IN THE United States there are at least 110,000 drug addicts, slaves to "dope" manufactured out of the product of poppy and coca leaves. Once in the grip of the drug habit, an addict not only becomes worthless to society; he becomes a positive danger, willing to commit any crime to obtain the drugs necessary to satisfy his craving.

In the Orient the opium problem has been of a different nature.[i] In China, and among the Chinese laborers of Siam, British Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, and other Far Eastern colonies, chandu, or prepared opium is smoked. Despite the fact that official British commissions in the past reported that smoking in moderation is not attended with bad results, the Hague Convention of 1912 by implication condemned this practice by providing for the gradual suppression of smoking. It is significant, perhaps, that a majority of the Chinese smokers in the Far Eastern colonies acquire the habit after taking up their residence there.[ii] Still another use of opium is found in India where the raw product is eaten--a practice which is widespread, raw opium being consumed as a prophylactic against malaria and as a sedative. The question whether this use is harmful has been hotly debated. The Indian Government still answers this question in the negative on the basis of the findings of an Official Commission, appointed in 1893, to the effect that the "common use of opium in India is a moderate use leading to no evident ill-effects." When it was originally made this report's impartiality was challenged by a minority minute. Further misgivings as to its present value were aroused by an inquiry conducted last year by the National Christian Council of India and by the resolutions of different Indian organizations, all of whom have expressed the desire that the Indian Government should bring about the restriction of opium to purely medical requirements. Moreover, such a distinguished tropical physician as Sir David J. Galloway has declared that eating opium is more harmful than smoking.

While the Indian Government has regarded the production and export of opium from India to the outside world as of international concern, it has consistently taken the position that the internal uses of opium in India are a "domestic question" with which the outside world can have no legitimate concern, any more than it may demand that the United States enforce prohibition in the Philippines--an argument for which a good deal may be said, especially in view of America's insistence that tariff and immigration questions are "domestic," although they affect international relations to a much greater extent than the eating of opium. Some basis for protest might exist from the humanitarian standpoint if the Indian people were at the complete mercy of the British authorities. But as a result of the Government of India Act of 1919 the provincial legislatures (with the exception of Assam) have control over the production and uses of opium for internal purposes. And if the Indian representatives at any time believe that eating of opium is harmful, they may forbid it. In India today opium provides only 2.8 percent of the revenue, and in bringing to an end the opium trade with China in the agreements of 1907 and 1913 Great Britain gave up an annual income of $35,000,000. It is by no means true, therefore, that British policy is solely controlled by financial considerations. On the other hand, by unnecessarily frequent and even vindictive defense of the uses of opium in India before different international bodies, Britain has inevitably led to an awakening throughout the world of suspicions as to her motives. If the India Office would appoint a commission of experts, non-official in character, to investigate the situation in India, it would immediately remedy whatever injustice has been done to both the British and Indian authorities.

For the most part, the suppression of any kind of vice is regarded as a domestic problem, to be handled by one state without interference from its neighbors. But even leaving aside all moral considerations, it is true that so integrated has the world become that now-a-days one nation soon finds it impossible to prohibit the entrance of undesirable articles or persons into its own country without the coöperation of other countries. We have seen this in the case of liquor, drugs and immigrants. For these reasons the drug problem has become international.

While we know that the growth of the poppy from which opium is derived is limited largely to four or five countries in Asia and the Balkans, nobody exactly knows how much opium is annually produced. Estimates range from 2,500 to 15,000 tons, depending mainly upon China's output, which has been put as high as 15,000 tons. Whatever the true figure may be, China produces considerably over half of the world's opium. Although the 1906 edict of the Imperial Government suppressing poppycultivation was for a time enforced, revolutionary generals today have brought about a recrudescence of the poppy throughout the whole of China, except in the province of Shansi. Despite the repeated requests of the League Advisory Committee, the Chinese Government so far has failed to make an investigation of the opium situation. Meanwhile, according to abundant documentary evidence, Chinese opium is being smuggled wholesale into the territories of the Far East.

