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The Opium Monopoly




NEXT to India, the greatest two opium-producing countries in the world are Turkey and Persia. The Statesman's Year Book for 1918 has this to say about it. On page 1334: "The principal exports from Turkey into the United Kingdom..... in two years were:

These are the only articles mentioned in this list of chief exports. There are others, doubtless, but the Statesman's Year Book is a condensed and compact little volume, dealing only with the principal things exported. In i9i5 we therefore notice that the opium export was second on the list, being exceeded by but one other, dried fruit. In i9i6, the third year of the war, the opium export is decidedly less, as are all the other articles exported, except dried fruit and wool-which were articles probably more vital to the United Kingdom at that time even than opium.


THE same authority, the Statesman's Year Book for 1918, gives a table on page 1162, showing the value of the chief exports from Persia. The values are given in thousands of kran, sixty kran equaling one pound sterling.

Since the war, both Turkey and Persia are more or less under control of the British Empire, which gives Great Britain virtual control of the world's output of opium. With this monopoly of the opium-producing countries, and with a million or so square miles added to her immense colonial Empire, one wonders what use Great Britain will make of the mandatory powers she has assumed over the lives and welfare of all these subject peoples! Will she find these helpless millions ready for her opium trade? Will she establish opium shops, and opium divans, and reap half the costs of upkeep of these newly acquired states by means of this shameful traffic?

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