previous
next



  ― 46 ―

6. Views and Work on the Suppression of Opium.

When Quong Tart was leaving home in the year 1859 he promised his father that, come what would, he would never indulge his taste in opium. Returning after a residence of twenty-five years in Australia, he was able to say to his aged sire, “Father, I have kept the promise I made to you. Since I left your care I have not tasted opium.” The old man's heart bounded with joy, for he was one who had ever been zealous in endeavouring to shake from his countrymen that hideous curse, opium smoking, and his hope had ever been that the force of his example might save his children. Truly a great hope and treasured throughout the many years, and which as the foregoing lines reveal found its full fruition in his son's zealous devotion to a vow made when, as far as years count, he was but a lad. Not only did he refrain from using opium himself, but a very considerable portion of his time was devoted to an heroic attempt at its entire suppression.

In order that the reader may understand fully the reasons of the attitude taken by Mr. Tart in connection with this evil, it will be necessary to give just here a brief outline of what opium is and some of its results.

Definition: “Opium is a stimulant narcotic poison which may produce hallucinations, profound sleep, or death.” The successive use of it tends to impair the mental, moral and physical systems, and the greatest of vices — indolence, indency and immorality follow closely in its train. It has the effect of casting a wondrous spell over its victims, and is a habit from which it is almost impossible to be freed.

“Opium is one of the most powerful and useful drugs known to science, and is in that sense a great blessing to mankind. Regarded in another light, it is a curse. It is a means of dissipation more seductive, more insidious in its growth, and more terrible and degrading in its effects than anything else that can be named. The apparently hopeless drunkard may be reclaimed. In fact, it is hard to say when a case of drunkenness is altogether hopeless. But there is a stage too well known to thousands of victims, when the opium smoker is beyond human aid, and may well be allowed to have nothing good or useful left to him to do on earth. The only hope in connection with his miserable life is that he may not leave behind him, in perpetuation of his being, some ghastly caricatures of the Divine Law. If alcoholic indulgence insensibly grows upon men until they become pronounced dipsomaniacs,


  ― 47 ―
it may be said that opium smoking is a thousand times more insidious in its influence. The miserable victim of it is no longer a responsible being. He is a wreck, a ruin, and has sunk lower than the meanest specimen of God's creation. Once the opium pipe is touched, and ever afterwards, to the victim's dying day, the drug is more a necessity of life than food itself. The soul is chained with the first taste of the tyrant drug, and though there are instances of the abandonment of opium using, these are but as one in ten thousand to the cases where the chain has ever strengthened its links right down to the grave. Once let a man touch the opium pipe, and he becomes by turns a thief and maniac. Let a woman taste opium, and she becomes — let it not be written, part of the degradation can be imagined, the other part cannot be realised, even when her fate is seen, her habits regarded.”

Such are the opinions of eminent men on this evil.

It is curious that the first blow struck at the iniquitous traffic in New South Wales should have come from the Chinese themselves, who were the chief consumers of this dreadful drug.

Quong Tart, with the sound of his father's voice still ringing in his ears, and the memory of a vow made in early days still distinct, and knowing the power of opium to blast the brains, ruin the body and destroy the soul, originated a crusade against it. It was no hearsay knowledge he had of the subject. He had seen for himself its dire effects, and his soul was stirred with pity and with anger. With pity for the victims whose intelligence and chastity fell down before its hideous power: with anger that a country calling itself Christian should allow a soul-destroying and character-beggaring drug to be imported into our midst. He had breathed the spirit of the great Chinese Emperor who, when asked by the British to legalise the trade, replied, “It is true I cannot prevent the introduction of the flowing poison. Gain-seeking and corrupt men will, for profit and sensuality, defeat my wishes, but nothing will induce me to derive a revenue from the vice and misery of my people.”

And so while the instituted authorities were living in comfortable ignorance of a great danger at their very doors, there was kindling a spark in the heart of one noble man — and he a foreigner — which led ultimately to the evil being consumed, and thus the cause of much social degradation was removed.

Moral passion and purpose ran high within him, as he viewed his own countrymen, and the people of his adopted country, too, led by opium to indulge in vice clothed in its most hideous forms, shamelessness and immorality utterly beggaring description; men and women upon whose pure souls God had stamped the fair image of Himself, giving themselves over to the commission of the most beastly sins, in which the violent passions are lit and allowed to burn, gambling and


  ― 48 ―
other exciting pleasures pursued until the nerves began to wince, and the frame to totter from the excessive stimulation.

