HC Deb 10 December 1906 vol 166 cc1532-3
SIR HENRY COTTON (Nottingham, E.)

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether the area under poppy cultivation in India has increased from 542,633 acres in 1894–5 to 612,230 acres in 1904–5, the latest year for which published figures are available; and, if so, whether the measures he has in hand for reducing the area under cultivation will effect a reduction at least to the level of twelve years ago.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Morley.) I am aware that the area under poppy has increased to the extent stated. I consider that an immediate and substantial reduction is desirable, and I have given instructions to this effect. I cannot undertake that the limit of the area under poppy in 1894–5 will at once be reached, as this would be attended with inconvenience to the cultivators. But, in view of the probable decrease in the China demand, progressive reductions may be anticipated.