511.4 A 2/6

The Secretary General of the League of Nations ( Drummond ) to the Netherland Minister of Foreign Affairs ( Van Karnebeek )70

C.L.108(a).1923 XI

Mr. Minister: The Assembly of the League of Nations, at its recent session, considered and adopted the report of the Advisory Committee on Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs (A. 13) and passed certain resolutions in connection therewith. Of these, two resolutions, nos. 5 and 6, deal with the calling by the Council of the League of two conferences and read as follows:

Resolution 5: The Assembly approves the proposal of the Advisory Committee that the governments concerned should be invited immediately to enter into negotiations with a view to the conclusion of an agreement as to the measures for giving effective application in the Far Eastern territories to part II of the Convention72 and as to a reduction of the amount of raw opium to be imported for the purpose of smoking in those territories where it is temporarily [Page 90] continued, and as to the measures which should be taken by the Government of the Republic of China to bring about the suppression of the illegal production and use of opium in China, and requests the Council to invite those governments to send representatives with plenipotentiary powers to a conference for the purpose and to report to the Council at the earliest possible date.

Resolution 6: The Assembly, having noted with satisfaction that, in accordance with the hope expressed in the fourth resolution adopted by the Assembly in 1922,73 the Advisory Committee has reported that the information now available makes it possible for the governments concerned to examine, with a view to the conclusion of an agreement, the question of the limitation of the amounts of morphine, heroin, or cocaine and their respective salts to be manufactured; of the limitation of the amounts of raw opium and the coca leaf to be imported for that purpose and for other medicinal and scientific purposes; and of the limitation of the production of raw opium and the coca leaf for export to the amount required for such medicinal and scientific purposes: requests the Council, as a means of giving effect to the principles submitted by the representatives of the United States of America,74 and to the policy which the League, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, has adopted, to invite the governments concerned to send representatives with plenipotentiary powers to a conference for this purpose, to be held, if possible, immediately after the conference mentioned in Resolution 5.

The Assembly also suggests, for the consideration of the Council, the advisability of enlarging this conference so as to include within its scope all countries which are members of the League or parties to the Convention of 1912, with a view to securing their adhesion to the principles that may be embodied in any agreement reached.

The Council, at its meeting on September 29th, considered these two resolutions, and adopted the following resolution, which decides the place where the Conference is to be held and fixes the provisional date:

The Council of the League of Nations, while reserving until its December session the final fixing of the conferences provided for by the Assembly in connection with the traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs, decides, provisionally, that the first conference of countries having possessions where the smoking of opium is still continued should be convoked at Geneva in July 1924, the second conference to follow immediately afterwards.

The Secretary General has the honor to request the Government of the Netherlands to bring this information to the notice of the Governments of the United States of America, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Mexico, with a view to enabling them to make such preliminary arrangements as they may deem advisable to obtain [Page 91] the data which they may wish to place at the disposal of the conference.

The question as to whether the conference should be enlarged so as to include within its scope all countries which are members of the League or parties to the Convention of 1912 will be considered at the coming meeting of the Council in December next.

I have [etc.]

Eric Drummond
  1. Copy received from the Netherland Legation Nov. 27. 1923. A similar communication (C. L. 108, Oct. 18. 1923) was transmitted to the Department through the Legation in Switzerland Nov. 7.
  2. File translation revised.
  3. International Opium Convention signed at The Hague Jan. 23, 1912; Foreign Relations, 1912, p. 196.
  4. Sept. 19; League of Nations, Resolutions and Recommendations Adopted by the Assembly During Its Third Session (September 4th to 30th, 1922), p. 31.
  5. See statement of the position of the United States, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i, p. 100.