With such an agent for mischief in our midst, whose octopus-like influence was ever ready to entrap the unthinking and the young, no wonder that all that is best and truest and most sacred in humanity should rise up within him in moral protest against that spirit of lethargy which allowed it to exist.

With the same lofty motives which have actuated the devoted toilers in all ages, in the cause of justice and truth, as against injustice and oppression, he set out to arouse the moral consciousness of the people, and to create a public opinion which would demand in the interests of manhood and nationhood the abolition of the importation of opium.

The task he undertook was no easy one. The Chinese (mostly those of the gambling class) have a love for this insidious compound, and their dull phlegmatic temperaments do not offer a very promising field for the reformer to work upon. Besides the revenue derived by the State as duty was a large and ever increasing one, and to persuade the Government of the country to forego this was a difficult thing indeed.

But so well were his energies applied that before long the question was forced into a prominent position amongst the big social questions of the day.

In 1881 he took a trip to China, where he studied the question in its effect upon his countrymen there, as well as upon the Europeans. He found that though extensively used by the poorer classes, amongst the upper classes there was comparative freedom from the drug.

Two years later he was appointed to accompany Sub-Inspector Brennan on a visit to the various Chinese camps in New South Wales, the object of the visit being to ascertain the conditions prevailing in them.

The investigation revealed that the principal cause of their unsatisfactory state — moral and sanitary — was opium. In his report furnished to the Inspector-General of Police in November 1883, he says “That the fulcrum on which rests all vice, immorality and corruption with the Chinese, is opium. To it, the ills arising from the Chinese and their camps can be traced, and it is only by placing that detestable drug beyond the reach of my countrymen that the Government of the State can hope for reformation. In view of the importance attached to this particular part of the investigation I made it my business to make special inquiries at each camp to test the feelings and opinions of consumers on the matter, and I found that of the great number who indulged in opium smoking nine-tenths admitted the necessity of reform, and declared their willingness to sign a petition calling upon the Government to stop the importation of opium into the State, in quantities beyond that which may be required for medicinal purposes. Then, if the Chinese themselves are willing, and in fact anxious that the importation of opium be


  ― 49 ―
stopped, and if it can be shown that so much baseness arises from it, the Parliament of the country will not hesitate to pass a measure which will have that effect.”

“I find from the Customs' Statistics that last year the quantity of opium imported into the State was 25,922 lbs. On this enormous quantity a duty of 10/- per lb. was levied, which adds the very considerable sum of £12,961 to the revenue of the state. We will not be far wrong in assuming that four-fifths of this was consumed by the Chinese, and if we take into consideration the number of Chinese in the State, the consumption per head is alarming, not only on account of the wretchedness and poverty brought upon the Chinese themselves, but because their example will be copied by Europeans, and must have a dire effect upon many who might otherwise become useful and worthy citizens. In this very city may be found many Europeans fast giving way to its infatuating influence, men unable to satisfy their cravings with intoxicating liquors, youths ignorant of its awful results, women who by its degrading influences descend to the lowest depths of depravity. If stronger evidence than this is required, we have the result of our late investigations. Out of seventy-three European women found in the camps visited, more than fifty were habitual smokers. Is this fact alone not sufficient grounds for prohibitive legislation?”

Immediately on the presentation of this report he took steps to lay the matter before the Government. A deputation was formed to wait upon its head, and they presented a petition in favour of the suppression of opium smoking, which was signed by seven hundred and sixty-eight municipal councillors, ministers of all denominations, two thousand five hundred European citizens, and five hundred Chinese.

On the 24th of April, 1884, the interview took place, the late Sir Alexander Stuart and Sir George Dibbs receiving the deputation. Sir Alexander Stuart told them that while he sympathised with their object, he could not help thinking that were the drug not imported it would be smuggled, and consequently the smoking would not cease, while the Government would lose the revenue.

But previous to this Mr. Tart had visited Victoria in furtherance of the movement, and found the large majority of the public there, especially in Ballarat, heart and soul with them.

Subsequently, Sir George Dibbs, who took great interest in the question accompanied him in a tour of inspection round some of the ‘dens’ where the smoking was indulged in, and he saw for himself how it was getting hold of the unfortunate people.

Unfortunately however, owing to some change of Government the matter dropped.

