Herbert L. May

Abstract

Readers of the Bulletin on Narcotics will have heard with great regret of the death of Mr. Herbert L. May on 1 February 1966 in New York, at the age of 88. Mr. May was a member of the Permanent Central Opium Board from the beginning in 1928 until his retirement in 1962, and its President from 1946 to 1952. He was also a member of the Drug Supervisory Body from its establishment in 1933, being re-elected every year until 1959, and he was its Chairman from 1948 to 1953, and again in 1958. In his capacity as member of the PCOB and DSB, Mr. May attended meetings of the Opium Advisory Committee of the League of Nations, and later of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Details

Pages: 61 to 61
Creation Date: 1966/01/01

Herbert L. May

Readers of the Bulletin on Narcotics will have heard with great regret of the death of Mr. Herbert L. May on 1 February 1966 in New York, at the age of 88. Mr. May was a member of the Permanent Central Opium Board from the beginning in 1928 until his retirement in 1962, and its President from 1946 to 1952. He was also a member of the Drug Supervisory Body from its establishment in 1933, being re-elected every year until 1959, and he was its Chairman from 1948 to 1953, and again in 1958. In his capacity as member of the PCOB and DSB, Mr. May attended meetings of the Opium Advisory Committee of the League of Nations, and later of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

When he retired in 1962 at the age of 85, tributes were paid to him at the thirty-fourth session of the Economic and Social Council for his signal contribution in the field of international narcotics control. The Secretary-General of the United Nations wrote to him in appreciation of his " devoted and outstanding public service " in the world-wide humanitarian effort to end the abuse of narcotic drugs.

A biographical article by Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger, of the United States, in this Bulletin1in 1963 recapitulated the almost half-century of Mr. May's active and fruitful work in the narcotics field.

In 1927 Mr. May published a report on his firsthand observation of opium addiction in the Middle East and Far East. When the 1925 Geneva Convention came into force in 1928, he was elected a member of the PCOB on the nomination of New Zealand, the United States not being a Member of the League or a Party to the new treaty. His unbroken association with the PCOB and the DSB, continued through the Second World War and beyond. He was indeed instrumental in ensuring that war in Europe would not suspend the international system of narcotics control. He helped in securing the transfer of the activity of the PCOB and the DSB (being member of the former and President of the latter at the time) to Washington, D.C., from where some of the basic elements of international control were kept functioning during the war years.

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By the time Herbert May retired from the membership of the PCOB in 1962, he had attained a unique mastery of narcotics problems. In 1950 he had written in the Bulletin on Narcotics on " The Evolution of the International Control of Narcotic Drugs".2He appeared again in these pages in 1955 with a study entitled " The Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs ; comments and possibilities ". 3

When the news of Mr. May's death was announced at the fortieth session of the Economic and Social Council in New York last February, tributes were renewed to a man who had given half a lifetime to a work which touches upon the welfare of human beings all around the world.

Vol. XV, No. 2.

Vol. II, No. 1, January 1950, p. 1-12.

Vol. VII, No. 1, January 1955,p. 1-14.