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I have more than once understood your Excellency to say, that you had a strong, if not invincible, repugnance, involved as Great Britain already was in hostilities at Canton, and having been compelled in the north to resort to the influence of threatened coercion, to introduce the subject of opium to the consideration of the Chinese authorities. Yet I am confident, unless the initiative is taken by your Excellency, things must continue as they are with all their shame; and I appeal to your Excellency's high sense of duty, so often and so strongly expressed to this helpless though perverse people, whether we, the representatives of western and Christian nations, ought to consider our work done without some attempt to induce or compel an adjustment of the pernicious difficulty. In such an attempt I shall cordially unite.
But two courses are open for us to suggest and sustain that of urging upon the Chinese authorities the active and thorough suppression of the trade by seizure and confiscation, with assurances that no assistance, direct or indirect, shall be given to parties, English or American, seeking to evade or resist the process; adding to this what if your Excellency agrees with me as to the expediency of measures of repression, I am sure will be consonant with your personal conviction of what is right the assurance of the disposition of your government to put a stop to the growth and export of opium from India. I may be permitted to suggest that perhaps no more propitious moment for so decisive and philanthropic a measure could be found than now, when the privileges of the East India Company, and what may be termed its active responsibilities, including the receipt and administration of the opium revenue, are about to be transferred to the Crown. I am confident my government would do ready justice to the high motives which would lead to such a course, and rejoice at the result.
Of effective prohibition, and this mainly through the inveterate appetite of the Chinese, I confess I am not sanguine; and I, therefore, more confidently, though not more earnestly, call your Excellency's attention to the only other course open to us attempt to persuade the Chinese to put such high duties on the drug as will restrain the supply, regulate the import, and yet not stimulate some other form of smuggling, with or without the connivance of the Chinese. The economical arguments in favour of this course are so fully stated that I need not allude to them further.
In conclusion, I beg to assure your Excellency that I am quite prepared to take my full share of responsibility in sustaining either of the
two courses I have ventured to suggest, and I am sure your Excellency will add new distinction to what you have already earned in re-establishing commercial relations with China, by getting rid of this anomalous opprobrium to all fair commerce.
I am compelled to put my views in the form of a communication to your Excellency, for the reason that the treaty relations between the United States and China do not contemplate a revision of the tariff except through your action.
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THE LAY AND OLIPHANT LETTERS 23
"All the negotiations at Tientsin passed through me. Not one word on either side was said about opium from first to last. The revision of the tariff and the adjustment of all questions affecting our trade were designedly left for after deliberation, and it was agreed that for that purpose the Chinese High Commissioner should meet Lord Elgin at Shanghai in the following winter. In the meantime the preparation of the tariff devolved upon me, at the desire of the Chinese no less than of Lord Elgin. When I came to opium I inquired what course they proposed to take in respect to it. The answer was 'we have resolved to put it into the tariff as yang yoh (foreign medicine).' I urged a moderate duty in view of the cost of collection, which was agreed to." 24
Mr. Oliphant's letter bears date three days later; he writes:
"I was appointed in 1858 Commissioner for the settlement of the trade and tariff regulations with China, and during my absence with Lord Elgin in Japan, Mr. Lay was charged to consider the details with the subordinate Chinese officials named for the purpose. On my return to Shanghai I went through the tariff elaborated by these gentlemen with the Commissioner appointed by the Chinese Government. When we came to the article opium, I informed the Commissioner that I had received instructions from Lord Elgin not to insist on the insertion of the drug in the tariff. should the Chinese Government wish to omit it. This he declined to do. I then proposed that the duty should be increased
23 China Correspondence, 1859.
24 Mr. Lay, Times, October 22, 1880.
beyond the figure suggested in the tariff, but to this he objected, on the ground that it would increase the inducements to smuggling. I trust that the delusion that the opium trade now existing with China was extorted' from that country by the British Ambassador may be finally dispelled."
INTERNATIONAL OPIUM COMMISSION.
Final resolutions, adopted February 26, 1909.
