Statement Issued to the Press by the Secretary of State, July 3, 194424

Limiting the Production of Opium

House Joint Resolution 241,25 introduced by the Honorable Walter H. Judd, Representative from the State of Minnesota, which was approved by the President after having been passed unanimously by both the House of Representatives on June 5, 1944, and the Senate on June 22, 1944, is in line with the long-standing opium policy of the United States.26 This resolution requests the President to urge upon the governments of those countries where the cultivation of poppy plant exists the necessity of immediately limiting the production of opium to the amount required for strictly medicinal and scientific purposes. It is hoped that the opium-producing countries of the world will now cooperate in an international program to wipe out drug addiction and the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs.

When the Chinese Government in 1941 prohibited the use of smoking opium in China,27 and the British and Netherland Governments on November 10, 1943 announced their decisions to prohibit the use of opium for smoking and to abolish opium monopolies in their territories in the Far East when those territories are freed from Japanese occupation, the way was prepared for the suppression of the traffic in smoking opium in those and other areas. The provisions of article 6 of the Hague Convention of 1912, to which more than 60 countries are parties, calling for the gradual suppression of the manufacture, the internal traffic in, and the use of prepared opium, can [Page 1091] now be fulfilled. In its announcement of November 10, 1943 the British Government warned, however, that the success of the enforcement of prohibition will depend on the steps taken to limit and control the production of opium in other countries. The Judd Resolution is a public announcement of the conviction of the Congress that this World War ought to be not an occasion for permitting expansion and spreading of illicit traffic in opium but rather an opportunity for completely eliminating it.

The Department of State, having received instructions from the President pursuant to the Resolution of the Congress, will undertake to secure the cooperation of the opium-producing countries in the solution of this world problem.

  1. Reprinted from the Department of State Bulletin, July 9, 1944, p. 47.
  2. 58 Stat. 674.
  3. For an account of the opium policy of the United States, see George A. Morlock, “United States Policy Relating to Opium”, Department of State Bulletin, July 9, 1944, pp. 48–51. See also letter from the Secretary of State to the Secretary of War, June 26, 1943, ante, p. 1068.
  4. According to a Chinese Foreign Ministry press statement of November 24, 1943, the prohibition had been effective since 1940; for text of statement, see p. 1082.