§ MR. J. M. ROBERTSON (Northumberland, Tyneside)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the excise duty of 8 per cent. imposed upon the manufactures of the Egyptian Cotton Mills Company, Limited, a British company established in Egypt, has already absorbed one-eighth of the company's capital, thereby practically destroying this industry, and that in consequence of the imposition of such duty the company is on the point of giving up business; and whether, in order to save from forced liquidation one of the few industrial companies in Egypt, he will advise the Egyptian Government to abolish or reduce such excise duty.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
The Excise duty has been in force for some years and corresponds to the import duty. It cannot be abolished or reduced without finding some other source of revenue and raising the whole question of fiscal policy and other difficulties of which we have had experience in connection with cotton duties in India. I am not anxious to see the Egyptian Government raise these questions, nor to take the responsibility of suggesting new taxes to them.