1 MARCH 1930, Page 15


An object lesson in international interdependence has been afforded to Congress, recently, in connexion with its efforts to stamp out the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs. Control of manufacture of drugs within the United States has been established with some measure of effectiveness but the illicit traffic, with all the evils attendant upon it, continues to grow. It has grown, indeed, to an alarming extent and gradually it has become clear that, acting alone, the United States is powerless to stamp it out. Effective action is possible, it is recognized now, only by co-operation with other countries. Consequently, Congress has adopted a resolution embodying a plan whereby the manufacture of narcotics would be controlled by an advisory committee of the League of Nations. The plan involves limitation of the total annual world production of narcotics, the rationing of production, on an equitable basis, between the various countries of manufacture, and regulated distribution between the nations according to their medicinal and scientific needs. Limitation of manufacture in this way seems to be quite practicable, provided a sufficient measure of international agreement can be obtained, since large capital investments are required for factories in which drugs can be manufactined and the risks of violating the law would be too great to be tempting to responsible investors. It is notable that the proposal for international action through the League, strangely enough, has support from people ivho, ordinarily, are vociferous in opposition to Anierican " entanglement " with the League.