Review of Reviews,  11 (1895), 395–404.

The Progress of the World



Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary


Narcotics, Imperialism, Temperance, Health

    Records that 'the report of the Opium Commission' led by Thomas Brassey, which was intended to remove the 'deep, underlying, uneasy suspicion' that 'we were only able to keep up the dazzling fabric of Imperial rule in Hindustan by poisoning our own subjects and the Chinese' and to ascertain 'the truth about opium', has returned 'a verdict in favour of opium', and is 'strongly in favour of things as they are'. Although the news will be 'a sore blow and great discouragement' to those who have campaigned for the 'total prohibition of opium', and one of the commissioners, Henry J Wilson, has already signed 'a minute of dissent', it is nevertheless 'difficult to see how we can logically prohibit the export of opium from India, while allowing the limitless export of alcohol from Great Britain'. After all, the 'evidence taken in India seems to show that the evils resulting from the taking of opium and of hemp products are quite insignificant compared with those which follow the consumption of alcohol'. (400) Also gives details of the success of the Scandinavian 'Gothenburg or dispensary system' of regulating the supply of alcohol in the Southern states of America (401).

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