HC Deb 17 March 1890 vol 342 c1005

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the widespread feeling that the importation of spirits into Africa should be as much as possible curtailed and limited, he can inform the House what has been the policy of the Royal Niger Company on this question, and what has been the increase or diminution in the amount of spirits imported into the territories controlled by the Company since it was constituted?


The policy of the Niger Company has been to limit the spirit trade in the Lower Niger, and as far as possible to check altogether the importation of spirits into the Mussulman territories on the Central Niger and Benué. With this view a duty of 2s. a gallon has been imposed on imports into the river, which is doubled above the confluence of the Benué. As far as can be ascertained, the imports—which amounted in 1884 to 420,000 gallons, and in 1886, when the Charter was granted, to about 250,000 gallons, exclusive of trade in native canoes—have fallen steadily, till in 1889 they amounted to under 70,000 gallons.