HC Deb 05 April 1883 vol 277 cc1479-80

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether, in the reforms which it is contemplated to carry out in Egypt under the auspices of Her Majesty's representative in that country, the principle that no tax can be imposed or levied without the consent of the taxpayers will be recognised; whether he has received any information respecting a contemplated new loan to be issued, in order to provide means to enable the Egyptian Government to pay for the cost of the British occupation of that Country, and to meet the compensations to be granted to those whose property was destroyed in Alexandria during the recent operations of War, and what is the amount to be borrowed for the former object; whether the taxation of the Egyptians will be permanently increased, without their consent, in order to meet the interest on this new loan; and, whether the means to meet this interest will be obtained by a reduction in the interest paid on existing loans?


The Egyptian Government is prepared to adopt the Articles of the Charter annexed to Lord Dufferin's Report, by Article 59, of which no new tax can be established in Egypt without having been voted by the General Assembly. The amount of the loan to be issued for the purposes mentioned is estimated at £4,000,000—£3,000,000 to meet the indemnities, and £1,000,000 for the cost of the Army of Occupation and other charges. The Egyptian Government is not without hope that, by means of strict economy, and by including properties which now escape taxation, no permanent burden may be imposed on the Egyptian people to meet the interest on the loan. It is not intended to interfere with payments made in accordance with the provisions of the Law of Liquidation.