The second largest producer of opium is India, which produces about 2,000,000 pounds annually, some half of which is for export and half for internal consumption. However, the production and export of opium are alike severely controlled by the Government, which annually fixes the areas to be sown and which licenses producers. Through a government monopoly, the selling price of opium has been raised, with the result that consumption has declined from 8,334 chests in 1911-12 to 7,480 in 1919-20, despite the fact that during this period the population increased by some three million. The world would have cause to be indignant if the Indian Government allowed the unlimited export of opium. And in fact there was a time when the Government did sell opium to foreigners at auction in Calcutta, with no questions asked. This naturally encouraged smuggling into countries having an anti-opium policy. But that time came to an end in 1915. Two years previously all exports of opium to China had been stopped, while the Government now adopted the policy of making agreements with importing countries for the direct supply which they desired. If a government did not wish to import any opium, the Indian Government refused to permit any exportations. More than three-fourths of the opium is exported under these agreements. However, the auction system still applies to France, Japan, and Portugal, inasmuch as these countries have failed to make individual agreements. But since 1923 no national of whatever country can take any opium out of India without a certificate from the importing government (the import certificate recommended by the League) certifying that the consignment is for legitimate purposes. Since virtually all the Far Eastern territories where smoking continues import their opium from India, it has been proposed, notably by Sir John Jordan, former British Minister to China, that regardless of the wishes of the governments in these territories, India should prohibit all exports, thus bringing smoking to an end. This suggestion the Indian Government has declined to consider, on the ground that it would be a form of coercion and that the Indian Government does not intend to be "the moral mentor of the world," especially when Indian opium would merely be replaced by opium from China. If governments wish to buy opium from India, India is willing to sell. Otherwise, she will keep her opium at home.

In any consideration of the situation in India and in China, it should be pointed out that the morphia content of the opium produced in both of these countries is too low to be profitably manufactured into the drugs which afflict the western world. Opium with a high morphia content is produced chiefly in Turkey, Persia, and Jugoslavia. In each of these countries a large number of peasants depend upon the poppy crop as a sure means of livelihood. In Persia nearly 9 percent of the revenue comes from opium, which also constitutes from 20 to 25 percent of the export trade, exclusive of oil. As Persia already has an adverse balance of trade, the cessation of opium exports would seriously affect the exchange. Moreover, the Governments of Persia and Turkey, as well as of China, have within recent years been too unstable to carry out promises.

Some of the problems connected with the international drug traffic were attacked at a conference at the Hague in 1912. The Convention framed at that time provided that each party should enact "efficacious laws or regulations for the control of the production and distribution of raw opium"; "take measures for the gradual and effective suppression" of opium smoking; and limit the manufacture and use of drugs "exclusively to medical and legitimate purposes." Of equal importance, each government undertook to prevent exports of opium to countries which prohibited their entry--an anti-smuggling provision.

While the 1912 Convention embodied general principles envisaging the eventual suppression of smoking and the suppression of the manufacture of "dope," each state remained free to decide for itself what measures it should take to carry these principles into effect. Obviously this principle of "national control" breaks down when it is to the interest of certain states to interpret their obligations narrowly. To make effective the principles accepted in the Hague Convention of 1912, further supplementary agreements providing for some form of international control became necessary.

