HC Deb 17 May 1898 vol 57 cc1539-40

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India if any fresh arrangements have been made for the supply of salt to the tribes on the Northwest Frontier, the excessive dearness of the Kohat salt, which they cannot do without, having been alleged by the Afridis as one of the chief grievances which led them to take up arms against the British Government?


Before the noble Lord replies may I ask whether the duty on Kohat salt up to 1883 was not 4 annas; whether it was not then raised to 8 annas, and again raised in 1896 to 2 rupees, or 32 times the natural price of salt? Do the Government contemplate a reduction of the duty?


As to the supplementary Question of the honourable Member for the Flint Boroughs, there is no doubt that in the last 15 years there has been a great increase in the duty on Kohat salt to bring it up to the level of the duty on internal salt, but I cannot say offhand what the increase has been. As regards the Question on the Paper, I have to say that so far as I know at present no fresh arrangements have yet been made respecting the duty on Kohat salt; but, as I stated in answer to a question on the 11th February, the subject is engaging the attention of the Indian Government, and I expect to receive a further report on the matter when the trade has been for some time resumed.