HC Deb 21 May 1935 vol 302 cc1042-3

8.11 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 172, line 1, to leave out from "of" to the end of the Sub-section, and to insert: anything in this Act have power to impose any tax, cess, toll, or due on goods of any class or description which, as between goods produced or manufactured in the Province and similar goods not so manufactured or produced, discriminates in favour of the former.? My right hon. Friend the Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy) pressed me to extend the scope of this Clause. I am glad to say that we are agreed that we can make this considerable extension in the direction of prohibiting possible restrictions on internal trade.

8.12 p.m.


I am glad to support this Amendment and to pay a tribute to the Government and to thank them for closing a loophole which, if it had been left open, might have been harmful to British trade in India. The Governor-General in the Bill is given the responsibility of preventing penal discrimination, but that responsibility is not carried forward to the powers and special responsibilities of the Provincial Government. Therefore, it became obvious that It might be possible for some provincial taxation to be imposed on goods passing through the Provinces and thereby some measure of discrimination be brought to bear on goods by reason of their origin. The Government, realising that situation, put down a new Clause which now stands in the Bill as Clause 292, and this Clause, as the Secretary of State has explained, prohibits a Provincial Government from making certain restrictions. But as it stands in the Bill at the moment it prohibits them only in respect of taxes. The Amendment extends the prohibition from taxes to cesses and tolls and therefore makes more certain that British or Burmese trade should not be subjected to penal discrimination. I have great pleasure in supporting the Amendment.

8.15 p.m.


: I wish to take this opportunity of adding my quota of praise to my right hon. Friend for this Amendment. I have not the slightest doubt that it will go a long way towards re moving any doubts which exist among the people of Lancashire more especially those engaged in the cotton trade with India, about this matter. I would, of course, like to see my right hon. Friend go much further than this Amendment proposes but we are thankful for a little since every little helps

Amendment agreed to.