Narcotic Control Commissioner and a leader of the present movement, because the Virgin Islands are being used as the base for smuggling drugs on a large scale as the result of a law adopted by Congress "without a record vote or any discussion and signed by the President in January, 1927.
This bill, Miss Mulhall said exempted officials in charge of the drug traffic in the islands from reporting on shipments into and out of the Virgin Islands, as required by the Narcotics Act, "thus leaving the door wide open for smuggling." She declared this bill was listed as Virgin Islands legislation and not under the subject of narcotics and for that reason attracted no attention.
Hits Work of the League.
Miss Mulhall, who has studied the work of the Opium Commission of the League of Nations at the request of the Federation of Women's Clubs, said it had not made an inch of progress to stamp out the illicit circulation of drugs since 1919 because "every member surrounding the table of the Narcotics Committee, with the exception of the Italian delegate, represents interests vested in the opium traffic."
Mrs. Harry Harvey Thomas, President of the New York City Federation of Women's Club's, estimated that there are more than 1,000,000 drug victims in the United States.
Mayor Walker and Governor Smith, she said, have promised "their greatest personal efforts" as well as that of the city and State Governments to put an end to the "alarming growth in the trafficking of drugs."
Pope Blesses the Work.
Miss Mulhall reported that Pope Pius had given her an audience last October, during which she explained to him the aims of the movement and that he blessed through her every woman engaged in the work and strongly scored all persons participating in the drug traffic.
Mrs. Thomas announced that a mass meeting will be held on Sunday, April 29, at the Town Hall, with delegates from women's clubs from every state present. It will be followed by a motor train, equipped with lecture platforms and radio apparatus, from New York to San Francisco.