In 1887, he published a pamphlet entitled “A plea for the abolition of the importation of Opium.” At the end of


  ― 50 ―
this chapter is the copy of the pamphlet in which he conclusively showed that the constant use of opium impaired the moral and physical systems, increased the gambling and criminal propensities of the Chinese and caused them to assemble in ill-ventilated and crowded apartments, and that girls and women after using the narcotic became habitues of evil resorts.

In November, 1890, he succeeded in bringing the subject under the notice of Sir Henry Parkes, but again with no definite result. Nothing daunted, he kept up the agitation, and at last a large and enthusiastic public meeting, convened by him, with the object of urging upon the Government the immediate necessity for restricting the sale of opium, was held on Thursday, April 5th, 1894, in the Congregational Church, Pitt Street, Sydney. The Church, which had been beautifully decorated, was crowded to excess in every part, and the proceedings throughout were strongly marked by earnest enthusiasm. Only those who were present at that meeting can adequately describe it. The appearance or Miss Ackerman (World's Missionary, W.C.T.U.), Dr. Storie Dixon, and Mr. Tart was greeted with loud applause, the audience rising in masses and waving their handkerchiefs.

Mr. Tart's speech on that occasion deserves to be placed on record as one of the greatest ever made on the subject in Australia. The deep feelings he had long cherished on the subject found adequate expression in an utterance which thrilled the audience to a man. Philanthropist, Reformer, and Humorist stood alternately revealed. Direct, personal, practical, liberally crammed with lofty sentiments from its beginning to its close it wrought a profound impression in the mind of every hearer.

On that occasion he said: “He could not help thinking that if ever the citizens of any country spoke out on any subject, that great meeting with its unanimous voice would say most unmistakably that the opium traffic must cease (cheers). There were, no doubt, people who thought the drug harmless, and the smoking of it fraught with little danger, but let them wait till the shoe pinched (cheers); let them wait till it touched their own daughters or their own sons. (Loud applause) That was the time they found the pinch, and that was the time when the evil came to close quarters—that it touched their hearts. He had no animosity against anyone on the subject. He was actuated purely by a desire to see the best done that could be devised to ameliorate the lot of the unfortunate victims, and prevent them falling under the fatal spell. Since he had taken the organisation of this meeting in hand, he had been almost besieged with letters of sympathy and encouragement from all parts of the State. Ministers of religion, leading politicians, municipal bodies, and prominent citizens in every walk of life had combined to wish the movement God-speed. He


  ― 51 ―
had received all these (holding up a huge bag packed with letters) within a fortnight. Where then could be the difficulty in stamping out this evil? There was no difficulty at all. (Cheers.) He would send out a full list of these communications all over the world to let people see what Australia thought of the traffic. Who could stand out of such a movement with clean hands? The deadliness of the drug would be realised when it touched their own kith and kin.

“Some forty or fifty years ago there was a Viceroy in China named Sum Tak Tooz, who took a great interest in this question. He went round the country and the cities and saw the degradation and misery which was settling down upon the people owing to this habit, and at once set himself to try and remedy the evil. He built large bamboo houses, or hospitals as they would be called here, for the treatment of smokers, he tried in every way to wean them from the habit. He also placed a law upon the Statute Book making it a capital offence for anyone to commence the indulgence. Not long after this his only son was decoyed away from him, and induced to smoke by some people who thought that the Viceroy would alter his decision when he found his own son's life involved. But it was ordered to stand, and the result was that the Viceroy signed the death warrant of his only son, as an example to the rest of the people. Surely here was a high and noble example to set to the world. Could mortal man show his fellows the imminence of their peril, and could one possibly find out a stronger argument in our favour than this? He thought not. But even the sacrifice of an only son had but a passing effect upon the opium scourge. The unfortunate Viceroy never lived to report the matter to the Emperor, and a further stimulus was given to the traffic from outside, and from no other source than “Christian England.” (Cries of shame) Their dear old mother country poured shipload after shipload of the drug into China, and the Chinese were powerless to stop it. They were not strong enough to risk the chances of another war, should they repudiate the commercial treaty with England; and although a noble effort was made to prevent the iniquitous importation, it ended unfortunately, and China sat down meekly under the defeat. I have been told that they were beginning to grow the poppy largely in Victoria, and before long it will, depend upon it, be growing here. Prevention was better than cure the world over. Let us then, take up the matter seriously and earnestly; let us make our voices heard and in heaven's name stamp out the evil for ever while there was yet time.” (Loud cheers.)

