500.C/1005: Telegram

The Consul General at Geneva (Tittmann) to the Secretary of State

8. Your No. 5, January 18, 5 p.m., in regard to the Opium Advisory Committee in relation to the Central Committee. The acting permanent delegate of Canada yesterday addressed informally the following letter to Mr. Wilson of the League Secretariat:

“It will be remembered that in the special committee of the Twentieth Assembly which dealt with the Bruce Report I asked if it was the intention of the Bruce Committee that the work of the League for the control of the traffic in drugs should be placed under the direction of the proposed Central Committee. In reply the chairman said

‘It should be clearly understood that the sole object of the Bruce Committee’s proposals was to place under the supervision of the Central Committee those bodies that were now under the supervision of the League Council. The Permanent Central Opium Board was an independent body and would remain independent. The supervision and direction of the Central Committee would only apply to the technical committees under the League Council.’

The report of the discussion in the Committee was duly transmitted to Ottawa. It is not felt that the chairman’s reply fully answers the question. It is possible that the distinction between the Permanent Central Opium Board and the Advisory Committee is more apparent than real. It is true however that the board is an independent body but it is not entirely independent of the Council which makes appointments to it. On the other hand the Advisory Committee may be said to have a separate existence in relation to the various drug conventions.

I am now informed that the Canadian Government would object to subordinating the work of the Advisory Committee on the Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs to the proposed Central Committee. A memorandum explaining the Canadian position is being transmitted by mail to the Canadian permanent delegation and will be communicated to the Secretary General as soon as it is received.”