HC Deb 21 February 1907 vol 169 c1029

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it was ever brought to the notice of the French Government before the conclusion of the New Hebrides Convention that the Australasian Governments desired that opium as well as alcoholic liquors should be, under Article 59, prohibited from being supplied to the natives; and whether it was in consequence of objections made by the French that opium was not so included.


As stated in paragraph 55 of the despatch printed on pages 53–66 of the recent Blue-book respecting the New Hebrides Convention, and in the telegrams printed on pages 50 and 51, His Majesty's Government were prepared to adopt the suggestion that the supply of opium to natives should be prohibited; but they were unable to put the suggestion to the French Government for the reasons stated in paragraphs 66–71 of the despatch above mentioned. I may add that I am informed that opium smoking is unknown or very rare among the natives in the New Hebrides.