HC Deb 15 March 1922 vol 151 cc2159-60

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any decree has been promulgated by the French Government in Dahomey, French Togoland, or French Occidental Africa to give effect to the prohibition or control of the importation of trade spirits into Africa, in accordance with the Convention of St. Germain, dated 10th September, 1919; whether any representations have recently been made to the French Government that the differential treatment of this subject by the British and French Authorities in the Gold Coast and French Togoland, respectively, has not only resulted in serious loss of revenue to the British Colony and British mandated territory, but has led to smuggling and other abuses; whether steps will be taken forthwith to ensure that British and French action in this matter are on all fours; and what quantity of spirits, trade and other, are known to have been imported into Lome during the year 1921?


A decree for this purpose, dated 15th May, 1921, was promulgated by the Governor-General of French West Africa on 24th December, 1921. Inquiries are being made as to the applicability of the Regulations laid down by this decree to Togoland. Representations have been made to the French Government with the object of securing that the obligations imposed upon the local administrations by the Treaty of 1919 shall be inter- preted on similar lines in the British and French Colonies. The particulars asked for in the last part of the question have not reached me, but I will endeavour to obtain them.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in a recent report on the financial condition of the British African Colonies this is singled out as an example of the unsatisfactory fiscal arrangements that obtain in the Gold Coast?


It is most important that this matter should be settled, and settled on the same lines.