Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 1027.]

Sir: Referring to my telegram of September 29 last, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy in translation of a note addressed, under date of September 28, 1908, by the Wai-wu Pu to all the [Page 104] foreign representatives in Peking, announcing that all the treaty powers having now signified their assent to the enforcement of regulations prohibiting the importation of morphia and instruments for its injection, such prohibitory regulations will become operative from January 1, 1909.

I have sent, for their information and guidance, copies of this note to all of our consulates general and consulates in China.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.

The Prince of Ch’ing to Mr. Rockhill.

No. 477.]

Your Excellency: In regard to the prohibition of the importation of morphia the board of foreign affairs has already communicated several times with the ministers of the different foreign nations, and all have now signified their assent to the prohibition. This prohibiton should now be made operative.

It is now determined that from January 1, 1909, morphia and hypodermic needles for injecting morphia shall be prohibited from import at all Chinese ports. That which is necessary for medicinal uses will be treated as follows:

Any foreign physician who wishes to import morphia must file a formal declaration at the consulate of his own nationality, stating that the morphia is for his own use or for the use of some specified hospital.

Dealers in drugs who wish to import morphia must file a formal declaration at the consulate of their own nationality binding themselves not to sell morphia except on a prescription of a foreign physician and even on a prescription only in very small quantities. The consul shall notify the customs authorities of the filing of these declarations, with the exact amounts to be imported, and the goods may not be landed without a special permit issued by the customs authorities. If it shall be discovered that anyone has acted contrary to the terms of his formal declaration, he shall be forever barred from importing morphia.

Duty on imported morphia shall be collected at the reduced rate of 5 per cent ad valorem. Morphia imported without special permit of the customs authorities shall be confiscated.

If the goods have been shipped prior to January 1, 1909, the Chinese customs authorities will determine limits of time, according to the distances from the points of shipment within which the goods may be admitted to import; and duty will be collected according to the present tariffs without reduction.

China engages to prohibit her own people from manufacturing morphia or hypodermic needles. China also undertakes to prohibit foreigners of all nationalities from manufacturing morphia or hypodermic needles in Chinese territory.

The above are the regulations relative to the prohibition of the importation of morphia which China has enacted after consultation with the foreign powers. They are communicated to your excellency so that your excellency may make them fully known to all the trading people of your excellency’s nationality.

A reply is expected.

A necessary dispatch.