Ambassador Wright to the Secretary of State.

No. 103.]

Sir: Referring to the department’s instructions Nos. 32 and 35,a of September 27, 1906, and October 13, 1906, respectively, inclosing copies of letters to the President from Bishop Brent, of Manila, and directing me to elicit the views of the Japanese Government on the subject of an impartial investigation, by the powers directly affected, of the conditions of the opium trade and habit in the Far East, and also referring to my dispatch No. 96, of November 8, to the department, in which I reported that, following the above-mentioned instruction, I had broached the matter to the Viscount Hayashi, minister for foreign affairs, who had promised to bring it to the attention [Page 365] of the privy council, I now have the honor to report that in a further interview with the viscount on November 22, 1906, he stated that he had submitted the matter to the privy council, and that the Japanese Government was willing to join with the Government of the United States in the investigation suggested, and to take steps looking toward a limitation or suppression of the opium traffic, provided they could be assured of China’s bona fide cooperation; that the difficulty they feared was the grave danger pointed out in the department’s dispatch—the great temptation to the Chinese Government to suppress the importation of opium, only to grow the drug to greater extent in their own territory.

I have, etc.,

Luke E. Wright.
  1. See Instruction No. 315 to Ambassador Reid (p. 362).