Quong Tart never lived to see the full glory of that day, when the efforts he had made found their fulfilment and embodiment in the conditions of the States, but we may safely say that in the high hours of vision he was permitted to see


  ― 52 ―
the dawn breaking on the not far distant hills, and he has gone down to history as a true herald of the dawn.

A Plea For The Abolition of the Importation of Opium.

By Quong Tart.

(The Profits of the Sale of this Pamphlet will be handed to the Committee for the Relief of the Sufferers by the recent Mining Disaster at Bulli.)

During the year 1884 a petition was presented to the Honourable the Executive Council of N.S.W. praying for the abolition of the importation of opium to this colony, except for strictly medicinal purposes; but the reception it met with was not nearly so favourable as was anticipated, notwithstanding the fact that the petition contained upwards of 4000 signatures of every nation and creed. No doubt 4000 is a small number compared with the whole population of the colony, but be it understood they consisted of the names of the principal clergy of every church, members of Parliament, nearly seventy mayors and aldermen, besides other leading residents of N.S.W., the Press, and over 500 Chinese.

Mr. Hardie, who was then Mayor of Sydney, and the Rev. Dr. Steel accompanied me when I presented the petition, in the presence of the Hon. G.R. Dibbs, to Sir. A. Stuart. Sir Alexander was quite in favour (as regards himself) of the abolition of the opium traffic, but he looked at it in this way—Were it not imported into this colony it would be smuggled into it from the various other colonies; subsequently, he said, “The smoking will not cease, but still the colony would lose the revenue, which is considerable.” Our interview terminated by Sir A. Stuart promising to enter into communication with the adjoining colonies in order to ascertain whether they would do all in their power to suppress the trade. I fancy, however, that the other duties which our Parliament had to perform were regarded as of more importance and the opium question was forgotten, for nothing more has come of it, and the result of the action of those who interested themselves in the matter has been nil. I do not feel at all disheartened over that attempt, but intend to use all the personal influence I possess, and with the assistance of my friends make another attempt.

Illustration following page 52: Telegram from Bathurst. 28th January, 1902. Quong Tart, Queen Victoria Markets, Sydney. Cheers for Quong Tart and Health with musical honours at Bathurst Highland Gathering last night. - Donald Thain, President



Photographs following page 52: Quong Tart - a military officer






  ― 53 ―

The Hon. G.R. Dibbs, assisted by Inspector Seymour and his officers, certainly deserve great praise for the manner in which they went with me to the various common Chinese places, to look into the condition of affairs for themselves. Some persons were caught indulging in the use of the juice, while others heard of the intended visit and were prepared. I really think that official visit in the city, Mr. Inspector Brennan's exertions in the country, and my own (the time I was sent by Inspector-General Fosbery to investigate the Chinese camps) frightened a number from commencing to smoke and restrained those who had just begun. But now, through the matter being allowed to lie in abeyance so long, they are, I am sure, as bad, if not worse, than before.

I wish to make it as clearly understood as possible that were a law to be passed against the importation of the juice, it would not only be an inestimable blessing bestowed upon the Chinese in general, but upon all classes of the community, for this drug, when indulged in by any person a few times, has such seductive qualities that it is almost an utter impossibility to keep it from him so long as money can procure it. It is not to be compared with intoxicating liquors, for people often turn against drink, but opium they never take a dislike to—not even in their dying moments; and the only way to prevent indulgence is to put it quite beyond the reach of those who have become slaves to it, and that can easily be done by allowing none but chemists to sell it, and then to those only who produce a note from a duly qualified medical practitioner. It may be mentioned that that sold by chemists is vastly different from that used by the Chinese—it undergoes a different preparation, and it would be of no use to them for smoking.

