The New York Times June 2, 1935
China Reports 263 Were Executed in 1934 To Enforce Her Drastic Anti-Opium Law
Wireless to The New York Times.
GENEVA, June 1.--- China executed 263 violators of her anti-opium law last year her delegate, Victor Hoo informed the League of Nations Opium Advisory Committee today in his annual report. Six of these were cured addicts who relapsed, eighteen were illicit makers, twenty-six were illicit transporters and 212 were illicit sellers of narcotics.
The laws have been stiffened into a graduated five-year plan for stamping out the evil, Mr. Hoo explained. All addicts are obliged to register and take treatment this year.
Unregistered addicts will receive compulsory cures next year and at least five years imprisonment. After 1937 they will face death or life imprisonment.
After 1937 death sentences will be extended to those directly engaged in the illicit traffic and to their accomplices.
The law also provides for the opening of hospitals for addicts within three months in all parts of China. There are 597 hospitals in operation. They report 100,000 cures yearly.
The prohibition against the cultivation of poppies, already applied in eleven provinces, will be extended to Shensi and Kansu in 1938 and to the remaining six frontier provinces in 1940.
Chiang Kai-shek, Nanking generalissimo, has taken personal charge of the opium war. Mr. Hoo said the army would enforce the law if necessary. China aims to have all registered addicts cured and the traffic ended by 1940, he added.
To the committee members who found this kill-or-cure method too Draconian, Mr. Hoo answered that the death sentence was used not as punishment but as a deterrent, the idea being that hopeless addicts were valuable to society only as horrible examples and that their dramatic execution impressed others more than their slow degeneration. Efforts were made to have the executions repellent and to give great publicity to them.
Mr. Hoo stressed that elimination of the opium evil was difficult because of foreign extraterritorial concessions which escape the Chinese law and the Manchurian situation, where Japan has created a thriving opium monopoly and the narcotic habit is reported to be spreading.
Japan officially notified the League today of her acceptance of the Council's invitation to continue her membership on the Opium and Child Welfare Committees.