HC Deb 16 July 1906 vol 160 cc1326-7
MR. A. ALLEN (Christchurch)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the abuses to which the farm system for the collection of opium revenue in the federated Malay States, Singapore, and Hong Kong has given rise, he will consider the advisability of making any alterations in the respective systems by which the sale of opium is now licensed in those countries.


The system of farming the opium revenue has frequently been considered, and it has been held to be the one best adapted to the circumstances of these communities, in which there are no import duties and no Customs establishment available for collecting them. The Secretary of State is not aware that the system has given rise to abuses, and, in the light of past experience, he does not, as at present advised, see what alterations could usefully be made.

MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

In view of the opinions expressed by the Secretary of State for India, will the Government not consider the desirability of putting an end to the production of opium in British possessions?


I must have notice of that Question. It refers apparently to a speech which I should see before replying.


I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give a Return as to the quantity of opium consumed and the amount of revenue derived therefrom during the last ten years in the federated Malay States and Singapore.


The Governor of the Straits Settlements will lie asked to supply the information.