HC Deb 28 June 1878 vol 241 c447

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether his attention has been directed to a letter of a correspondent in the "Daily News" of June the 26th, headed "The Salt Tax in India;" whether there is any foundation for the allegation that the Indian Government is secretly pressing the native states to level up the Salt Taxes to our standard; and, whether there is any foundation for the statement that the Indian Government is urging one large native state to give up or forbid the cultivation of opium in its territory?


Yes, Sir, I read the letter in question; but we have no information whatever at the India Office as regards the statement about opium. As regards the salt tax, we are aware that the Government of India is negotiating with the Native States of Rajpootana and Central India for the abolition of the Customs Line. These negotiations, which are rapidly approaching completion, are described by Sir John Strachey as being intended to give to all the people throughout India, at the cheapest rate consistent with financial necessities and with the least possible inconvenience, as much salt as they can consume.