HC Deb 10 June 1880 vol 252 cc1610-1

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether, in the negotiations now going on for confederation in South Africa, instructions have been given that those Colonies must not have power to impose Customs tariff's of a protectionist character against this Country?


The South Africa Act of 1877, which contains all the instructions hitherto issued, does not touch upon this point, the intention having been that in regard to Customs duties the Confederation should be subject to the same restrictions as are now binding upon the Cape Legislature. The instructions to the Governor of the Cape prohibit him from assenting to "any Bill imposing differential duties." The Cape Legislature has the same power as is possessed by other Colonies under responsible Governments of imposing duties affecting imports from this country in common with all other imports, without reference to the effect which such duties may have in protecting the products of the Colony, and it would not be possible to give to the Legislature of the South African Union less powers than the Cape Legislature now possesses in this respect.