§ MR. W. SHARPE (Kensington, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to a memorial and statement presented to the Governor of Ceylon, the former in January 1894 and the latter in February of this year, showing the injurious effects of the licensed sale of opium in the Colony, also to the question of the hon. W. W. Mitchell, mercantile member of the Ceylon Legislative Council, on 6th February last, on the same subject; and whether any steps have been taken by the Ceylon Government to prevent the spread of opium smoking in the Colony similar to the steps taken in India, Burma, and the Straits Settlements?
The question of the sale of opium in Ceylon has for some time past engaged the attention of the Colonial Government, and, as I stated in the House on February 5 last, in reply to a Question asked by the hon. Member for the Holmfirth Division of the West Riding, the Ceylon Government has decided with my approval to raise the import duty On opium from one rupee to two rupees per pound. Further proposals to prevent the spread of opium smoking are still under consideration.