§ 103. Earl WINTERTON
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Nyasaland Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce have strongly urged upon the Nyasaland Government that there should be a refund of the export duty imposed upon tobacco and other articles in April, 1920, in view 1241 of the fact that the duty was subsequently abolished, owing to the heavy tax it placed upon industry in the country; and whether he is aware that the condition of planting in Nyasaland is a most serious one at the present time?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. E. Wood)
As was explained in the answer to the Noble Lord's question on the 11th May, the produce taxes in Nyasaland were levied for revenue purposes until other forms of taxation could be devised. I am aware that agricultural interests in Nyasaland, as in other Dependencies, are seriously affected by the world-wide depression of trade, but the money necessary for the administration of the Government has to be obtained, and I can hold out no hope that it will be possible to refund the amounts paid in duty before the abolition of the taxes on the 1st of April, 1921.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Will the hon. and gallant Member call for a report from the Government of Nyasaland to show the state of the industry before the tax was imposed, and its state at the time it was taken off, with a view to seeing whether it is not a fact that it has been an absolute death-blow to the tobacco industry in Nyasaland?