HC Deb 19 March 1923 vol 161 cc2081-2
45. Mr. C. ROBERTS

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that since the recent introduction of the policy of taxing the export of raw produce from West Africa the exports there from have fallen both in value and volume; and whether His Majesty's Government will consider the advisability of abolishing the duties in order to aid a revival of trade in West Africa?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)

I have been asked to reply Export duties on produce are not of recent introduction in West Africa. They were first imposed in Nigeria and the Gold Coast in 1916, in Sierra Leone in 1918 and in the Gambia in 1899. Their abolition would cause serious financial loss to the West African Governments, and I fear there is no practical alternative form of taxation which could be imposed to make up such a loss of revenue.


Is it not a fact that this export tax on produce in West Africa has done an enormous lot to reduce the production of the natives, and is really impoverishing the Colonies in that way more than any other Measure can do?


We must argue that on another occasion.

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