§ MR. J. F. X. O'BRIEN(for Mr. DILLON) (Mayo, E.)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether it is true that the Land Tax has been reduced in Egypt in accordance with the Earl of Northbrook's recommendation, which was agreed to by the Financial Convention; and, if so, where information concerning this reduction is to be found?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
A reduction of £450,000 on the Egyptian Land Tax was recommended by the Earl of North-brook. There is no mention of such ft reduction in the Financial Convention. Still, it was tacitly accepted by the Powers. Soon after the acceptance of the Convention the Egyptian Government proposed that the greater portion of the £450,000 should be devoted to the abolition of the corvée, in lieu of the reduction of the Land Tax; and a discussion ensued between the Egyptian Government and the Powers, reference to which will be found in many despatches in the Blue Book "Egypt, No. 4, 1886." Ultimately, all the best authorities being agreed that this was the manner of reduction best calculated to benefit the cultivators, £250,000 was devoted to hiring labour in place of the corvée. The Commissioners of the Caisse, to whom the question had been referred by the Powers, refused to allow any permanent remission of the Land Tax beyond this £250,000. The Egyptian Government has, however, with the concurrence of the Commissioners, refrained from enforcing payment of about £100,000 of the Land Tax due in 1886. This remission was, I presume, as in the case of a similar remission of £189,000 in the 1144 preceding year, made principally in respect of the poorer land.