In view of the vagueness of its provisions, the Hague Convention of 1912--which by the way did not go into effect until January, 1920--has had very little effect upon the opium policies of the powers in their Far Eastern colonies, where smoking is prevalent. As far back as 1905 the United States prohibited the use of opium in the Philippines, except for medical purposes, while in 1897 Japan adopted in Formosa an equally effective policy of licensing addicts. Since 1909 licenses to new smokers have not been issued, with the result that the smoking habit is being gradually ended as old smokers die off. So successful has this system been that the number of licensed smokers in Formosa has declined from 215,474 in 1908 to 38,966 in 1924. The British apply the same system to Burma, while Siam also adopted it in 1921, but postponed its application, presumably because of the need of revenue. In the other Far Eastern territories the powers have merely increased prices, hoping by this means to decrease smoking. But in no case does it appear that this maximum price-minimum consumption policy has appreciably reduced the consumption of opium over a long period of time. In fact, the policy of increasing prices may have a positively harmful effect in driving smokers to more cheap as well as more dangerous forms of drugs, such as dross. Also, since smoking is a habit which can be thrown off only with the greatest difficulty, higher prices merely increase the poverty of the smoker, willing to sacrifice his other needs for the vice. Moreover, when government opium is maintained at an artificially high price, the incentive to smuggling is heightened.

Further steps in the suppression of smoking were not taken before the conference of November 3, 1924, because of the demand for the drug on the part of the Chinese laborers in the Far Eastern colonies. Government officials virtually said that if the use of opium was prohibited, laborers would not stay in their colonies. Moreover, opium furnishes 40 percent of the total revenue of Siam and Macao, about 27.3 percent of the revenue of French Indo-China, 28.3 percent of that of British Malaya and 22.4 percent of that of Hongkong. Finally, the ease with which Chinese opium could be smuggled into these territories made a policy of suppression almost impossible to enforce, as committees appointed by the Governments of Singapore and Hongkong reported in 1924. It was estimated that as much opium was smuggled into Hongkong as entered legally. In Burma the reduction of legal sales had led to such an increase in illicit traffic that the total estimated consumption was greater than before. Consequently, it was argued that smoking in these territories could only be stopped when opium production in China was put under control.

Moreover, the provisions of the Hague Convention of 1912 were too vague to prevent the smuggling of manufactured drugs, such as morphine, heroin and cocaine, from one country to another. Despite the most rigorous legislation, drugs manufactured in Europe entered the United States and Canada. Likewise, the smuggling of narcotics into China was alarming. According to the labels on drugs seized in China during 1924, the source of this traffic was Germany, Japan and Switzerland. None of the drugs came from Great Britain or the United States.[iii] While this smuggling was due in part to ineffective legislation and administration on the part of foreign governments, it was aided in some cases by corrupt Chinese officials--a fact brought out in the Canton Road Smuggling Case, decided in Shanghai in March, 1925.

After studying the question for several years, during which time it worked out the import certificate, an important means of stopping smuggling, the Advisory Committee on Opium established by the League of Nations came to the conclusion that supplementary agreements were necessary if the ends of the Convention of 1912 were to be realized. In resolutions passed in 1921-22 both the Council and the Assembly of the League intimated that the drug traffic could best be controlled at its source, while in its resolution of March 2, 1923, the American Congress stated that "the effective control of drugs can be obtained only by limiting production" to quantities required "for strictly medicinal and scientific purposes." According to the estimates of the Health Committee of the League of Nations, the world's annual requirements for these purposes is about 720 tons, which means that at least five times too much opium is now being produced.

At the fifth session of the Advisory Committee, which met in June, 1923, Congressman Porter presented in behalf of an American Delegation propositions to the effect that if the purpose of the Hague Convention was to be achieved, the use of opium products for other than medicinal and scientific purposes must be recognized as an abuse, and that to prevent such abuse the production of raw opium should be controlled so that there would be no surplus for non-medicinal and non-scientific purposes. Mr. Porter argued that since the parties had agreed in the 1912 Convention to "control" production of raw opium, and since that Convention had implied that smoking and the use of drugs except for medical purposes was illegitimate, opium production should under the Convention be "controlled" so that there would be no surplus for illegitimate purposes. This interpretation of the 1912 Convention was wholly untenable, because it would have prevented production for smoking, which was temporarily authorized in the Convention, and for eating, in regard to which the Convention was silent. However, in order to placate American feeling, the Advisory Committee finally accepted these proposals as "general principles," but the governments concerned made reservations as to production for smoking and eating purposes. In order to give effect to these principles, the Committee proposed a conference in regard to the limitation of drug manufacture and of the production of raw opium and the coca leaf "for export"--words which exempted production for the internal uses of India. The Committee also proposed a conference of the powers responsible for the suppression of smoking in the Far East, as well as of China, to consider the adoption of a number of measures looking toward the suppression of smoking, and of steps which China should take to bring about the suppression of illegal production.

