§ Mr. LAIDLAW
asked if a representation was made by his Majesty's Consul-General at Canton to the Chinese authorities for the release of a Chinese opium merchant, imprisoned in connection with the new opium regulations; if so, at whose request; what was the result; and did his action have the approval of the Foreign Office?
§ Sir E. GREY
I have received a Report stating that a representation was made by the Acting British Consul-General at Canton, pointing out that the arrest and imprisonment of a Canton dealer of the wholesale trade by the Opium Bureau contravened the assurances given by the Chinese Government that the regulations would not interfere with the opium trade. The Consul-General would appear to have acted on his own initiative. I am not yet aware of the result of these representations. The action of the Acting Consul-General at Canton has the approval of the Foreign Office. It does not imply any modification of the attitude of His Majesty's Government with regard to the progressive reduction of the import of opium.