Memorandum Based on Report by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Fuller)12

Results: Ways and means of suppressing the illicit traffic received thorough consideration and a detailed survey of the world’s illicit traffic in narcotic drugs in 1934 was prepared and will be published. The representatives of several countries which have been used as bases for the illicit traffic objected, however, to the mention of their respective countries in this report although, in corresponding reports in the past, such mention has been usual. Following a long discussion, the Committee finally reasserted its right to obtain all information concerning the clandestine trade and manufacture and to publish it as quickly as possible, without awaiting the complete details that Government or judicial enquiries may be able to provide. The Committee recommended stricter control of codeine in the international trade. Arrangements were begun for an exchange of technical information concerning the application of chemistry in detecting and proving the presence of narcotic drugs. Arrangements were begun for an extensive investigation into the problem of cannabis (known in the United States as marihuana and in the Levant as hashish), the apparently spreading use of which is causing increasing concern to Governments. The question of illicit clandestine manufacture received further consideration and apprehension was expressed at the spread of this menace. During the Committee’s session the League Council decided to convene in the autumn of 1935 another conference of legal experts to make a further study of the preliminary draft of the proposed International Police Convention before calling a conference on the subject. It was proposed to refrain from carrying out fully the provision of the Narcotics Limitation Convention which calls for exchange of annual reports. No decision was arrived at in this important matter, which will probably be discussed again in the next session, but objection to the proposal was entered by the American representative. When the Secretariat proposed to abandon the distribution to governments of annual reports (which is provided for in the Narcotics Limitation Convention of 1931) the American representative protested and called attention to the fact that the Secretariat, nearly two years after the coming into effect of that Convention, has not yet begun to conduct the prescribed distribution to governments of annual reports or of seizure reports. The committee took note of a long statement in regard to the situation in China, thorough consideration of which was postponed until the next session.

  1. The report dated July 27, 1935, was prepared by Mr. Fuller following the 20th session of the League of Nations Advisory Committee on the Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, held at Geneva, May 20–June 5 (500.C1197/885).