HC Deb 07 March 1895 vol 31 cc540-1
MR. J. A. PEASE (Northumberland, Tyneside)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies if his attention has been called to a statement in the Times of 4th March that in the English colony of Lagos alone, 2,000,000 gallons of spirits go in every year for native consumption, and in the neighbouring colony of Oil Rivers, known now as the Niger Protectorate, 2,000,000 gallons more go in also every year; and what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking, or propose to take, to secure uniformity of action throughout the various West African Colonies, with a view to either prohibit the sale of spirits or place high restrictive duties upon their Importation?


My attention has been drawn to the article in question. I fear that so long as other countries have contiguous possessions through which spirits can be imported it is impossible for us to suppress the traffic We already levy in our colonies duties on spirits generally in excess of those imposed in the neighbouring French and German colonies, and also higher than the tariff laid down in the Act of the Brussels Conference.


asked whether the hon. Gentleman would negotiate with the other Powers with a view to the adoption of a uniform system?


said they had endeavoured more than once to do that, but at the present moment there was very little prospect of an agreement being arrived at.