Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/243

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THE OPIUM COMMISSION. 239 The Opium Commission, 1893-95. — In 1893 a Royal Commission was issued to inquire into the results of using opium in India, and the possibility of prohibiting it. After examining many witnesses in England and India, eight of the nine Com- missioners reported in 1895 that the results of using opium in India were much less harmful than had been supposed in England. It was found that opium sent scarcely any criminals to the Indian jails, scarcely any patients to the Indian hospitals, and scarcely any lunatics to the Indian asylums. It was proved that opium does not act, as alcohol does in Great Britain, as a cause of crime, disease, and death, while it is largely used as a remedy for fever and malaria. Parliament agreed with the Royal Commission's Report, and declined to prohibit the use of opium in India. The Indian Frontier Lines, 1890-96. — During the Go- vernor-Generalships of Lord Lansdowne and Lord Elgin a series of measures were taken to settle the boundaries of the Indian Empire at its south-eastern and north-western extremities. In the south-east the territories of Upper Burma, annexed in 1886, were moulded into a peaceful and prosperous British Province. The frontier line between Burma and China and Siam was marked out, and the spheres of British influence on the Burmese side and of French influence from the Tonquin side were defined. In the extreme north-west of India, the frontier between the British dominions and Afghanistan was fixed. The State of Kashmir entered on a new- development by the settlement of its land-revenue and of the cultivators' rights, on equitable principles, by a highly skilled British officer whom the Maharajd employed for that purpose. British influence was firmly estab- lished in the outlying provinces of Kashmir to the north, along the line of Hunza, Nagar, and Gilgit. On the Afghan frontier a successful expedition against the 1895 ended in the settlement of the Afghan boundary line, and in the recognition of the British authority by the intervening hill tribes. A friendly treaty was made with Afghanistan by our envoy, Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, in r894; and in 1895 a son of the Afghan Amir for the first time visited England. He received a mag- nificent reception, and visited the chief centres of British industry and commerce. The Central Asian boundary between the