HC Deb 02 May 1928 vol 216 cc1689-90

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British representatives on the Opium Committee of the League of Nations were pursuing the considered policy of the Government in opposing the efforts of the Italian representative to prevent the Opium Control Board being made independent of the League and representative only of the interested governments; and whether he has any information as to the cause of the discrepancy between the figures given for export and import?


The hon. Member has, I think, misinterpreted what took place. The point at issue was the relation of the Secretariat of the Board to the Secretariat of the League. In taking a line opposed to their Italian colleague, the British representative and some of the other members of the Opium Advisory Committee acted in the belief that the views they put forward gave effect to the intention and provisions of the Opium Convention. I am not aware what discrepancy is meant in the last part of the question.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the world output of morphine was increased from 30 to 60 tons between 1921 and 1926 and that the Italian representative accused the British Government of hypocrisy in concealing real figures, asserting that the discrepancy between exports and imports represented clandestine traffic.


I cannot answer questions about a matter with the details of which I am not officially concerned. If the hon. Member will put a notice on the Paper, I will try to answer him specifically, but the present question did not direct my attention to the particular point.