These conferences being authorized by the Fourth Assembly, the Council on November 3, 1924, convened the anti-smoking, or first conference, which was attended by eight governments, and on November 17 the second and more general conference, attended by forty-one governments. It was apparently the understanding of the American delegation that the second conference could review the work of the first. But this possibility was guarded against in the resolution adopted by the Fourth Assembly which provided that the first conference should be composed of plenipotentiaries and should report to the Council of the League. Apparently the so-called "Opium Bloc" did not wish to submit its actions to the scrutiny of the governments of the world.

At the first conference all of the governments, with the exception of Japan and China, insisted that it was impossible totally to suppress smoking in their Far Eastern territories until China had put an end to smuggling. Portugal made a disgusting defense of the situation in Macao, stating that it was going to devote the whole of the opium revenue to social welfare, and that its occupation of Macao was justified by "services rendered to humanity and particularly to the Chinese people, whom we have helped to free from the state of piracy of which they were the victims." When Dr. Sze, the Chinese delegate, proposed a loan to assist Macao in getting rid of the opium monopoly, the Portuguese delegate declared that the country which he had the honor to represent "had no need of advice from anyone. . . . The part which Portugal had played in history was well-known and showed sufficiently that his country had always worked for the good of humanity." In reply, Dr. Sze said that he, too, was content to leave the judgment to history.

While the policy of the European powers was to place the onus for the continuance of smoking upon China, the policy of China was to throw the onus back to Europe. China frankly admitted that "due to temporary disturbed political conditions within her territories" there had been a revival of poppy-growing. But the Chinese delegation did not believe that smuggling was serious or that it should be used as an excuse to justify the continuance of smoking. A humorous repartee took place over the proposal to carry on anti-opium propaganda in the Orient. Mr. Campbell, the Indian representative, opposed the idea on the ground that in the Orient propaganda did more harm than good. Dr. Sze, however, objected to the inclusion of China in this statement and suggested that propaganda should be obligatory in all countries "except in India." He then asked if China could send anti-opium propaganda to Chinese smokers in Burma. Mr. Campbell said this wouldn't do except upon a basis of reciprocity. To which Dr. Sze replied that China would like nothing better than to receive missionaries from India to preach the evils of opium! As a result of India's attitude, the convention provides that the governments should carry on anti-opium propaganda unless they "consider it to be undesirable under conditions existing in their territories."

A more serious controversy arose over the transit of opium across third states, which the Japanese Government proposed should be allowed, if accompanied by an official certificate from the government of the importing country that the opium was for legitimate purposes. The British opposed this proposal for the reason that it would oblige them to allow the transit of opium through Hongkong and other ports, when they had reason to believe it would be smuggled into China. This reflection upon the Japanese Government was immediately objected to by Mr. Sugimura. Whether or not the British had wished to pick a row with Japan, there was much to be said for their position, which had been recognized in the Barcelona Freedom of Transit Convention of 1921 and by the United States, which does not allow the transit of opium or of liquor.[iv] After negotiations between the British and Japanese delegations, the British contention was in part recognized; the Convention finally provided for the recognition of certificates only if they can be accepted "as affording sufficient guaranties against the possibility of illegitimate use."