There would still be a slight revenue from opium, so that the Government would not lose all revenue derived from it. Then again, the Chinese who were in the habit of smoking it would smoke tobacco instead. and that would give an additional revenue in another direction. But I am sure none of the worthy gentlemen comprising our present Parliament would say “import opium for the sake of revenue,” because such broad-minded and highly principled men as we have amongst our free-traders and protectionists would consider the saving of souls long before the question of £ s.d. I feel positive that there is not one gentlemen who would like to see anyone belonging to him using this slow poison, but if it is not stopped, they are sure, some of them, sooner or later, to be trapped. Then why should they not put themselves together as a body and stop it at once? Now is the time and the best time, while we have such a noble Governor as Lord Carrington, in the jubilee year of our most gracious Sovereign's reign. What more notable event could New South Wales do or have in this year than the “Abolition of Opium Importation”? I am sure every sensible and well-thinking man will say “None.” I am almost certain that if New South Wales


  ― 54 ―
showed the example by stopping the traffic, Victoria would follow suit, judging from the way Mr. Service, who was then Premier, the Hon. Graham Berry, several members of Parliament, and the Inspector-General of Police treated me while I was trying to get an insight into the state of affairs as regards opium-smoking in that Colony. They took an active part with me in visiting some of the Chinese places in Melbourne. We were a little baffled in our first visit, but the second proved more successful, for we caught some (consisting of European women and Chinese) in the very act of smoking. The whole of the newspapers of that colony were in full favour of my exertions, as were also the leading Chinese merchants; and in Ballarat a meeting was held and everyone present supported the movement to stop the trade, and promised to do all that could be done to help me when called upon. That in itself speaks volumes.

When opium was first imported into China (by the East India Company), the authorities of that country did not see the evil, but as soon as they discovered it they tried to put a stop to it. Alas! it was too late, for they were prevented by international agreements, and all they could do was to shut their eyes and say no more. It is a most lamentable sight to view the misery existing in some of the habitations of China, caused simply by the use of opium. Homes that once were happiness itself, and supplied with every comfort, were denuded even of furniture of any description—all had been sold or disposed of by other means simply to gratify a taste for this cursed drug. I know of one case where the father of a family who used to be pretty well to do took to opium-smoking. His means ran short and he sold all he could, leaving the family quite destitute, to get money to buy opium. One of his sons became seriously ill and died. He had no means to bury him, and when he asked people for assistance he was refused, for no one in China will look upon or help an opium-smoker—no matter what his troubles may be. The mother, when things were in this terrible plight, gave him some money (she had saved by her own hard industry, unknown to him) to go and get their son a coffin. The father when he got the money, instead of putting it to the use intended, took it off to an opium house and smoked it all away. The mother anxiously waited for his return, but no. A messenger was despatched, who soon returned with the news that her husband was housed in an opium-shop, and had never been near the undertaker. This is only one case out of hundreds similar. Why not then try to stop it in this young country before it reaches a state equal to what I have described?

Evidences of the evils caused by opium-smoking were given me by Signor Raimondi, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Hongkong, during a conversation the other day. The Bishop had lived in China more than twenty-eight years, moving from one province to another, and he says it is totally impossible


  ― 55 ―
to describe the miseries the families of Chinese opium-smokers undergo. He goes further, and says he would not agree to opium being brought into this colony even for chemists except in a liquid condition. Any Chinaman known to use opium is not admitted to the Church. I think I can safely say that in twelve months' time after the prohibition of the importation, all gentlemen who have spoken publicly against the Chinese would speak very differently. Words cannot express how dreadfully hurt the respectable Chinese feel when things are said publicly against them, for the gentlemen who denounce make no allowance, but class all alike, although that is anything but fair, for no criminal case against the Chinese has ever come from any of the respectable business houses, large or small, but has in every case originated in places where opium is used. I had a conversation lately with some of the large Chinese importers, and they admit it is a cursed evil, and would be pleased to see it stopped from coming into the colonies. They said, “But as long as it is allowed to be imported, why should we not benefit as well as any other man.” It is through this opium that the Chinese get indolent—in some cases too lazy or weak to keep their persons clean; that they crowd together in very badly ventilated rooms, where a number can, as they think, enjoy the poison together, and that horrible smell so many people complain of is caused. Then again—and worse than all—these men lose all inclination for work of any kind, and so commence that wicked and pernicious vice, gambling, simply because they can do it with little exercise of strength. I don't say for one moment that the police have not done their duty as far as hunting some of these gambling dens out, but I do say there are a number of places that are still to be found. Why not save the police this “blind man's buff” work by stopping the opium? Then the gambling would cease; and more than that, the Chinese, if they intend to remain in the colony, would completely reform with the assistance of the different Chinese clergymen (Church of England, Wesleyan, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic), and become more attached to the European customs, and in time form a splendid addition to the workers of this colony. Then some of the better class of people in China, when they find that the Chinese are being appreciated and held in a higher estimation by the people here, will cast in their lot amongst us. Whereas we have at present coming to the colony a very mixed class, for in numerous cases people are sent here by their relatives or parents because no good can be got out of them through their having taken to opium. I heard and saw (while on a visit to China in the year 1881) of some cases where the parents went so far as to threaten to murder their sons unless they gave up smoking opium, but even that did not frighten them—in fact, took no effect; so rather than see them go to ruin the parents gave them some money and sent them about their business. And where did they go? Well, to


  ― 56 ―
the place where they knew they could get any amount of opium without any remonstration from anyone.

