§ 1. Sir J. D. REES
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Foreign Office has information to the effect that at Changsha and Hunan Chinamen have been shot for trading in and smoking opium, and that in Shensi a man has been put to death by the slicing process, a punishment hitherto reserved for parricides, for the same offence; and, if so, whether His Majesty's Government regard these methods of dealing with the abuse of stimulants in China as a legitimate expression of the intention of the Chinese authorities keeping their engagements with Great Britain in respect of the cessation of the trade in and cultivation of opium in China?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Acland)
His Majesty's Minister at Peking has communicated local Press extracts reporting the infliction of the death penalty in certain provinces, including Hunan, for violation of the opium laws, but he has not officially confirmed these reports. They do not mention the methods employed in carrying out the sentence.
§ Sir J.D. REES
Will the hon. Gentleman inquire into the matter and submit to the Chinese authorities representations as to these methods of carrying out the agreement?
§ Mr. ACLAND
We think it extremely improbable that the method mentioned by the hon. Member has been employed. For the rest it is a matter of Chinese concern and not one for the House.