By the middle of November a deadlock had arisen over the main question of the suppression of smoking. All that the first conference had succeeded in accomplishing was to draft a convention which provided for such minor reforms as the abolition of opium farms (a provision affecting only Macao) for the prohibition of opium sales to minors, and for a further conference by 1929. Meanwhile, the second conference for the limitation of production had convened. On December 11, the American delegation, disturbed at the failure of the first conference to accomplish further results, moved that the second conference consider Chapter II of its draft convention to the effect that smoking in the Far East should be entirely suppressed within ten years. This motion was at once opposed by the "Opium Bloc" on the ground of "competence." The second conference could not review the work of another conference of plenipotentiaries, especially since it was still in session. As this was a crucial question, and also because of the approaching holidays, the conference was adjourned and did not reconvene until January 19, 1925. Before this adjournment, the chairman of the second conference, M. Zahle, had frantically telegraphed to the League Council, then meeting in Rome; while Bishop Brent, one of the American delegates, issued a protest against the work of the first conference, which he vigorously repeated to the British and French Governments on his way home in December. As a result of this pressure, the delegates of England and France at the first conference were instructed not to sign the Convention, while Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands sent new heads of their delegations to the second conference when it reconvened.

At the first plenary meeting after the holidays, Viscount Cecil, the new head of the British delegation, made a lengthy speech in regard to the American proposals. While he also took the position that the second conference was incompetent to discuss them, he read a declaration of British policy, based on a suggestion previously made by Bishop Brent in a document called "An Appeal to My Colleagues." Viscount Cecil stated that the British Government was willing to abolish smoking within fifteen years from the time when China should have reduced the growth of the poppy in such measure as to eliminate the danger of smuggling. The question whether or not this reduction had taken place should be decided by a League Commission. Moreover, if any government questioned the good faith of Great Britain in making this offer, the British Government proposed that League commissioners go into these territories and make recommendations, which it was prepared to accept.

Despite the fact that the Cecil declaration was originated by a distinguished American delegate who had presided over the meetings of the Opium Commission in Shanghai in 1909 and of the Hague Conference of 1912, Mr. Porter vigorously opposed it, stating that the United States, which had already fulfilled its obligations under the Convention of 1912, had the right to insist that the other governments should fulfil theirs. The Cecil proposal, he said, would convert an absolute into a conditional obligation. Viscount Cecil replied that some account must be taken of practical considerations; that instead of answering the arguments made in regard to smuggling, the representative of the United States had merely charged the powers with disregarding their obligations and with being prompted by financial considerations. Such a charge was "very wounding indeed," and England "was deeply hurt." The conference had degenerated into a kind of recriminatory rivalry; no power was prepared to submit to dictation; the "Geneva atmosphere" was lacking.

By this time the air had become so tense that another adjournment was taken. Meanwhile a plan was worked out by which the American proposals could be considered without admitting the contention that the second conference was competent. This took the form of a committee of sixteen, eight representatives of the first and eight from the second conference, which was instructed jointly to examine the anti-smoking proposals of the United States. This committee reported two protocols, the first of which, signed by the states at the first conference, obligated the parties to put an end to smoking within fifteen years after such progress had been made in the suppression of smuggling that the latter no longer formed an obstruction to such measures. The second, signed by the states at the second conference, provided that the powers should control the production of raw opium, by laws to be enacted within five years, so as to prevent opium smuggling. It was laid down that whether this legislation was to be considered effective or not was to be determined by a League Commission. Partly as a result of this conditional settlement the American and Chinese delegations now withdrew from the second conference.

