HC Deb 21 June 1933 vol 279 cc746-8
13. Mr. LUNN

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the letter he has addressed to the governor of Kenya on certain points of detail in the alternative system of taxation can be made available for Members of this House?


Yes, Sir; I am arranging for copies of the dispatch to be placed in the Library of the House.

16. Captain GUEST

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he proposes to take any further steps to see that the danger of budget deficits in Kenya Colony is avoided in future; and whether he is aware that, failing further economies in administration, even the new taxation which is about to be imposed will not be sufficient to prevent deficits in future years?


The Government of Kenya may be relied upon to exercise constant vigilance in the reduction of expenditure in every possible direction. Revenue prospects in an agricultural country are largely dependent upon the course of world-prices, and I am not prepared to endorse my right hon. and gallant Friend's forecast of recurrent deficits in future years.

17. Captain GUEST

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that his decision not to insist upon the imposition of an income tax in Kenya has been warmly received in the Colony; and whether, in view of the fact that he was influenced by the argument that taxpayers should be allowed to choose that form of taxation which best suits them, subject to yielding the necessary revenue, he will now take steps to give the elected members a more effective voice in the control of the Colony's finances?


I have seen several reports in the newspapers that the decision has been favourably received. As regards the latter part of the question, my right hon. and gallant Friend will remember the recommendations made by the Joint Select Committee on East Africa, particularly in paragraphs 75, 96, 97 and 98 of their report. The views of this very representative Committee of both Houses were expressed after a long and thorough investigation; and Debates in Parliament have shown that, broadly, their report commanded the general approval of the House; and the considered view of the Government on the Select Committee's Report is set out in my published dispatch of 13th July, 1932. I am sending my right hon. and gallant Friend a copy of the Command Paper containing this dispatch.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the second part of the question exactly states the situation, namely, that he was influenced by the argument that taxpayers should be allowed to choose that form of taxation which best suits them?


The situation is very clearly stated in the dispatch which I published in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Once satisfied that there was an alternative form of taxation which fully satisfied the Govern- ment and was more acceptable to the people as one of the two forms of the taxation which they had to pay, I took the course that they should have the alternative form of taxation.


Will the right hon. Gentleman extend that principle to this country'?


I am not responsible for initiating proposals for taxation in this country.


Is the alternative form in accordance with the Moyne Report?


Lord Moyne suggested that there must be some form of further taxation upon the non-native community, if financial balance were to be restored, and he said that, broadly speaking, he thought that Income Tax appeared to be the most reasonable course. I am entitled to say that, in view of Lord Moyne's very thorough inquiry and report, I did consult him, before taking my decision, and that he expressed his entire concurrence with the course which I have now taken.

Captain GUEST

Is there any expectation that the recommendations of the expenditure advisory committee, which was set up by the Governor last spring, will be adopted in framing the future estimates of the Colony?


I could not answer that off-hand. Certainly, enormous economies have already been made—really enormous. Other economies are in course of being made. I hope to have an opportunity, when the Governor is here, of discussing the subject of economy with him.


May we take it that no abrogation of the right of the Government to decide what form of taxation is suitable in any part of the Colony is implied?


Absolutely no abrogation of that essential, paramount power is contemplated; but surely it is wise, while exercising that paramount power, to take into the fullest consultation those who are going to be affected.

Back to
Forward to