HC Deb 30 April 1907 vol 173 c695

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Legislative Council of Egypt has repeatedly urged on the Egyptian Government the expedience of abolishing the tax on date trees; whether he is aware that cultivators have not only to pay the tax on the trees but the tax on the land on which they grow, and which is necessarily withdrawn from other cultivation, while orchards are free of tax; and, seeing that the tax on date trees is thus restrictive of production of food and useful material which Egypt could easily produce, and which has now to be imported, whether he will instruct the British Agency to advise the Egyptian Government to abolish it.


As has already been stated, the question of the date tax is to be more fully studied by the Egyptian Government in the current year. The fiscal policy is in favour of lessening the burden of taxation generally wherever possible. But, in view of difficulties of detail and of necessities of revenue, it is impossible for the Egyptian Government to give any pledge as to how this particular tax can be dealt with.


May I ask if it is not the fact that even after the land tax and date tax have been paid the capital invested in the date tree cultivation in Egypt pays the not inconsiderable dividend of from 9 to 12 per cent.


I must ask for notice of that.