HC Deb 21 April 1948 vol 449 cc1805-6
38. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what recommendations have been made by the Committee set up in Northern Rhodesia to consider the question of automatic exemption from Native Tax of Africans whose incomes are below a certain figure; whether he is aware that a European with a wife and two children in Northern Rhodesia pays no tax until his annual income reaches £500; and whether exemption for Africans earning less than 20s. per month will now be granted.

Mr. Mayhew

The Committee, which included an African member, recommended that there should be no automatic exemption from Native Tax of Africans in urban areas whose cash earnings are below 20s. a month, but that the present powers of District Officers to reduce or remit tax should be generously exercised when the capacity to earn had been lost or reduced by any cause. I am not aware of the decision of the Northern Rhodesian Government on these recommendations.

Mr. Sorensen

Does not that seem a little unfair, and does it not look rather like discrimination between white and black that in one case there should be total exemption and in the other case none at all?

Mr. Mayhew

Yes; but I should not like to prejudge this matter until I have heard the decision of the Northern Rhodesian Government.