File No. 511.4A1/1503.

Minister Van Dyke to the Secretary of State .

No. 204.]

Sir: Referring to your instruction No. 73 dated January 13, I have the honor to report that in accordance with its terms I have [Page 1102] today signed the Protocol of the International Opium Convention of 1912, which signature puts the convention into effect with respect to the United States of America from this day. I enclose a printed copy of the protocol in the form in which it has been signed.

The delay of a few days in carrying out your instructions has been due to my efforts to secure the signatures of China and of the Netherlands to the protocol at the same time with the signature of the United States. I am glad to say that these efforts have been entirely successful. The Minister of China and the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs signed the protocol immediately after your representative. These three signatures, which are the only ones so far inscribed, represent four hundred and seventy-five million people.

From conversations which I have had with representatives of various other nations, and from the course of the debate in the Opium Conference of July, 1914, I believe that there are many other countries which will be ready soon to follow. In order to forward this end I respectfully recommend that our diplomatic representatives, and especially those in South American countries, be advised to use their best efforts to promote the early signature of this protocol by the various nations to which they are accredited. It is my opinion that in this event, when the majority of the world is united to prohibit the vicious trade in opium as an intoxicant and to regulate strictly the legitimate commerce in opium as a medicine, a considerable forward step in a matter which is for the good of mankind will have been accomplished, and it will be rendered more effective by measures to exclude from the legitimate commerce those nations which finally refuse to check the vicious trade.

I have [etc.]

Henry Van Dyke.

Note.—On March 3, 1915, the President proclaimed the International Opium Convention. For the text of the proclamation see International Conventions.