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Circular N. 4142 of the Territorial Department Revenue from the Officiating Secretary to the Government at Bombay Castle, Charles Edward Fraser Tytler, to the Resident in the Persian Gulf [‎19r] (27/44)

The record is made up of 22 folios. It was created in 7 Sep 1854. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.

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/J3
69
* ■ •
[ 17 ]
Palhnnpore. —The restrictive system is still in force in this Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. . The Political Super
intendent states (letter dated the 19th June 1846) that no smuggling has recently been
detected by the Palee route. "Large quantities of the drug, though ot an inferior quality,
are produced in the Guicowar districts of Futtun, Sidhpore, and Beejapoor, which used
to be smuggled into the Palhunpore district, where, being cheaper, it found a ready sale.
To counteract this, the Devvan reduced the price of licenses for the retail sale from Rs. 100
to Rs. 10. This is paid in addition to a duty of Rs. 125 on each chest imported. By this
reduction it is expected that the illicit trade from the Guicowar districts will be checked, " as
the Palee opium will ,be nearly as cheap as the inferior drug produced in those districts."
Rcum Kaunta. —The Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. states (letter dated the 16th January 1844) that opium
is extensively imported by Sowcars into all the principal Guicowar towns, and into the petty
states included in this Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. . The majority of the people being addicted to opium, the con
sumption is considerable. It is chiefly purchased at Rutlam, and on payment there of a
certain duty is allowed to be exported. The trade is free and unrestricted, no pass being
required; and it can therefore be easily imported into those districts which are supplied from
the Government stores," or even with a view to exportation.' He alludes to the statement
in a letter to the Government of India, dated the 24th July 1843, of the Resident at Indore,
that 1.500 chests are annually taken into the Guicowar territory, and from thence exported.
He cites the case of a Sowcar named Nuncelall Kissendass, who in 1843 imported 50
niaunds and 10 seers, ostensibly for internal consumption. The drug was purchased at
Rutlam bv the Sowcar's agent, who paid the city duty due on it. It was conveyed in carts
via Jabooa, Ragpoora, and Oodeepore, and was stopped at Sunkheira, a district belonging to
the Guicowar. Not having entered British territory, it was held not to be contraband, and
was released. It was valued at Rs. 25,000, and was detained within ten miles of the river
Nerbudda, and was probably exported from some of the villages on its banks. 1 he
Resident at Indore stated that Nuncelall was a man of questionable character; that he had
reason to believe his name was made use of to screen his principal, and that it is hinted the
opium was exported. " As long as this liberty exists," observes the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. , " under
the plea of providing for internal consumption, there can be no difficulty in conveying to
Baroda any quantity of opium ; and the Chiefs and their retainers being great consumers of
the drug, it is not to be expected that they will impede the traffic unless constrained by
treaty." The duties levied at Rutlam are light, namely Rs. 3| on each chest protected by a
British pass, and on other opium a transit duty of Rs. 6.j per maund, besides some trifling town
dues. Opium purchased for the use of Native States is allowed a sort of drawback, and a
premium is thus held out to the merchant for conveying opium from Malwa without a
British pass to some favourable locality, when it may with facility and without much risk
of detection be smuggled to the coast. A check therefore is required against the contra
band trade, before the drug enters foreign territory. At present a iSowcar is merely required
to produce the receipts of the authorities at the places through which the opium is conveyed,
to prove that he is not engaged in the illicit trade, and so long as the importation and salo
are confined to places not within British territory, it is difficult to say what constitutes
smuggling, for even if duty is not paid at any naaka within a Native State, it would not
necessary follow that it was intended for exportation by sea, and if not found in the posses
sion of British subjects, whose identification would be difficult to establish, our right to
confiscate it would be questionable. In a subsequent letter, dated the 3rd August 1846, the
Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. reports that the quantity of opium imported for internal consumption has
decreased, not, however, on account of a diminished demand, which on the contrary has
increased, the majority of the population being addicted to the use of opium. The decrease
is attributed by some to the enhancement of the price of passes, by others to the price in
1845 having fallen from Rs. 10 to 7 per seer, and by others to an increase of the quantity of
opium produced in the territories of His Highness the Guicowar, and the Nawab of Cambay,
and to the fact alleged by some that the culture of opium has since 1844 revived to some

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Circular N. 4142 of the Territorial Department Revenue from the Officiating Secretary to the Government at Bombay Castle, Charles Edward Fraser Tytler, to the Resident in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , requesting a report to the Government of any traffic in opium in the Gulf.

In enclosure:

  • Extracts from a letter from Fraser Tytler, Officiating Secretary to the Government of India N. 106 dated 11 February 1837 regulating the opium trade with the Native States to prevent clandestine exports of Malwa opium;
  • Printed minutes from July 1846, July and September 1848, by Mr Willoughby and Mr Reid, regarding taking measures and reporting to the Government on Malwa opium traffic.
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22 folios
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Circular N. 4142 of the Territorial Department Revenue from the Officiating Secretary to the Government at Bombay Castle, Charles Edward Fraser Tytler, to the Resident in the Persian Gulf [‎19r] (27/44), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/146, ff 6-27, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023277562.0x000028> [accessed 22 February 2019]

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