HC Deb 01 December 1920 vol 135 cc1278-9W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the duties on imported cigarettes into Malta have recently been materially increased, whilst the duty on leaf tobacco has not been increased at all, thus discriminating in favour of the local tobacco manufacturer; whether the preference of one-seventh in favour of tobacco goods of British Empire origin has recently been abolished; and whether that is the considered policy of the Colonial Office with regard to Malta?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

As regards the first part of the question, the Customs Revision Ordinance has not yet reached me in its final form, but I am aware that it was intended to increase the duties on manufactured tobacco in a greater proportion than those on unmanufactured" tobacco. A proposal for granting preference on goods imported from the British Empire was recently before the Council, but was not favoured by the Elected Members, and was not proceeded with. The Secretary of State is not prepared to intervene in either matter, in view particularly of the fact that under the new Constitution the people of Malta will have full power to frame their own fiscal policy.