BE IT RESOLVED:
1. THAT the International Opium Commission recognizes the unswerving sincerity of the government of China in their efforts to eradicate the production and consumption of opium throughout the Empire; the increasing body of public opinion among their own subjects by which these efforts are being supported; and the real, though unequal, progress already made in a task which is one of the greatest magnitude.
2. THAT, in view of the action taken by the government of China in suppressing the practice of opium smoking, and by other governments to the same end, the International Opium Commission recommends that each delegation concerned move its own government to take measures for the gradual suppression of the practice of opium smoking in its own territories and possessions, with due regard to the varying circumstances of each country concerned.
3. THAT the International Opium Commission finds that the use of opium in any form otherwise than for medical purposes is held by almost every participating country to be a matter for prohibition or for careful regulation; and that each country in the administration of its system of regulation purports to be aiming, as opportunity offers, at progressively increasing stringency. In recording these conclusions the International Opium Commission recognizes the wide variations between the conditions prevailing in the different countries, but it would urge on the attention of the governments concerned the desirability of a reexamination of their systems of regulation in the light of the experience of other countries dealing with the same problem.
25 Times, October 25, 1886.
4. THAT the International Opium Commission finds that each government represented has strict laws which are aimed directly or indirectly to prevent the smuggling of opium, its alkaloids, derivatives and preparations into their respective territories; in the judgment of the International Opium Commission it is also the duty of all countries to adopt reasonable measures to prevent at ports of departure the shipment of opium, its alkaloids, derivatives and preparations, to any country which prohibits the entry of any opium, its alkaloids, derivatives and preparations.
5. THAT the International Opium Commission finds that the unrestricted manufacture, sale and distribution of morphine already constitute a grave danger, and that the morphine habit shows signs of spreading; the International Opium Commission, therefore, desites to urge strongly on all governments that it is highly important that drastic measures should be taken by each government in its own territories and possessions to control the manufacture, sale and distribution of this drug, and also of such other derivatives of opium as may appear on scientific enquiry to be liable to similar abuse and productive of like ill effects.
6. THAT as the International Opium Commission is not constituted in such a manner as to permit the investigation from a scientific point of view of anti-opium remedies and of the properties and effects of opium and its products, but deems such investigation to be of the highest importance, the International Opium Commission desires that each delegation shall recommend this branch of the subject to its own government for such action as that government may think necessary.
7. THAT the International Opium Commission strongly urges all governments possessing concessions or settlements in China, which have not yet taken effective action toward the closing of opium divans in the said concessions and settlements, to take steps to that end, as soon as they may deem it possible, on the lines already adopted by several governments.
8. THAT the International Opium Commission recommends strongly that each delegation move its government to enter into negotiations with the Chinese government with a view to effective and prompt measures being taken in the various foreign concessions and settlements in China for the prohibition of the trade and manufacture of such anti-opium remedies as contain opium or its derivatives.
9. THAT the International Opium Commission recommends that each delegation move its government to apply its pharmacy laws to its subjects in the consular districts, concessions and settlements in China.
ARBITRATION CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND COSTA RICA.1
Signed at Washington, January 13, 1909; Ratified by the President, March 1, 1909; Proclaimed, July 21, 1909.
The government of the United States of America, signatory of The Hague convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes, concluded at The Hague on July 29, 1899, and the government of the republic of Costa Rica, being desirous of referring to arbitration all questions which they shall consider possible to submit to such treatment;
Taking into consideration that by article XXVI of the said convention the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of Arbitration established at The Hague by that Convention may, within the conditions laid down in the regulations, be extended to disputes between signatory powers and non-signatory powers, if the parties are agreed on recourse to that tribunal;
Have authorized the undersigned to conclude the following convention:
Differences which may arise of a legal nature, or relating to the interpretation of treaties existing between the two contracting parties, and which it may not have been possible to settle by diplomacy, shall be referred to the Permanent Court of Arbitration established at The Hague by the convention of the 29th July, 1899, for the pacific settlement of international disputes, provided, nevertheless, that they do not affect the vital interests, the independence, or the honor of the two contracting states, and do not concern the interests of third parties.
In each individual case the high contracting parties, before appealing to the Permanent Court of Arbitration, shall conclude a special agree
1 U. S. Treaty Series, No. 530.