File No. 774/349.

The Secretary of State to Minister King.


(Mr. Root informs Mr. King that the United States has brought to the attention of China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, and Russia the proposal to conduct a joint and impartial investigation of the scientific and material conditions of the opium trade and habit in the Far East, which affect the possessions and direct interests of those Governments in that part of the world. Says that the above Governments have signified a willingness to participate in the investigation, and expressed preference for a joint commission, and also have agreed to meet in Shanghai January 1, 1909.

Mr. Root states that each Government’s commission is proceeding independently on behalf of its respective Government, so when the commission meets, the representatives of the various powers may be prepared to cooperate and offer jointly or severally suggestions of measures which their respective Governments may adopt for the gradual suppression of opium cultivation, traffic, and use within their eastern possessions, thus assisting China in her purpose of eradicating the evil from her Empire. Adds that the President has appointed three United States commissioners.

Mr. King is instructed to express to the minister for foreign affairs the sincere gratification with which the United States would learn that the Government of Siam viewed with satisfaction the contemplated effort to suppress the opium vice in the Far East, and would join the aforesaid Governments in the proposed joint opium commission.)