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thwest provinces, the Punjab, and the Central province, the village is the unit, and not the holding or field. The assessment is levied upon the owners of the yillage, who may be either landlords in the English sense or peasant proprietors with separate rights, or a village community. The settlement here records the most minute details of all rights over the village lands. This settlement is also good for thirty years. In Oudh, after the mutiny, the talukdars, or local potentates, were for the most part guaranteed in the possession of large estates, with even greater power than the zemindars of Bengal. In Assam a system akin to the ryotwari, but simpler, prevails. In British Burma also, where, as in Assam, cultivation is still backward, the system is simple and the taxation light,

"In the thirty years' revision only public improvements and a general change of prices, but not improvements effected by the ryots themselves, are considered as grounds for enhancing the assessment. The ryot's tenure is permanent, provided he pays the assessment.

“The important questions of the expediency of settling in perpetuity the amount of revenue to be paid to the government by landholders, of permitting this revenue to be redeemed forever by the payment of a capital sum of money, and of selling the fee simple of waste lands not under assessment have been within the last few years considered by the government of India. The expediency of allowing owners of land to redeem the revenue has long been advocated as likely to promote the settlement of European colonists; but experience seems to show that advantage is very rarely taken of the power which already exists in certain cases to redeem the rent by a quit payment, and it appears unlikely that such a permission would be acted upon to any great extent while the rate of interest afforded by an investment in the purchase of the land assessment is as low as at present in India.

Next in importance to the land revenue as a great source of Indian receipts is the income derived from the opium monopoly. The cultivation of the poppy is generally prohibited except for the purpose of selling the juice to the officers of the government at a certain fixed price. It is manufactured into opium at the government factories at Patna and Ghazipore and then sent to Calcutta and sold at auction to merchants who export it to China."

LARGE REVENUES RAISED. “A few figures will show what India has become financially, and they will illustrate the remarkable changes of the past fifty years," says Strachey in his “India.”

“In 1840 the gross revenues of India were Rx. 21,000,000; in 1857, the year before the assumption of the Government by the Crown, they were Rx. 32,000,000; in 1892 they were Rx. 90,000,000. In 1840 the total value of the foreign trade was Rx. 20,000,000; in 1857 it was Rx. 55,000,000; in 1892 it was Rx. 197,000,000. Equally remarkable figures might be given for public expenditure. I will give one example only: In 1840 the gross expenditure on account of all classes of public works in India hardly exceeded Rx. 200,000; in 1857 it had risen to nearly Rx. 3,000,000; in 1892, including the cost of working the railways and interest on the public works debt, it exceeded Rx. 30,000,000.

“It is true that few of these figures are really comparable, but I give them to illustrate the magnitude of the changes that have taken place in India. One fact is sufficient to show that it is only for this purpose that such comparisons can usefully be made. Since 1840 six great provinces, covering some 500,000 square miles, with a population of more than 60,000,000, have been added to the Empire.

“The immense growth of the revenues has been in no degree due to increased taxation. If, without going back to a time with which no comparisons are possible, we compare the present revenues of British India with those of twenty-five years ago, we shall find that under almost every head there has been a diminution rather than an increase in the public burdens. The land revenue, measuring it by its incidence on the area assessed, is everywhere lighter than it was. The salt duties were generally higher than they are now. Heavy customs duties were levied in the former period on every article of import and export, whereas until lately there has been almost absolute freedom of trade.

“I do not propose to speak of the present financial position of India, of surpluses, deficits, and so forth. The amount of the public income and expenditure is affected in all countries by conditions which are constantly changing. But I shall describe the principal sources from which the revenues are derived, and give some of the more important facts connected with Indian taxation, trade, and economical interests.

“The gross annual revenues of British India at the present time amount to more than Rx. 90,000,000, but it would be a mistake to suppose that this sum represents the amount taken from the people by taxation. The State in India has resources which render heavy taxation unnecessary, and there is certainly no country in the world possessing a civilized government in which the public burdens are so light. The taxation falling annually on the population of British India is less than 2s. per head. If we were to include the land revenue it would be about double that amount, but this would be no more reasonable than, in a similar calculation for our own country, to reckon as taxation a large proportion of the rent paid to private landholders. * * *

THE LAND REVENUE. "The most important of all the sources of revenue in India is the land revenue, which yields a gross amount of nearly Rx. 25,000,000 a year, and this, as I have explained, is not derived from taxation properly so called.