At the time of the general outcry against the Chinese, the Government had a thorough investigation made of the Chinese camps in Wagga, Narandera, Deniliquin, Albury and Hay, in order to find out the cause, and it was the outcome of these men using opium. Not only the Chinese in these five places visited were found to use the drug, but also seventy-five European women, and out of the seventy-five fifty were confirmed smokers. Now, readers, you can imagine for yourselves the results, when so many were found in five places alone.

If the Government had stopped the importation then the cry would have ceased ere now, and as long as the use of opium is legalised, why cry out against the Chinese? Cry out rather against the Government for not stopping it, for the power is theirs and in their hands.

During my last attempt to get this curse removed, numberless squatters and other gentlemen wished me every success, for they have had in their employ Chinamen who smoke and those who do not. Speaking from experience, they said, “Get the traffic stopped for all that is good, because it is a cursed evil. I would sooner employ a drunkard any day than an opium-smoker.” So, I pray that all will with one voice cry, “Stop the importation;” and if anyone be found after a certain date selling the opium, except chemists, let a very heavy fine be inflicted or a long term of imprisonment. The smuggling would be very slight, and could be easily detected—if by no other means, by the smell. The present large importers would have more honour than disgrace themselves by importing after the law was passed prohibiting its sale.

I wish all to understand that I have no other motive for taking up this great cause than true wishes and good feelings for the benefit and good of all, this generation and succeeding ones, living in New South Wales and even over the whole of Australia.

The following is a copy of a petition about to be presented to the Honourable the Speaker of the House of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales:–

THE PETITION of the undersigned Citizens of the Colony of New South Wales, and also of Chinese Residents within the same:–

HUMBLY SHEWETH

  • 1. That your Petitioners, having in view the well-being of this community, regard with feelings of alarm, the increasing consumption of opium by Chinese residents of the colony.
  • 2. That the use of opium is exceedingly hurtful to those persons who habitually indulge in that narcotic; and


      ― 57 ―
    also to the general population, for the following reasons, namely:–
    • (a) That the constant use of opium is calculated to impair the moral and physical systems and consequently to induce habits of indolence.
    • (b) That by reason of the indolence so produced, persons are unfitted for and undesirous of pursuing any mechanical or other useful occupation; and to this cause are to be attributed the gambling and criminal propensities of those Chinese who consume opium.
    • (c) That the conditions under which opium is consumed in this community cause large numbers of Chinese to assemble in ill-ventilated and crowded apartments, whereby, in addition to the essential evil arising from the use of opium, these resorts are turned into hotbeds for the generation of fevers and cognate diseases.
    • (d) That many European girls and women, after being induced to use the narcotic, become habitues of the same resorts, and scenes of the grossest immorality ensue.
  • 3. That your Petitioners desire to point out that the use of opium in China is confined to the very lowest orders of Chinese society, and that those using it are unfavourably regarded by their fellow-countrymen.
  • 4. That in the event of the introduction of opium into New South Wales being prohibited by law, there will be very little inducement for its consumers to come to this colony; while on the other hand, Chinese of a superior class, recognising that under the altered conditions their presence on these shores will be more favourably regarded, will, in all probability, cast in their lot among us.

Your Petitioners, therefore humbly pray—

That at an early date a measure may be framed and laid before Parliament, prohibiting the importation of opium into this colony, excepting for medicinal purposes; and that such measure may also provide against the sale of opium excepting for medicinal purposes, and where the purchaser produces a satisfactory prescription or certificate from a duly and legally qualified medical practitioner requiring that the same may be supplied.

And furthermore that the said measure may be so framed as to come into operation at the expiration of six months from the passing thereof.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c., &c.

Dated at Sydney this fifth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven.

previous
next