§ MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether the Salt Duty charged at Kohat, on the North-West Frontier, was raised from four to eight annas pr maund in 1883, causing discontent among the Afridis, and whether it was raised further to thirty-two annas in 1896; whether he is aware that the enhanced duty is thirty-two times the cost of the article; and whether any steps are being taken to make a satisfactory settlement of the question?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Right Hon. LORD GEORGE HAMILTON,) Middlesex, Ealing
It is true that the Kohat Salt Duty has been raised, first in 1883, to eight annas, and recently to thirty-two annas, per Kohat maund, which is equivalent to twenty-six annas per Indian maund, for the reasons given in the correspondence presented on Tuesday last (Vol. 1., p. 147–175). The present duty is not thirty-two times, but about six and a half times, the cost price of the salt. The correspondence to which I have already referred shows that I propose to await a report on the new system, which I shall expect to receive when trade is resumed.