“From time immemorial the ruling power throughout India has been entitled to a share of the produce of every acre of land, and this share is the so-called land revenue. * * *

“In the last fifty years the land revenue of British India has more than doubled in amount, but it must not be supposed that the burden on the land has become heavier. The truth is that the process, described by Mr. Mill as 'a continued series of reductions of taxation,' has gone on during this period without intermission. The increase of land revenue has been due mainly to the extension of the empire. Since 1840 there has been an addition of some 500,000 square miles of territory. In our older provinces the growth of the land revenue has been entirely the result of increase in the area of cultivation, and in the value of agricultural produce, and in no instance has it been due to enhancement of the incident of the government demand. * * *

“There has never, so far as our knowledge goes, been a government in India that has taken so small a share in the profits of the soil as that taken by ourselves.

THE OPIUM REVENUE. “Next to the land revenue the most productive source of the public income in India is opium. A portion of the opium revenue, amounting on an average to about Rx. 730,000 a year, is derived from opium consumed in India, and this is credited in the public accounts under the head of excise. Including this, the average amount of the net opium revenue for the five years ending 1892–93 was about Rx. 7,100,000. * * *

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“The equalization of the salt duties throughout India at a reduced rate was completed in 1882 under the government of Lord Ripon. The duty was then fixed at 2 rupees per maund (82 pounds). In January, 1888, in consequence of financial pressure, the duty was raised to 21 rupees per maund, but it may be confidently hoped that this will be again reduced when circumstances permit. At the present rate the duty is about equivalent to an annual tax of 5 pence per head of the population.

“This is the only obligatory tax which falls upon the masses of the population of India, and, although they are very poor, it can not be said that the additional price which they have to pay for their salt is felt as an appreciable burden. The case was different twenty or thirty years ago, when high duties and, still more, the absence of means of communication made it difficult for the poorer classes in some parts of India to obtain a sufficient supply of salt. In 1877 the Government declared that its policy would aim at giving to the people throughout India the means of obtaining an unlimited supply of salt at the cheapest possible cost; that the interests of the people and of the public revenue are identical, and that the only just and wise system is to levy a low rate of duty on an unrestricted consumption. This principle has been acted on ever since with satisfactory results. The consumption has steadily increased, and the combined effect of reduction of duty, the extension of railways, and the general improvement in the means of communication has been to make salt cheaper in the greater part of India than it had ever been before, while the revenue is larger than before the reform of the old system was begun.

“Unfortunately the temptation is always great in time of financial pressure to have recourse to the easy expedient of increasing the duty on salt. The vast majority of the people throughout India are probably unaware even of the existence of the tax; but it is on them—that is, on the poorer classes—that the actual burden falls. The masses remain unmoved and silent, while the small and wealthier minority, who alone can make their voices heard, give loud approval to measures which impose no appreciable obligation upon themselves. No efforts consistent with financial prudence should be spared to reduce to the utmost the price of salt throughout India, and thereby to stimulate consumption. * * *

“The stamp revenue is derived partly from stamps on commercial papers, and partly from fees, levied by means of stamps, on proceedings in the judicial courts. It amounted in 1892–93 to Rx. 4,458,000, of which more than Rx. 1,250,000 was derived from commercial stamps, the rest from court fees.


“The revenue under the head of Excise, is derived from duties on spirits and intoxicating drugs. The people of India generally are extremely abstemious; the consumption of spirits is for the most part confined to the lower classes, but even among them there is, in the words of the Government of India, 'a condition of things, which, if it existed in England, would almost be regarded as the millenium of temperance. Drunkenness in the English sense of the term hardly exists in India.' There has been a large and steady increase in the excise revenue. In 1870 it was less than Rx. 1,250,000; in 1880 in was Rx. 2,840,000; and it was Rx. 5,204,000 in 1892-93 Benevolent people in this country, carried away by the enthusiasm of ignorance, have found in such figures as these the opportunities for indignant protest against the wickedness of a government which, with the object of obtaining revenue, affords, in defiance of native opinion, constantly increased facilities for drinking. There is no foundation for such assertions. The sole cause of the increase of revenue has been improved administration and the suppression of illicit distillation and sale. . * * *


