The Acting Secretary of State to Ambassador Reid.

No. 315.]

Sir: Referring to instruction No. 297, of the 27th ultimo, I inclose herewith, for your information, a copy of a letter from Bishop Brent, in further relation to international action looking to the suppression of the opium traffic with China.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary.

Bishop Brent to the President.

Same, mutatis mutandis, No. 35 to Embassy at Tokyo.

My Dear Mr. President: Pursuant of the subject of agitating international action in connection with the opium question, I beg to inform you that I have just heard from the Bishop of Victoria, from whose letter I herewith quote:

“I am glad that you are agitating in the matter. We English bishops in China have this year sent or are sending a representation to our Government about the China trade; and we, the pastors and heads of the various British churches and missions in Hongkong, have this week sent in a petition to the governor against the system of farming in which we quote largely from your most valuable and interesting report. Generally, things seem to be coming to a head with regard to the matter * * *. I am inclined to think that they (the Government at home) will be more ready to act in the matter than their predecessors.”

I also recently heard from a man of prominence in Shanghai, who said that our report had been translated into Chinese and was being scattered through the Empire.

I greatly regret, and I know that I speak the mind of the governor-general and vice-governor, that Congress did not give more leeway to the Philippine [Page 363] Commission and put them in a position to set in operation progressive prohibition. I am alive to the fact that the licensing system was the only thing left for them to adopt, inasmuch as two years would be insufficient for the system which we proposed. If now it were possible for Congress to pass an act lengthening the time before it would be necessary to put the prohibitory law into operation, the commission would be ready and willing to follow out the proposition made in our report.

Yours, very faithfully,

C. H. Brent,
Bishop of the Philippine Islands.