HC Deb 29 November 1928 vol 223 cc573-4

asked the Home Secretary what measures are now taken to ensure that all opium imported from India, in whatever form, is used for strictly medical and scientific purposes?


The same measures are taken in the case of Indian opium as in the case of other kinds of opium. I cannot expound the whole system of control in force in this country within the limits of a reply to a question, but the hon. Member will find them in the Dangerous Drugs Acts of 1920, 1923 and 1925, and the Regulations and Orders made under them.


asked the Home Secretary whether it is now the policy of the Home Office to import opium from India in the form of manufactured alkaloids; whether such alkaloids are instead of, or are in addition to, the medical opium habitually imported from India; and whether he can give an assurance that there has not been and will not be an increase in the amount of opium imported, whether as medical opium or as alkaloids?


During the past four years, both raw opium and crude morphine have been imported into this country from India for the purpose of manufacturing drugs. They have taken the place to a considerable extent of opium imported from other countries. It is not possible for me to give such an assurance as is asked for in the last part of the question, as the amount of opium required for medical and scientific purposes, whether for use in this country or for export, necessarily fluctuates to some extent from year to year, but the hon. Member may rest assured that the trade is very carefully supervised, and, in fact, there has been a progressive decrease in the amounts imported in recent years.