§ 36. Mr. ALDEN
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the balance of the island of Montserrat exceeded E15,000 on 31st March last; and whether, in view of the intention that the reserve fund should not exceed £10,000 and the expectation held out that the exceptional Export Duties on produce would be removed at an early date, he will give immediate instructions for the promised relief to be afforded?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)
I have not yet received the figures showing the exact balance of the Presidency on 31st March last. But as proposals for spending a considerable sum of money out of surplus funds on public works have been laid before me, and as the effect of the reduction of Import Duties due to the Reciprocity Agreement with Canada has yet to be felt, I cannot commit myself on the subject without seeing the Estimates for the current year, which will shortly reach me. My hon. Friend is no doubt aware that the export duties on fresh fruit and vegetables were removed in the interests of the poorer classes, and that the Export Duty on cotton was reduced in 1910.