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The New York Times January 26, 1913 Section III Page 4
OPIUM CRISIS IN FAR EAST
Indian Drug Dumped on Chinese
Market by British Government
PEKING. Dec. 21--- The decision of the British Government to come to the relief of the India opium merchants by suspending the sale of certified opium until the accumulated stocks of the drug now in their hands have been cleared is likely to undo all that was accomplished by the famous Opium Agreement of 1911, and again fill China with the fatal drug. In extenuation of the British-Indian decision it is said that the Bombay merchants, in their petition contended that the agreement of 1911 had been systematically violated. While the suppression of cultivation in China has proceeded very slowly, the provincial authorities there, they say, have imposed heavier restrictions on the trade in Indian opium. In the provinces of Chekiang, Klangsi and Hunan Indian-grown opium is practically excluded, but the native-grown drug is retailed in "'special sale" shops. The Indian trade is also hampered, the petitioners complained, by the smuggling of uncertified Bengal opium through Macao and other ports outside China.
The Chinese point of view is best represented by the following extract that recently appeared in a local paper:
"To speak perfectly frankly, the British Government's attitude upon the opium question amounts to bluff, pure and simple, Sir Edward Grey and his satellites know full well that if China repudiated every existing opium agreement tomorrow she would receive the overwhelming moral support, not only of the Government of every civilized nation, but of the British House of Commons as well.
"In view of the fact that the House of Commons affirmed the view that the opium trade is "morally indefensible," and that it was only cajoled into accepting the 1911 agreement in the belief that it would assist China in suppressing the evil, no one can doubt that if China denounces this agreement on the ground that it hampers, instead of assisting her, in the anti-opium campaign, the British public would not tolerate any further coercive measures.
"At the moment the British Legation is pressing China for an indemnity for breaches of the opium agreements, and for the issue of instructions to the provinces that the forcible suppression of the retail trade can only be undertaken after each province has produced clear evidence that the cultivation of the poppy has been effectually eradicated. As the effect of such instructions would be to confer a virtual monopoly upon Indian opium during each provincial campaign against the cultivation of the poppy, it is to be hoped that China will adopt a firm attitude and resolutely refuse to take any measures calculated to benefit the Indian opium. merchants. It is absurd to suppose that the provincial authorities can finally suppress poppy cultivation while Indian opium continues to be imported into the be imported into the provinces."