HC Deb 30 June 1924 vol 175 cc904-5
9. Mr. C. WILSON

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether there is in India any equivalent, and, if so, what, to the Dangerous Drugs Act; whether, if there is no such Act, in view of the increased consumption of opium and cocaine in the Punjab, as revealed by the Annual Report of the Excise Administration for 1922–23, the Government propose legislation to deal with the matter; and, if so, when it will be introduced?


The drug trade in India is regulated by the Opium Acts of 1857 and 1878, the Excise Act, 1896, a number of Provincial Acts, and Rules under these Acts. The provisions of these Acts and Rules are not identical with those of the Dangerous Drugs Act, but they enable the Government of India to fulfil her obligations under The Hague Convention. The consumption in the Punjab in 1922–23, though greater than in the previous year, was only 25,494 grains, or about 1 grain per thousand of the population. This is very greatly below the rate of consumption in European countries.

10. Mr. C. WILSON

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the consumption of opium as a drug has been steadily increasing in Assam; whether he can state what the consumption per head was in 1903 and in any recent year; what income is derived by the Government from such consumption in both years; and under what Regulations is the sale of opium conducted?


The consumption per head was 85 grains in 1902–1903, and 525 grains in 1922–1923. During the year 1912–1913 the consumption per head was 1075 grains, but there has been a steady decline since that year. The Regulations are described in a pamphlet of which a copy is being sent to my hon. Friend.


Will the hon. Gentleman kindly answer the second part of the question, with regard to income?


That part of the answer contains a number of figures, and I will, therefore, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following are the figures referred to:

The gross revenue from licence fees and duty was 17 lakhs, seventy-nine thousand nine hundred and seventeen rupees in 1902–1903, and 35 lakhs, eighty-six thousand and twenty-seven rupees in 1922–1923.