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August 9, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(6):319. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480320031008

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The British public conscience is somewhat chronically stirred up on the question of the opium trade with China, for which the British, and especially the Anglo-Indian government, is largely responsible. To this fact we owe the Brassey opium commission and its white-washing "for revenue only" report which, while satisfactory to government officials, did not materially help matters, as the agitation still continues. The promise of restriction of the opium cultivation in India under government auspices has not been kept, and the present government declares it is not binding as regards its policy or conduct. The bitterness of the controversy has recently been deprecated by the Journal of Tropical Medicine, which, admitting the evil, suggests as a remedy that the powers remove the existing restrictions on the Chinese government and permit it to impose what tax it pleases on imported opium. Only in this way, it holds, can the evil in

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