HC Deb 18 June 1941 vol 372 cc633-4
23. Captain John Dugdale

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies the source from which the contribution towards Imperial Defence, made by the Governments of the Straits Settlements and of Fiji, was obtained?

Mr. George Hall

As the answer is rather long and contains figures, I will, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

Contributions received by His Majesty's Government from the Government of the Straits Settlements towards the cost of Imperial Defence since the outbreak of the war have included two gifts of £1,000,000 from the Colony's revenue balances, $4,551,075 (Straits) which formed the proceeds to 31st March of an issue of War Saving Certificates on which the Colonial Government is accepting responsibility for the repayment of principal and interest, and $5,108,710 (Straits), being the proceeds to 31st March of the taxation imposed under the War Duties Ordinance (1940) and later amending Ordinances. This legislation provided for an extra export duty of 5 per cent. ad valorem on rubber and for various increases in pre-existing import or excise duties and taxation on non-essentials as well as for certain new taxation of the same kind. None of these increases affect the subsistence cost of living for the poorer classes of the community. The Straits Settlements Government also issued a local War Loan of $25,000,000, the proceeds of which were transferred as a free gift to His Majesty's Government, the Colonial Government remaining responsible for the payment of principal and interest.

Before the war the Fiji Government made a small annual contribution of £5,000 towards Imperial Defence. This contribution was discontinued on the outbreak of war and in its place the Colony has accepted liability for various measures of local defence involving additional expenditure many times greater than their pre-war contribution for Imperial Defence. To meet this liability, increased taxation has been imposed, covering income tax, residential tax, entertainment tax, port and customs service tax and customs duty.

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