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China of morphia and of instruments for its injection, on condition, however, that the Chinese Government will allow the importation of morphia and of instruments for its injection for medical purposes by Portuguese doctors, chemists, and druggists, on payment of the prescribed duty and under special permit which will only be granted to an intending importer upon his signing at the Portuguese consulate a suitable bond undertaking not to sell morphia except in small quantities and on receipt of a requisition signed by a duly qualified foreign medical practitioner.

If fraud in connection with such importation be discovered by the customs authorities, the morphia and instruments for its injection will be seized and confiscated, and the importer will be denied the right to import these articles thereafter.

RUSSIA CHINA. Treaty of peace, friendship, commerce and navigation. Signed at Tientsin June 1/13, 1858.

[Under this treaty any trade that there was in opium between Russia and China was legalized, as in the Tientsin treaties between Great Britain, United States and France].

Treaty of St. Petersburg, for the regulation of commerce by sea and land. August 19, 1881.

[Article XV of this treaty prohibits to both parties the importation or exportation of opium].

SPAIN CHINA. Treaty between Her Most Catholic Majesty Donna Isabel 2nd, and His Majesty the Emperor of China. Ratifications exchanged at Tientsin May 10, 1867.

[Under this treaty the opium trade was legalized as under the other Tientsin Treaties].

SWEDEN AND NORWAY-CHINA. Treaty of peace, amity and commerce. Signed at Canton March 20, 1847.


Subjects of His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway, who shall attempt to trade clandestinely with such of the ports of China as are not open to foreign commerce, or who shall trade in opium or any other contraband article of merchandise, shall be subject to be dealt with by the

Chinese Government, without being entitled to any countenance or protection from that of the United Kingdoms, and the Governments of Sweden and Norway will take measures to prevent their flag from being abused by the subjects of other nations as a cover for the violation of the laws of the Empire.


Sept. 13, 1858.

But there is another matter of far greater interest which, after full and anxious consideration, made more serious since I have been compelled to watch the operations of trade at this port during the last two months, I feel it my duty to bring before your Excellency - I mean the opium question, which in its present condition is most mischievous in its relation to trade, and most discreditable to all parties, political and individual, which it taints.

In our brief conversations on this subject at Tientsin, I frankly stated to your Excellency what the views of the government of the United States were on this subject, and that I was instructed to inform the Chinese authorities, if the opportunity offered, that the United States did not seek for its citizens the legal establishment of the opium trade, and would not uphold them in any attempt to violate the laws of China by the introduction of the article into the country. I am not quite sure whether I mentioned to you that on one occasion, at least, in my intercourse with the commissioners at the north, I did state these views to them, going even further, and assuring them that the United States would sustain any lawful attempt their government made to suppress this traffic. I have said something to the same effect to the Taoutai here, but in both instances the suggestion met with no response. The reluctance of the latter to talk on the subject may be easily accounted for; but the indifference of those who more directly represented the Emperor could only be explained on the ground that it was indifference, or, as has been suggested, by their fear even to talk on a subject which they thought had once involved them in a war, and which might (so they reasoned) give them trouble again. Be the reason what it may, I was unable to gain for the subject any consideration, and my deliberate judgment was, and is, that the trade must go on as it is with all the

19 China Correspondence, 1859.

mischief and disgrace, unless your Excellency will undertake to adjust and regulate it.

At your Excellency's instance, while the American treaty was in progress at Tien-tsin, I struck out from the draft the express prohibition of opium, which as you are aware is in the Treaty of Wanghia; and the reason for doing so, aside from my acquiescence in the views which your Excellency suggested, was that I was conscious that in its operation in China it was a dead letter, and, as such, had only a place in the treaty for mischief. I beg to assure you that I do not at all regret my decision, and have reason to believe that what I did will be approved by my government. Opium now is expressly contraband. In the new treaties 20 (for I understand them in this to correspond) it is contraband or not according to the laws of the Chinese government.

Let me beg your Excellency's attention to the actual state of things at this port 21 a type of others a state of things with which I have been made painfully familiar, which I have sought to understand in all its bearings, and to which I refer in detail, not because it is unknown to you, but in explanation of the policy and necessity of the measures which I take the liberty of urging on your Excellency.

