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Tart, Quong
A Plea for the Abolition of the importation of opium, with appendix
H. T. Dunn & Co, Sydney, 1890
New South Wales
8 pp.

This pamphlet, written by Mei Quong Tart, includes a copy of the petition about to be presented by Tart to the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales. It refers to an earlier unsuccessful attempt by Tart, in 1884, to petition the NSW government to ban the importation of opium. The pamphlet makes the following points:

- Earlier attempts to control opium only temporarily reduced the amount of opium smoking. The problem is now as bad, if not worse, than before.

- As opium is highly adictive banning opium's importation would benefit the wider community.

- Opium should only be allowed to be sold under strict conditions.

- Government revenue lost through opium smoking would be gained on tobacco duties as addicts became tobacco smokers.

- Government leaders are morally obliged to attend to the welfare of people and not merely to fiscal matters.

- If NSW took the lead on banning opium importation other states would follow, particularly Victoria (refers to a visit by Tart to Victoria campaigning against opium).

- Describes the damage done to people and society in China through opium addiction.

- If the Chinese in Australia were free of opium addiction they would be viewed better by the general population.

- Opium causes individuals to become lazy, weak and unclean and leads to gambling as this is the only activity addicts have the strength to undertake.

- If Chinese individuals stop taking opium, more would turn to Christianity and become westernised
- If opium wasn't available in Australia, fewer Chinese would immigrate and a 'better class' of Chinese would come.

- A considerable number of European women are seduced by opium.

- Violence against the Chinese community is the result of their opium addiction.

- Don't blame the Chinese for smoking opium, blame the government for not stopping it.

- Anti-opium movement is supported by a large number of 'squatters and gentlemen' who believe it will improve the quality of their Chinese workers.

The accompanying petition asks for a ban on opium importation into the colony of NSW except for medicinal purposes aunder strict conditions. The petition argues that:

- Opium consumption within the Chinese community is increasing.

- Widespread opium consumption harms both the smoker and the wider population.

- Opium damages an individual's moral and physical capacity.

- Opium addiction results in substandard workers.
- The confined rooms where opium is smoked are a source of disease.
- European women are being induced to use opium, leading to the 'grossest immorality'
- Opium smokers are not well regarded by the rest of the Chinese community.
- A ban on opium importation would reduce the incentive for lower classes of Chinese to immigrate and that the resulting improved conditions would encourage a 'superior class' of Chinese to immigrate.



Prepared by: Sophie Couchman