To cover up her own sins China followed the policy at these conferences of charging European powers and Japan with an attempt to exploit Chinese laborers throughout their Far Eastern territories and to drug China with narcotics. But whatever truth may have been in these accusations, the Chinese delegation clearly over-played its hand. Here was a nation producing much more than half of the world's opium, which was being smuggled throughout the Far East, and some of whose officials were living on the narcotics trade at home, playing the part of Injured Virtue; but who vigorously protested against any suggestion of foreign interference and who refused to accept any obligations to coöperate with the powers in the suppression of smuggling. Opinions may differ as to whether the powers, disregarding the question of smuggling, should proceed to the immediate suppression of smoking. To make this reform dependent upon a house-cleaning in China is probably to postpone it indefinitely. Immediate action, on the other hand, might stimulate public opinion in China to demand reforms, since the attention of the world would now be transferred from the smoking to the smuggling evil. At the same time, it is bad policy to enact laws which cannot be enforced. The example of our Eighteenth Amendment has not yet commended itself to many Europeans. Until we demonstrate the possibility of enforcing prohibition here they are not likely to attempt it in the Orient, where the coolies' demand for drugs is apparently more intense and widespread than is the demand for alcohol in America. It is not a question of tolerating an evil simply because it is the source of lucrative revenue. The European powers feel that should this revenue be given up by making smoking illegal, the vice would none the less flourish on account of smuggling; and in fact would become more flagrant because it would be uncontrolled.

The United States had already precipitated a crisis at the second conference by moving, on November 24, the consideration of its proposal to limit the production of raw opium so that there would be no surplus available for purposes not strictly medical or scientific. Here again the representative of India raised the question of competence, saying that the agenda was limited to the consideration of measures controlling production for "export," but that the American proposal would also stop production for the internal uses of India. The Indian Government could not discuss any proposals lying outside of the agenda. Despite his statement that "the United States did not have the slightest intention of . . . interfering in any manner, shape or form with the internal affairs of any country," Mr. Porter did not attempt to re-word the American proposal which, if adopted as it stood, would have prevented production for eating in India. In taking the position that the agenda of the conference could be enlarged only with its consent, the Indian Government could have invoked a ruling of Secretary Hughes to this effect in the Central American Conference at Washington in 1922-1923.[v] But despite the legal basis of India's position, the conference voted to refer the American proposal to a committee, thus admitting its competence, by 26 votes to 1 (India). Nine states, including the opium-producing countries, abstained.

Meanwhile, in the sub-committee dealing with the limitation of production, small progress was being made. Although Chinese promises were of little value, the situation in China did not directly affect the Western world since Chinese opium is entirely consumed in the Orient. Production in India was already so severely controlled that Indian opium did not enter any country not wishing to receive it. The problem, therefore, reduced itself to production in Persia, Turkey, and Jugoslavia. The first of these countries declared that it could not restrict production without a loan of ten million tomans, customs autonomy, and a financial moratorium. The other two said that until other means of livelihood had been found for their peasant populations, production could not be limited. Things having been thrown into a general mess in sub-committee "B," the Indian representative moved that the parties should agree merely to prevent any export of raw opium not specifically authorized by the 1912 Convention. The United States declared, however, that it could not accept any amendments. She withdrew from the conference on February 6, 1925.

The memorandum setting forth the reasons for this withdrawal is a curious document. The conference had failed to limit production; therefore, according to the American point of view, the drug evil could not be controlled. On the other hand, the Americans criticised the first conference because of its position that smoking could not be abolished until production in China was controlled. Now this argument cannot work both ways--if, because of smuggling, the limitation of production is necessary to suppress "dope", it is also necessary to suppress smoking. After stating that the powers had refused to reduce smoking on account of China's production, the American memorandum says, "no restriction of the production of raw opium under such conditions can be expected"--a statement which is, of course, a non sequitur. In view of the fact that the conference had not adopted the American principles, "the delegation of the United States, in pursuance of instructions received from its Government, has no alternative, under the terms of the Joint Resolution authorizing participation in the conference, other than to withdraw . . ." This badly-worded sentence confuses the instructions of the delegation with the Joint Resolution--two entirely separate things. The instructions have never been published; and until they are we have no way of knowing whether Mr. Porter was acting under orders given before the conference by the State Department, or whether he used the Joint Resolution as a ladder to crawl out of a bad hole. At any rate, there was nothing in this Resolution to prevent the American Delegation from staying until the end of the conference and the final drafting of an agreement.

