HC Deb 27 July 1909 vol 8 cc998-9
Captain FABER (for Mr. Mildmay)

asked the Under-Secretary for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Cape Government have raised the licence duty on representatives of British firms in South Africa from £25 per annum to £50, and in cases of agents representing a number of firms up to £100, withdrawing at the same time the traveller's concession on his railway ticket, and also imposing a charge upon them equal to a 5 per cent. duty on the value of all samples carried by them; and whether he will represent to the Cape Government that the travellers affected by this taxation are suffering severe pecuniary loss as a result of the same?

Colonel SEELY

The attention of the Secretary of State has been called to the large increase in the licence duties referred to, though not to the other points, by a number of complaints from commercial bodies in this country, and he has been in communication with the Cape Government on the subject. The Cape Government, who were compelled to impose considerably increased taxation to meet a deficit, have not felt able so far to take steps to reduce the duties, but they gave an assurance that the objections made should receive full consideration if it should be found possible to make a reduction later. In these circumstances, and more particularly in view of the impending Union of the South African Colonies, it is not proposed to reopen the question at present.