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The New York Times January 11, 1955
U.N. Unit Sees Legal Supply for 2-1/2 Years--- Reports Progress in Control
Special to The New York Times.

GENEVA, Jan. 10--- The world is likely to have a troublesome surplus of "legal" opium soon, the United Nations Permanent Central Opium Board believes.

In its annual report to the United Nations, published today, the board estimates that there are opium stocks of more than 1,700 tons in opium producing and morphine - manufacturing countries. This is enough to fill all requirements for legal uses of opium and its derivatives for two and a half years.

The board, which has extensive powers under various international treaties, reports some progress, but also many difficulties in its continuing effort to force the world's production of narcotics into controlled and approved channels.

For years the board has expressed the opinion that heroin is medically obsolete and socially dangerous and easy to smuggle. Less habit-forming drugs can replace it, the board contends.

The board reported that during 1953 three more countries, Argentina, Bolivia and Canada, had stopped the manufacture or import of heroin. There was no further reduction of world consumption of heroin in 1953 (Narcotics statistics always appear with a one-year time lag).

But only one-tenth as much was used in 1929, a fact that leads the board to think its campaign has had some success.

The illegal traffic in heroin of Mediterranean origin to the United States :has shown no falling off, " the board states. Twenty-one kilograms [forty six pounds] of illegal heroin was seized by United States authorities in 1953.

The greatest region for illegal narcotic traffic is still the Far East. In absence of exact information, the board believes that "an extensive traffic" exists in and around Thailand, Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The board has scanty information on China. The report neither supports nor contradicts the assertion of United States narcotics officials that the Chinese Communist regime is pushing large quantities of narcotics into illegal international channels.

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