SMEATON, Donald M. The Indian Government's Attitude to the Opium Trade. Some startling Revelations by an Ex-Minister. London, issued by the Society for the Supression of the Opium Trade, [c. 1898].
8vo. Self-wrappers, wire-stitched; pp. 8; well-preserved.
Unrecorded. Donald Mackenzie Smeaton (1846-1910) was an administrator in India and Burma and had gathered data on the opium trade and consumption. He estimates that one tenth of the male population consumed the drug. He proposes to outrule the opium trade; however, is fully aware of the resistance of the political and economic establishment. He says about the Indian government's attitude 'They don't care a brass farthing about the morality of the traffic - either in India or China; it is solely a matter of rupees … Was it not Lord Curzon who said that he saw no more reason why we should not send Opium to China than that France should not send any brandy to England? Probably he sees no more reason why we should not send opium to Tibet than that Tibet should not send yak-skins to India! (p. 6). The lobby group had been set up by Quaker businessmen in 1874. Finally a Royal Commission in the 1890s reached a conclusion unreservedly in favour of the opium trade.