§ MR. CROPPER
asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether the Government of India has issued or sanctioned the issue of orders having for their object the increase of the area of poppy cultivation in Bengal; whether the Go- 1453 vernment of India has issued orders for the introduction of the cultivation of the poppy, under the system of licences and advances, into the North West Provinces; and, whether he will lay upon the Table a Return of the areas cultivated, and quantities of Opium produced, in all the agencies during the last ten years; also a Copy of the "Resolution on the Report of the Board of Revenue on the Administration of the Opium Department for the year 1879–80," dated "Calcutta, 4th April 1881;" and Copies of any other Resolutions of the Government of India which have for their object the increased production of Opium?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
Sir, in consequence of the partial failure of crops for three consecutive years, and of a reduction of the reserve stock of opium, the Government of India, in a Resolution of the 2nd of May, 1879, desired that the agents in Behar and Benares should be encouraged to extend their engagements with cultivators. Thereupon, the Benares agent endeavoured to re-introduce poppy cultivation into certain pergunnahs of the Allahabad and Mirzapore districts of the North-Western Provinces, which are favourably situated for the purpose, and where the poppy used to be grown; but these efforts were not attended with much success. No orders were issued by the Government of India for the introduction of the cultivation of the poppy under the system of licences and advances into the North-Western Provinces, that system having existed there for many years, several of the sub-divisions of the Benares agency being situated in territory under the Lieutenant Governor of those Provinces. A statement can be given of the areas cultivated and the quantities of opium produced in the Government opium agencies of Behar and Benares for the 10 years ending with 1878–9, together with a copy of the Resolution of the Government of India above referred to. The Resolution on the Report of the Board of Revenue on the administration of the Opium Department for the year 1879–80 has not yet been received.