HC Deb 28 February 1889 vol 333 cc572-3

asked the Under Secretary of State for India whether it is the fact that since the recent increase in the Salt Duty in India there has been a diminution in the demand for salt, to the extent of 120 million of pounds; and, whether, having regard to the fact that salt is an absolute necessity of existence in India, Her Majesty's Government will take any steps to abrogate or diminish a tax which presses severely on the poorest classes of the community?


The diminution referred to, which is about 6 per cent of the total consumption, occurred immediately after the increase of the tax. The large stock then on hand sufficiently accounts for it; and in the latter part of 1888 there was a recovery in the quantity of salt passed into consumption. The Government of India are closely watching the Returns of salt consumption, and the Secretary of State feels convinced that the earliest opportunity will be taken of abrogating the increase of the Salt Tax, to which his assent was given with so much reluctance.