It is not my intention to say a word as to the mischievous, social, or economical effects of the consumption of opium, about which I have little doubt there is some exaggeration, and of which, from personal observation, I have no means of judging. No one doubts it is very pernicious and demoralizing. But I am confident your Excellency will agree with me that its evils, as the basis of an illegal, connived at, and corrupting traffic, can not be overstated. It is degrading alike to the producer, the importer, the official, whether foreign or Chinese, and the purchaser. The state of things, narrowing the question to this port of Shanghae, understand to be this:

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In the year 1857, it is said, upwards of 32,000 chests of East India opium, worth nearly 20,000,000 of dollars, reached the port. It came either direct from Calcutta or Bombay, or by way of Hong Kong, where it is an article of lawful trade, and where the sum of 33,960 dollars is annually paid into the Colonial Treasury for the monopoly of dealing in it under a license. It comes to Shanghae in vessels of every nation, though, of course, as with other articles of trade, the bulk of it is in

20 Of Tientsin, 1858.

21 Shanghai.

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English and American ships. It so happens, and it is matter of deep regret to me, that the most active opium business in any single ship is at this moment carried on in a steamer built at New York, nominally owned by an American, and carrying the American flag. I have endeavored to ascertain the aggregate amount imported hither in American bottoms, and as near as may be I find it to be in American ships, counting the steamer" Yang-tsz," to which I have referred, as over 6,300 chests, in English and others 25,700. It is brought as freely in the mail steamers as in any others. It is transferred at once to the ships known as opium hulks, anchored at Woosung, where it is carefully stored. These hulks, six in number, are under the English flag, though it is right to say that one of them is understood to be the property of an American house, and the depositary of much of the opium imported on American account.

This deposit has, as your Excellency is aware, all the dishonorable features of a great smuggling transaction, except that of secrecy, for the scandal, if the trade were actually prohibited, is open and defiant. And yet the fact is that every chest of opium thus deposited is watched and guarded by boats belonging to the Revenue Service of China, and on its discharge is so designated as to secure in some way a specific duty (about 24 taels), just as well ascertained as is the duty on every bale of English or American manufactures. Of these duties thus legitimated, and amounting, it is conjectured, to at least a million of dollars per annum, no published return is made, no official or other regular statistical information afforded, except such as, I believe, the British consul makes, and an article which constitutes at this moment exactly one-third of the import trade of Shanghae is ignored as absolutely as if it did not exist.

I am at a loss to understand why this inconvenient masquerade - the English treaty 22 being silent on the subject, and the Chinese laws virtually abandoned is kept up. I am aware it has been suggested that the depository of so valuable an article as opium should be at a distance. from the city, but I can not suppose this is a reason for the inconvenient and expensive contrivance now resorted to, and rather find one in the nominally unlawful and consciously discreditable character of the trade itself, and in the lingering desire, on the part of some of the largest operators, that it should continue on its present footing. The moment. the opium is brought up and entered regularly at the Chinese customhouse, and the duty paid there, as it is at Woosung, all the advantages

22 Of Nanking.

which monopolists now desire would be at an end; and the trade, let it be remembered, would not be, in reality, more legalized than it is now.

But, again, I beg your Excellency's attention to another view of the matter, as affecting the character of the communities we represent. There is, at this port, a Department of Mercantile Customs, administered by three inspectors, English, American, and French, appointed by the intendant, originally, on the recommendation of the consuls of the three treaty powers. One of these gentlemen is employed, if I mistake not, on the present revision of the tariff, and all of them are persons of high respectability and fidelity on their peculiar trust. Their jurisdiction, as delegates of the Chinese authorities, extends below the anchorage of the hulks at Woosung, and over every description of imported merchandise, except opium, and over every ship that casts anchor within the river, except the ship that brings opium to Woosung, and goes away without coming to the city.

In the printed returns of foreign commerce prepared by this department, and which, if complete, would be of great value in determining our relations to China, opium, forming, as I have said, one-third, is omitted. All else is minutely included; and in a report made to me by the American vice-consul, it is stated that this subject has been expressly withdrawn from the cognizance of the foreign inspectors, and reserved for the administration of the Taoutai himself, who receives the duties on opium and remits the money to the authorities at Suchau.

Whether this abstinence of what is familiarly known as the foreign inspectorate has always been as complete as it is now I am not prepared to say, though the fact has been mentioned to me that, during the war between Great Britain and Russia, while the exportation of saltpetre from Calcutta was prohibited, the Patna opium-chests were regularly examined by the inspectors, and thus the trade, legal or illegal, brought within their view. It is now, I admit, not within their province; and yet it can hardly be pretended that, with an inspectorate vigilant in all else in which England, France, and the United States are represented, the reproach of connivance at the traffic, if it be illegal, does not rest on them now.

I refer to this, and so beg your excellency to understand me, not as indicating my unwillingness to assume any responsibility for the acts of the inspectors, or the administration of the Chinese custom-house generally, but as illustrating the discredit that is shed on everything and everybody by the present position of the opium trade.


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