HC Deb 14 March 1906 vol 153 cc1231-2
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the efforts now being made by the Government of Eastern Bengal and Assam to induce tea planters to take out licences for the sale of liquor to coolies employed on their estates; whether he can state to what extent this proposal has been adopted; and whether the increase of drinking facilities thereby afforded is in accordance with the declared policy of the Government of India in reference to Excise administration.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Morley.) I would refer my hon. friend to the Papers laid before Parliament in 1904 regarding the Excise administration in Assam. The Government of India agreed with the Chief Commissioner of

Year. Average number of troops in South Africa. Cost on Army Estimates. Expenditure on Military Works Loan. Total of two preceding columns.
£ £ £
1903–4 31,000 7,760,000 1,430,000 9,190,000
1904–5 23,000 2,830,000 1,130,000 1,140,000
1905–6 20,000 2,400,000 300,000 2,700,000

The only contribution towards the above cost made by the Colonial adminis-

Assam that planters should not be pressed to take out licences. I am not aware that the decision has since been departed from. According to the last received Excise Administration Report for Assam very few such licences have been taken out. The expedient was originally suggested by the Planters' Association with the object of enabling the managers of tea gardens to keep control over neighbouring liquor shops, and it is not intended to increase facilities for obtaining liquor.