HC Deb 23 March 1891 vol 351 cc1648-9
MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of Statefor India (1) whether he supports the statement made in the official "Collection of Papers relating to the Excise Administration of India" (page 334), issued by the Government of India in 1890, that there exists only one opium den in the Akyab district of Lower Burma, or has he any further information which would support the statement that there are over 1,000 opium dens in that district; and (2) what is the total amount of opium consumed in Upper and Lower Burma in the years 1887, 1888, and 1889, respectively and separately?


As regards the first question of the hon. Member, I must refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to a similar question on the 26th of February, when it was stated that the Government of India would be asked to inquire into the allegations as to the number of opium shops; but that, according to the latest Excise Reports, there was only one licensed shop in the Akyab district, and that if information were given to the police of others they would be suppresed. A Despatch on the subject has been sent to the Government of India. The answer to the second question is that the lawful consumption of opium in Lower Burma in 1887–8 was 48,226 seers; in 1888–9, 51,139 seers; and in 1888–9, 53,348 seers. No correct statistics exist for Upper Burma. The Report for 1889–90 says that 669 seers were imported during those years, but that probably a much larger quantity was smuggled.