§ SIR JOSEPH PEASE
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been drawn to the statement in the "Overland China Mail," which states that, at a meeting of the Legislative Council, Hong Kong, on the 13th of December last, His Excellency the Administrator, the Hon. W. H. March, admitted—That there was much smuggling (in opium) going on, though not in heavily armed vessels,and that His Excellency read a report from the police station which stated that—The police detained the boats and opium, pending the instructions of the Administrator, but there being no police case against them, they were allowed to go, by order of the Administrator;that the police report stated that this system of smuggling goes on regularly three, four, and even six times a month, the smugglers being always about one hundred strong, and armed; and, whether Her Majesty's Government have considered whether the present regulations at Hong Kong are sufficient, if properly carried out, to prevent opium smuggling from British into Chinese territory?
§ MR. EVELYN ASHLEY,
in reply, said, the attention of the Government had been called to the statements; but some of them were controverted at the next meeting of the Council. The Administrator at Hong Kong had apponted a Commission to inquire into all theCircumstances of the smuggling of opium and other goods from Hong Kong to the mainland of China,and when its Report had been received the Colonial Office would carefully consider it.