The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Persia (Amory)

No. 409

Sir: There is enclosed herewith a copy of a note from the British Embassy in Washington (No. 543) dated May 22, 1925,20 stating that the British Mission in Vladivostok has informed the British Government that none of the shipments of opium reported from Bushire as being destined for the port of Vladivostok during the past year has actually arrived there; that the British Government is convinced that, in the case of these consignments, the declaration of Vladivostok as the port of destination is merely a cloak to cover these shipments of opium into China; and that the British Government has instructed its minister in Teheran to make representations to the Persian Government with a view to inducing it to prohibit or to put some check on this traffic, if he is of the opinion that such representations would have any practical or even moral effect. The British Embassy adds that it has been instructed by the British Government to express the hope that the United States Government will be prepared [Page 688] to instruct its representative at Teheran to concert with the British Minister there in making representations to the Persian Government in this matter, in order that by such cooperation the maximum pressure may be brought to bear on that Government to take adequate steps to stop this traffic. Reference is made in this connection to your despatches Nos. 1062 and 1077 of May 6 and 13, 1925, respectively,21 wherein you refer to the Legation’s recent representations to the Persian Government regarding the control of opium traffic from Persian Gulf ports and to certain supplementary information furnished you in this connection by the British Minister to Persia. The report, that shipments of opium to the Far East have been diverted from the port of arrival indicated in the covering shipping documents and have been smuggled into China, is partially substantiated by despatches which have reached the Department from certain of its officers in China. You are directed, therefore, to address a further communication to the Persian Government referring to your previous notes and to the Persian Government’s replies in this matter. In such further representations, the exact nature of which the Department desires to leave in a large measure to your discretion, you should state that, subsequent to such exchanges of notes, your Government has received credible information from certain of its representatives in China and from other sources to the effect that opium shipped from the Persian Gulf has been diverted from its ostensible destination and has been smuggled into China. You may refer again to the efforts of the Persian and American Governments to assist in the regulation of the world traffic in this drug and in keeping it within the limits of legitimate enterprise. In conclusion you should state that your Government, actuated by a spirit of friendly cooperation, has authorized you to bring to the attention of the Persian Government the situation outlined above and that your Government, in order that the joint efforts of the two Governments may be most effective, has expressed the earnest hope that the Persian Government will in due course inform you of such steps as it may have been able to take or of such further steps as it may contemplate taking to investigate and correct this situation. You may orally inform your British colleague of the action taken by you in this matter.

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I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Leland Harrison
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