§ 27. Mr. Alport
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why an export tax on tea and tobacco continues to be levied by the Nyasaland Government in view of the discriminatory nature of these taxes and their deterrent effects upon the expansion of the production of those two commodities in this Protectorate.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
These taxes are levied to raise revenue essential for the administration and further development of Nyasaland. I do not agree that they have an injurious effect on the expansion of tea and tobacco production in the Protectorate. Exports of tobacco rose from 23.8 million lb. in 1948 to 251 million lb. in 1949 and the estimate for 1950 is 27½ million lb. Tea exports were lower in 1949 than in 1948 but this was due to one of the worst droughts in the history of Nyasaland and the 1950 crop is expected to equal or exceed that of 1948.
§ Mr. Alport
Would the right hon. Gentleman say what is the amount of revenue raised by these taxes, and whether 464 there are no alternative ways of raising the revenue required?
§ Mr. Griffiths
I should be glad to give the figures if the hon. Gentleman would put down another Question.