611.4 A 2/173

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador ( Howard )

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of November 19, 1924, concerning certain phases of the opium question now under discussion at the International Narcotics Conference at Geneva.

[Page 104]

In reply it affords me pleasure to inform Your Excellency that the pertinent portion of your note has been telegraphed to the Chairman of the American Delegation at Geneva and to the American Ambassador at Tokyo with the information that since the United States produces no raw opium or coca leaves, the question of exportation for which import certificates may have been issued by other governments does not directly concern this country except as it might involve reexportation in American territory. It has also been pointed out by the Department that under the construction of existing law hitherto adopted and embodied in regulations the reexportation of crude opium from the United States has not been permitted by the Federal Narcotics Control Board. It was further stated that since this Government has always taken a leading part in the international control of narcotics, it is greatly concerned with the success of the Geneva Conference and would view with deep regret any controversy which might arise there threatening the success of the Conference and nullifying the efforts of this and other participating governments towards negotiating an agreement which effectively regulate the traffic in narcotic drugs. The hope pressed that the Japanese and British Governments would the question which now threatens to impair the success of the ence and it was suggested that a solution might be found through negotiation between the two governments rather than through an attempt to settle the controversy in the Conference itself. The American Ambassador at Tokyo was instructed to take early occasion to intimate the viewpoint set forth above to the Japanese Foreign Minister and to advise the British Ambassador at Tokyo of his action.

Accept [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes