HC Deb 10 December 1906 vol 166 cc1533-4

To ask the Secretary of State for India what was the number of chests of Bengal opium remaining in store on the 31st March, 1906; whether the stock in store has steadily increased during late years and is now more than double the amount in store ten years ago; and if he will consider whether the accumulations of stock are a reason, apart from other considerations, for reducing the areas of poppy cultivation and the manufacture of opium.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Morley.) The number of chests in store on 31st March, 1906, was 76,059. Ten years before, owing to bad seasons, the reserve was below 30,000 chests on a corresponding date. In dealing with the question of the area to be licensed for poppy cultivation in the immediate future I have not overlooked the consideration mentioned in the last part of the question.