Temporarily shocked by the American exit, the conference now adopted the American principle of limiting production to medicinal and scientific needs, subject to the provision that any party could make a declaration stating the limitations subject to which it accepted the principle. But on February 12, the French delegate, M. Kircher, declared that the adoption of the American proposal, subject to this declaration, was a travesty, and that it would be better for the conference merely to reiterate the provisions of the 1912 Convention that production should be "controlled" as each state saw fit. With the adoption of his amendment the last attempt to limit production failed.

This did not prevent, however, the signature of a new drug Convention which contains some important provisions. It now covers preparations of Indian hemp, a drug with which Egypt is particularly afflicted; while the League Health Committee may inform the Council that the convention should be extended to include other drugs not now affected by the Convention. On the other hand, the attempt to prohibit the manufacture of heroin and to place codein under the Convention failed. The only new provision in regard to production is a resolution asking the League Council to examine the suggestion that commissions visit opium-producing countries to study the difficulties connected with the limitation of production.

As far as the international control of the traffic in drugs is concerned, the Convention has made some progress. The export certificate (a separate authorization from the importing government being required for each shipment of drugs) is embodied in an international agreement. What is of even more importance, this traffic is to be watched by a Permanent Central Board of eight qualified persons, appointed by the Council of the League. The United States (as well as Germany) is to be invited to nominate a "person to participate in these appointments"-- an important provision envisaging a future method of coöperation in other directions between the United States and the League. Once a year the parties agree to send to this board statistics relative to production and consumption of drugs, while every three months they will submit import and export statistics. If the board believes that there is danger of a country becoming the center of illicit traffic, it may ask for explanations, through the Secretary-General of the League. If no satisfactory explanation is made, it may recommend that no further exports be sent to such a country until the situation becomes satisfactory. The only power of the board, therefore, is the power of advice and its only sanction is that of public opinion. Its powers are considerably weaker than of the board contemplated by either the Advisory Committee or by the United States.

While the American proposals for the limitation of production may have been theoretically sound, the United States ignored the practical obstacles in the way of their achievement. In one sense these proposals were unfair, since they transferred the responsibility for suppressing the international drug traffic from the strong countries to lamentably weak governments such as those of China, Persia and Turkey. Financially, the United States stood to lose nothing and to gain everything by the acceptance of its proposals. The producing countries, as well as the governments of territories where smoking prevails, would on the other hand be obliged to give up revenues amounting to millions of dollars a year. In other words, the United States asked from the remainder of the world sacrifices which entailed no hardships for herself. A better balance would have been struck if the American delegation had been in a position to offer loans to countries wishing to do away with the opium trade. But no such proposition was made.

The American delegation made a still greater mistake in taking the attention of the conference away from its main problem, that of the traffic in drugs, and fastening it upon the smoking and eating practises of the Orient. The welfare of the people of the United States, which its delegation was supposed to protect, did not depend upon the uses of opium by coolies in the Far East, but upon the manufacture of drugs, which was a totally different problem. While from the humanitarian standpoint, and as a party to the Convention of 1912, the United States was entitled to discuss the situation in the Orient, it was the height of folly to quit the conference on issues which affected only indirectly the welfare of the American people. In considering the wisdom of our attitude toward the final anti-smoking protocols, one may overlook the fact that Mr. Porter opposed a suggestion which came originally from Bishop Brent; but one cannot overlook the fundamental inconsistency in Mr. Porter's position that while the limitation of production was necessary to rid the world of the "dope" habit it was not necessary when it came to the abolition of the smoking evil. As far as "dope" is concerned, the control of drug manufacture is probably more important than the control of poppy cultivation. At the most there are not more than thirty drug factories in the world; they are located in countries possessing strong governments; drug manufacturing is a complicated process which it is difficult to conceal. Consequently, the control of drug manufacture was more practical than the control of poppy cultivation. If the American delegation had not been side-tracked on other issues, and if it had worked out a plan, it is possible that the Opium Convention would have embodied provisions for this type of control which could have really been enforced.

