1911, Opium - Britain
AGREEMENT RELATING TO OPIUM, 1911
(Signed at Peking, 8th May 1911.)
Under the arrangement concluded between His Majesty’s Government and the Chinese Government three years ago, His Majesty’s Government undertook that if, during the period of three years from the first day of January, nineteen hundred and eight, the Chinese Government should duly carry out the arrangement on their part for reducing the production and consumption of opium in China, they would continue in the same proportion of ten per cent. the annual diminution of the export of opium from India until the full completion of the full period of ten years in nineteen hundred and seventeen.
His Majesty’s Government recognising the sincerity of the Chinese Government and their pronounced success in diminishing the production of opium in China during the past three years are prepared to continue the arrangement of nineteen hundred and seven for the unexpired period of seven years on the following conditions: —
From the first day of January, nineteen hundred and eleven, China shall diminish annually for seven years the production of opium in China in the same proportion as the annual export from India is diminished in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and of the Annex appended hereto until total extinction in nineteen hundred and seventeen.
The Chinese government have adopted a most rigorous policy for prohibiting the production, the transport, and the smoking of native opium, and His Majesty’s Government have expressed their agreement therewith and willingness to give every assistance. With a view to facilitating the continuance of this work, His Majesty’s Government agree that the export of opium from India to China shall cease in less than seven years if clear proof is given of the complete absence of production of native opium in China.
His Majesty’s Government further agree that Indian opium shall not be conveyed into any province in China which can establish by clear evidence that it has effectively suppressed the cultivation and import of native opium.
It is understood, however, that the closing of the ports of Canton and Shanghai shall not take effect except as the final step on the part of the Chinese Government for the completion of the above measure.
During the period of this Agreement it shall be permissible for His Majesty’s Government to obtain continuous evidence of the diminution of cultivation by local inquiries and investigation conducted by one or more British officials, accompanied, if the Chinese Government so desire, by a Chinese official. Their decision as to the extent of cultivation shall be accepted by both parties to this Agreement.
During the above period one or more British officials shall be given facilities for reporting on the taxation and trade restrictions on opium away from Treaty Ports.
By the arrangement of nineteen hundred and seven, His Majesty’s Government agreed to the despatch by China of an official to India to watch the opium sales on condition that such official would have no power of interference. His Majesty’s Government further agree that the official so despatched may be present at the packing of the opium on the same condition.
The Chinese Government undertake to levy a uniform tax on all opium grown in the Chinese Empire. His Majesty’s Government consent to increase the present consolidated import duty on Indian opium to three hundred and fifty taels per chest of one hundred catties, such increase to take effect as soon as the Chinese Government levy an equivalent excise tax on all native opium.
On confirmation of this Agreement and beginning with the collection of the new rate of consolidated import duty, China will at once cause to be withdrawn all restrictions placed by the Provincial Authorities on the wholesale trade in Indian opium such as those recently imposed at Canton and elsewhere and also all taxation on the wholesale trade other than the consolidated import duty, and no such restrictions or taxation shall be again imposed so long as the Additional Article to the Chefoo Agreement remains as at present in force.
It is also understood that Indian raw opium having paid the consolidated import duty shall be exempt from any further taxation whatsoever in the port of import.
Should the conditions contained in the above two clauses not be duly observed, His Majesty’s Government shall be at liberty to suspend or terminate this Agreement at any time.
The foregoing stipulations shall not derogate in any manner from the force of the laws already published or hereafter to be published by the Chinese Government to suppress the smoking of opium and to regulate the retail trade in the drug in general.
With a view to assisting China in the suppression of opium, His Majesty’s Government undertake that from the year nineteen hundred and eleven the Government of India will issue an export permit with a consecutive number for each chest of Indian opium declared for shipment to or for consumption in China.
During the year nineteen hundred and eleven the number of permits so issued shall not exceed thirty thousand and six hundred and shall be progressively reduced annually by five thousand and one hundred during the remaining six years ending nineteen hundred and seventeen.
A copy of each permit so issued shall before shipment of opium declared for shipment to or for consumption in China be handed to the Chinese official for transmission to his Government or to the Customs Authorities in China.
His Majesty’s Government undertake that each chest of opium for which such permit has been granted shall be sealed by an official deputed by the Indian Government in the presence of the Chinese official if so requested.
The Chinese Government undertake that chests of opium so sealed and accompanied by such permits may be imported into any Treaty Port of China without let or hindrance if such seals remain unbroken.
Should it appear on subsequent experience desirable at any time during the unexpired period of seven years to modify this Agreement or any part thereof, it may be revised by mutual consent of the two High Contracting Parties.
This Agreement shall come into force on the date of signature.
In witness whereof the undersigned, duly authorised thereto by their respective Governments, have signed the same and have affixed thereto their seals.
Done at Peking in quadruplicate (four in English and four in Chinese) this eighth day of May in the year one thousand nine hundred and eleven, being the tenth day of the fourth month of the third year of Hsüan T’ung.
[L.S.] (Signed) J.N. JORDAN
On the date of the signature of the Agreement a list shall be taken by the Commissioners of Customs acting in concert with the Colonial and consular officials of all uncertificated Indian opium in stock in Hongkong which is bona fide intended for the Chinese market, and all such opium shall be marked with labels and on payment of taels one hundred and ten consolidated import duty shall be entitled to the same treaty rights and privileges in China as certificated opium.
Opium so marked and in stock in Hongkong must be exported to a Chinese port within seven days of the signature of the Agreement.
All other uncertificated Indian opium shall for a period of two months from the date of the signature of the Agreement be landed at the ports of Shanghai and Canton only, and at the expiration of this period all treaty ports shall be closed to uncertificated opium provided the Chinese government have obtained the consent of the other Treaty Powers.
The Imperial Maritime Customs shall keep a return of all uncertificated Indian opium landed at Shanghai and Canton during this period of two months, other than opium marked and labelled as provided above, and such opium shall pay the new rate of consolidated import duty and shall not be re-exported in bond to other treaty ports.
In addition to the annual reduction of five thousand and one hundred chests already agreed upon, His Majesty’s Government agree further to reduce the import of Indian opium during each of the years nineteen hundred and twelve, nineteen hundred and thirteen, and nineteen hundred and fourteen, by an amount equal to one-third of the total ascertained amount of the uncertificated Indian opium in bond in Chinese treaty ports and in stock in Hongkong on the date of signature plus one-third of the amount of uncertificated Indian opium landed during the ensuing two months at Shanghai and Canton.
Done at Peking this eighth day of May in the year one thousand nine hundred and eleven, being the tenth day of the fourth month of the third year of Hsüan T’ung.
[L.S.] (Signed) J.N. JORDAN