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Opium Trade, India

Volume 149: debated on Friday 16 December 1921

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asked the Secretary of State for India what is the acreage in India now under cultivation with the opium poppy; how many chests of Indian opium are now exported annually; what are the destinations of this exported opium; and whether any and, if any, how much is converted into prepared opium for smoking?

The total area under poppy cultivation in British India amounted to 156,435 acres in the year 1919–20. 9,823 chests of opium were exported in that year. The countries which imported this opium were the Straits Settlements, Dutch East Indies, Siam, French Indo-China, Japan, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, British North Borneo, Ceylon, Mauritius and the Fiji Islands. My right hon. Friend is not in a position to state how much of the raw opium exported from India to other countries is there converted into prepared opium for smoking.

Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say if the Government are working in full harmony with the organisation under the League of Nations for the reduction or suppression of this trade?

I am not in a position to state that myself, but I will tell my right hon. Friend what the right hon. Gentleman says.