It is more disturbing still to review the attitude and the methods adopted by the United States throughout these negotiations. When the Advisory Committee asked Mr. Porter to discuss the American proposals which he had presented at the fifth session, Mr. Porter declined. "The American delegation was not disposed to enter into any discussion." When Viscount Cecil at the second conference casually said that he had seen figures that the per capita consumption of opium in the United States was greater than in India, Mr. Porter did not politely tell him he had been misinformed but denounced the statement as a "vile slander upon the people of the United States."[vi]

We also made the initial mistake of advancing a strained interpretation of the 1912 Convention which would obligate the parties to take steps of which only the United States was in favor. Instead of arguing our program upon its merits, we accused every state opposing it of violating its obligations under the Convention of 1912. Now disputes over the interpretation of treaties cannot be settled in diplomatic conferences, especially by interested politicians who know very little international law. They should be settled by judicial process, which indeed the Government of India suggested, but to which the American delegation was apparently opposed. Neither was there any justification for the anti-British bent of the American delegation. The fight over opium eating in India could have been avoided--and without giving an international sanction to the practice--if the American delegation had been as capable of drafting diplomatic documents as was, for example, Viscount Cecil. Opium eating may or may not be legitimate; but this question had nothing to do with the control of the drug traffic, which was our chief concern.

Apparently the American delegation went before the Opium Conference determined to win a "national" victory. It presented its proposals and demanded their integral acceptance. It refused to consider any important amendments. This "hell and high-water" attitude may at times be effective in domestic politics. But applied to foreign affairs it becomes a type of coercion. Compromise is essential to international coöperation. In a conference of equals who have divergent interests there is no single point of view, and no single power can hope or should want to dictate a settlement. For the intransigence of the American delegation the instructions of Congress were partly to blame. A bolder man than Mr. Porter would have violated his instructions as did John Jay in negotiating treaties in 1782 and 1794--in the hope that Congress would see the futility of this method of doing international business. But Mr. Porter was not interested in compromises. He invoked the shades of John Brown at Harpers Ferry and the fear of Bolshevism, and he quoted from several writers on contracts and on international law. He denounced the conference and withdrew. But he did not answer the fundamental objections to his own proposals.

[i] However, the use of morphia in China has increased in recent years.

[ii] Documented authority for the statements made in this article will be found in my pamphlet, "The International Opium Conferences": World Peace Foundation, Boston.

[iii] Cf. "Morphia and Narcotic Drugs in China": International Anti-Opium Association, Peking, Bulletin Vol. V., No. 1, February, 1925.

[iv] Cf. Grogan v. Walker (1921), 259 U. S. 79.

[v] "It is always usual, when a conference is called, to interchange some views as to what is to be discussed, because no power desires--and I am not speaking of the Central American powers especially, but all powers--no power wishes to be put in a position where it will be compelled to discuss something that it does not want to discuss . . ." Conference on Central American Affairs, Washington, 1922-1923, Government Printing Office, p. 80.

[vi] Apparently the figures to which Viscount Cecil referred were taken from a report made to the United States Treasury in 1919, but which were later proved erroneous. Mr. Porter declared that these figures had been publicly disavowed, and that British officials should have known of this disavowal. The writer, however, has failed so far to find any direct disavowal of this report. In fact, Mr. Porter quotes from it in a speech printed in a document published in French and English, presumably for foreign consumption, called "The Traffic in Habit-Forming Narcotic Drugs" (House Document 380, 68th Cong., 1st session, p. 35). This speech was made February 26, 1923, while the document was published on February 21, 1924.

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