511.4 A 2/185: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva (Tuck) to the Secretary of State

From Porter. Your December 4 [5], 4 p.m. Department’s proposed reply to the British note would materially strengthen our position. I am not disposed to insist upon a 10–year limit for the suppression of the traffic in prepared opium but it seems essential that a time limit of some kind should be placed upon this phase of the general traffic in opium. It is true that conditions in the Far East are different from an administrative point of view but it seems essential that something more definite should be agreed upon than appears from the results of the first conference which makes no provision for progressive suppression. We hope to obtain a definite recognition of the necessity of carrying out chapter 2 of the Hague Convention within some specific time limit. If administrative measures are impossible immediately, they can be promised upon any improvement of the situation in regard to illicit production.

I share the Department’s hope that the success of the conference will not be jeopardized and am prepared to accept any reasonable arrangement which would prevent compromise our plan, in spite of the technical objection of jurisdiction which may be raised against bringing up the question of prepared opium in the second conference.