75 from all of these locations opium con tinued to

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75From all of these locations opium con-tinued to gravitate in considerable quantities to China. In effect a profitabletransit trade had developed, with at least the connivance of the respectivecolonial governments and with the implicit support of British authoritiesin India. In 1918 a particular scandal arose over revelations that Japan hadbeen transshipping regular consignments of opium into China through itsconcession in Tianjin. Over the urgings of Jordan and the Foreign Officethat India stop export completely, Delhi continued to hold to the old line,arguing that ‘‘they were under no obligation to take drastic measures, atthe sacrifice of Indian revenues, to prevent any of their opium from beingsmuggled by third parties into China, especially at a time when China wasnot enforcing her policy of suppression.’’76For such thinking the governments of Britain, India, and the StraitsSettlements were subjected to criticism throughout the 1920s. Article 23of the League of Nations Covenant stipulated general supervision of pre-vious international undertakings on opium and narcotics as falling withinthe League’s mandate. The League consequently organized two confer-ences on opium and narcotics; these were held in 1924–1925, with theUnited States agreeing to participate. The ostensible task of the confer-ences was to examine how things stood with regard to agreements reachedat the 1912 Hague Convention.77Within this framework, strong objectionsto the opium policies of Britain and the other colonial powers were pressednot only by China, but also by the United States; and both countries even-tually withdrew from the conferences, the U.S. over Government of Indiaresistance to limiting opium production to amounts necessary for medicaland scientific uses.78When they eventually ran their course, the Leagueconferences had two formal outcomes: on the one hand, the Geneva Con-ventions of 1925,79by which the signatories committed themselves to reg-ulate their participation in the international commerce in opium and in-dustrial narcotics; and, on the other, the establishment of the League’scontroversial Opium Advisory Committee. Comprised of representatives ofthe main colonial powers and officially responsible for monitoring the pro-duction, manufacture, and trade in opium products, the Opium Commit-tee, however, had a major credibility problem. Lacking American and Chi-nese support, it was soon dubbed ‘‘the Smugglers’ Reunion’’ by Americanjournalists at Geneva, who charged the states represented on it with col-lusion in the trade.80
44THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXTMeanwhile, having promoted an opium restriction campaign in Assamas part of the 1919–1921 Non-Cooperation Movement, the Indian NationalCongress in 1924 established its own Assam Opium Enquiry Committee,with a mandate to present evidence to the Geneva conference. Backing upits arguments with a hitherto confidential Government of India assessment,the Enquiry’s report charged the Indian government’s representative in

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