The Secretary of State to Representative Walter H. Judd, of Minnesota
My Dear Mr. Judd: I have received your letter of September 2, 1944, suggesting in further pursuance of House Joint Resolution 241 that the Department of State request the British and Soviet Governments “to collaborate with this Government in strong joint protests to the Governments of certain opium producing nations such as Iran where large numbers of troops from these allied countries are now stationed and constantly exposed to opium addiction because of the large quantities of the drug which are freely obtainable there.”
In compliance with House Joint Resolution 241, the Department has already forwarded to its missions near the Afghan, British, Chinese, Iranian, Soviet, Turkish and Yugoslav Governments the texts of that resolution and of draft memoranda with the request that they be transmitted, in such manner as the missions may consider appropriate, to those Governments. The above-mentioned Governments are those of the opium-producing countries with which the United States has friendly relations.
In the draft memoranda, our Government is stating that it is prepared to cooperate with all nations in efforts to solve the opium problem and that it hopes that all opium-producing countries will be willing to participate in a conference which is expected to be held after the war for the purpose of drafting a suitable poppy limitation convention. Pending the entering into effect of an international poppy limitation convention, our Government is suggesting to all the above-mentioned Governments, except China, that they give consideration to the advisability of announcing at the earliest possible moment that they will hereafter prohibit the production and export of opium for other than strictly medicinal and scientific requirements and will take effective measures to prevent illicit production of opium in their territories and illicit traffic in opium from their territories.
Our Government is also asking the Governments of the opium-producing countries for their observations in regard to certain provisions which this Government has suggested be incorporated in the proposed poppy limitation convention.
In the memorandum intended for the Government of Iran, our Government is urging the Iranian Government to give immediate consideration to the problem of surplus opium in Iran with a view to its control or elimination as soon as possible, as a means of protecting the health of the American soldiers and merchant seamen who are [Page 1104] now in that country. Copies of that memorandum have been forwarded to the American Embassies at London and Moscow for use as enclosures to the memoranda which those Embassies will transmit to the British and Soviet Foreign Offices, respectively. In the memoranda to the British and Soviet Foreign Offices, it is being suggested that the British and Soviet Governments make appropriate representations to the Iranian Government along the lines of this Government’s proposed representations to that Government.
Our Government’s suggestion thus contemplates separate representations in the matters outlined above, including the particular matter which is the subject of your letter. As time was of the essence so far as the protection of our troops was concerned, the Department considered it necessary to make representations in this regard on behalf of the United States Government as soon as possible. Inasmuch as this Government has already suggested separate representations, it is not in a position to suggest that joint representations be made at this time. I believe that you will agree that the Department’s decision to suggest separate representations in this matter was appropriate in the circumstances.
The Department appreciates your interest in this important subject and hopes that you will not hesitate to forward further suggestions concerning action which may be taken pursuant to House Joint Resolution 241.