§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is contemplated to replace the corvée by any increase of the Land Tax in Egypt, in view of the fact that the reduction of that tax, proposed by the Earl of North-brook, and assented to by the Powers, to the amount of £450,000, has not yet been effected; whether, if so, the supplementary tax will be submitted to the Assembly of Notables before it is decreed; and, whether there is any intention on the part of Her Majesty's Government to ask the House to assent to any portion of the Military or Civil Egyptian expenditure being thrown upon the British taxpayer?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
It is not proposed to impose a supplementary tax in lieu of the corvée. The intention is that the abolition of forced labour shall be taken as the substitute for a reduction of the Land Tax; that the tax should be kept up to its former figure, except in cases where it was manifestly too high for the taxpayer to pay it; and that £250,000 out of the receipts should be devoted to hiring labour under contract in substitution for the corvée. This proposal has received the assent of the Powers in principle. The question of the distribution between this county and Egypt of the past military expenditure in Egypt is still under discussion. With regard to the coming financial year, there is no intention at present to undertake any portion of the Civil Egyptian expenditure. I have already informed the House that the military expenditure falling on 1402 this country will be very small, and it is possible that there may be none.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
asked whether they were to understand that the late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lord Randolph Churchill) was entirely in error in saying that something like £500,000 was to be asked for in the Supplementary Estimates in connection with the Egyptian Expedition?
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
replied that the question between this country and Egypt of the distribution of the past military expenditure was still under discussion.