HC Deb 25 June 1891 vol 354 c1423

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether it is the case that while at Thana, a few miles out of Bombay, there are only two persons reported as holding the Government licence to sell opium, these two licences carry with them the power to open branch establishments, and these two licences have in all no less than 28 servants who are keeping opium dens all over the district; and whether any mention is made in the Government Returns of these sub-agents, and other similar cases throughout India?


The Secretary of State has seen in a London newspaper a statement to the effect suggested in the question, but he thinks the statement erroneous. The latest Bombay Return shows 22 licensed opium shops in the Thana district, instead of two, as stated in the question. There is nothing in the reports or papers received from Bombay, or from any other province, to show that licensed opium vendors are permitted to establish branch shops for which they hold no license.