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The New York Times November 24, 1953




Senate Unit Is Told Area Rise
in Juvenile Narcotics Use Is
Counter to U. S. Trend




WASHINGTON, NOV. 23 --- A Senate hearing was told today that there was "very definite proof" that heroin smuggled in from Communist China was responsible for the rise in narcotics addiction among juveniles on the West Coast.

Harry J. Anslinger, Federal Commissioner of Narcotics, appearing before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee that is studying juvenile delinquency across the nation, testified that the increase in the use of narcotics on the West Coast ran counter to a national trend.

He submitted statistics for 1951 and 1952 to show that the number of juveniles known to be using narcotics rose from 597 to 624 in Los Angeles and from 168 to 205 in San Diego, while the number was dropping from 1,084 to 748 in New York City and from 1,099 to 909 in Chicago.

Offers Defense of Mexico

He said that he had other figures revealing that 70 per cent of the heroin traffic in Los Angeles and 95 per cent of the traffic in San Francisco could be traced directly to illicit imports front Communist China.

He assured Senator Estes Kefauver, Democrat of Tennessee, that Mexico, contrary to the views of some, including the California Crime Commission, was "doing an excellent job in seeking to stop illegal manufacture of narcotics."

He said that Mexico was using planes to spot and troops to break up such operations.

"I don't like criticism of the Mexicans," he continued. "They're spending money and getting the job done."

Mr. Anslinger told the subcommittee that the Chinese Communist Government obviously was encouraging the production of heroin that was reaching the Western world via Hong Kong, with Japan "getting the first wave of this traffic."

The Commissioner made three recommendations, the chief of which was that penalties for trafficking in narcotics be made stiffer. He said that statistics gathered by his agency clearly showed that where heavy sentences were meted out the use of narcotics dropped.

He testified that the average sentence in both Federal and state courts in California for such offenses was "lower than in the East."

His other recommendations were these:

  • That compulsory hospitalization be provided for addicts along lines to be used in the District of Columbia starting next month under a bill approved by Congress at the last session.

  • That the Senate ratify the protocol to regulate and reduce opium production in the Western World that was set up under United Nations auspices after a long campaign. The protocol would cut production in Turkey, Iran, Yugoslavia and India from 2,000 tons to 500 tons a year.

Dr. Edward J. Greenwood of the Menninger Clinic, Topeka, Kan., recommended creation of a national institute for juvenile delinquency control and suggested that a "Delinquents Anonymous organization, along the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous, might prove worthwhile.

Walter C. Reckless, Professor of Sociology at Ohio State University, was critical of boys' organizations, including the Boy Scouts. He declared that such organizations, when "designed by adults and offered to the kids," did not meet the need of youngsters in many instances.

He suggested that "a hot rod club," enabling youngsters to race their "souped-up" automobiles would be preferable if the youngsters themselves proposed it.


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