The following statement regarding methods of raising revenue in the Malayan Peninsula is from a paper read before the Royal Colonial Institute, London, 1896, by Hon. F. A. Swettenham, “British resident” in the Federated Malay States:

“The combined revenues of the five States were estimated to amount last year to about $8,000,000, which means that in the time British residents have controlled the finances of the protected States they have succeeded in increasing the revenues at least twenty-fold. I should like to go into details of that revenue, for you may wonder how it is raised after what I have said about the abolition of imports and exports.


"In all the States there are three main sources of revenue. First, an export duty on tin. It is a very high duty, about 12 per cent f the value of the metal, but we are justified in imposing it, because it is the country's capital, and the Chinese can work at such low rates that while the Malay Peninsula produces five-sixths of the world's tin it is able to command the market in this sense, that it can undersell every other tin-producing country; and when the price of metal falls so low that our miners have to curtail their operations, it will mean that in other countries the mines have already been shut down, and the consequence will be a smaller production and a rise in price. The tin duty is, then, our principal source of revenue, and I have consistently held the opinion, hitherto justified by results, that the rise and fall of prices in European markets need cause us no great anxiety; and if, by reason of a further fall, our production should be reduced, I do not think that fact should be regarded as an unmixed evil.


“Our next principal source of revenue is the heavy duty we impose on all opium imported. In some States the right of collecting this duty is sold for a term of years at a fixed monthly rental. That plan has objections, and I prefer the collection of the actual duty by Government officers. The opium question has so recently been the subject of exhaustive inquiry that I will refrain from further allusion to it, except to say that Eastern people are not altogether lacking in intelligence, and they, unfortunately, know that if the great mass of Europeans are free from the opium habit, they indulge in intoxicants, and European governments profit by the indulgence. To the Eastern it appears preposterous and illogical that people at the other end of the world, alien to him in religion and sympathy should busy themselves over his moral obliquities, when their own are so open to criticism.

The third principal source of revenue is a monopoly of the import duty on spirits, and the exclusive right to manufacture them for native consumption. This monopoly is usually “farmed,' as it is termed, to Chinese, and there is often included with it a similar monopoly of the right to license public gambling places and pawnbroking shops. It was perhaps natural that those in this country, who understand nothing of the conditions of society in the Malay Peninsula, who judge Chinese and natives of the Malay Peninsula and ! Archipelago by their own standards of morality, and their own somewhat narrow-I had almost said ignorant-conception of the daily life of human beings in parts of the world beyond the reach of their study, should desire to see licensed gambling abolished in countries where British officers influence the administration ; but while I must deny myself the opportunity of giving you the multitude of reasons advanced by those who, with full knowledge and experience of the subject, hold contrary views, I will only say that where the gamblers are Chinese and the conditions of life such as prevail in the Malay States you may stop licensed gambling, but you can not put a stop to the far more pernicious practice of unlicensed gambling. In the wake of unlicensed gambling follows a train of evils that make the attempt at cure—and that a fruitless attempt far more objectionable than the disease. This is exactly one of those points where it is assuredly wise to remember that our position in the Malay States is that of advisers.


"I have told you the main sources of revenue in all the States, sources which existed long before the days of British residents, but I must now mention two new items for which we are responsible. One is a land revenue. We put the people in absolute possession of the land they required, and in return for that we charge them with the payment of a quitrent, which varies in accordance with the class of land occupied. The revenue raised from this source in 1894 was: In Pêrak ......

$235, 666 Selangor.....

138, 216 Sungei Ujong .......

35,537 Negri Sembilan.

32, 797 Pahang......

28, 367 Total...............................................

... 470, 583 “This item of revenue is capable of great expansion, especially when we undertake, as we have already in Pêrak begun to do, large schemes of irrigation to enable us to produce a rice crop at least sufficient for the consumption of our own people, and possibly surplus enough to feed the native population of the neighboring British colony.


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" The other source of revenue is derived from railway receipts, and it is considerable. In Pêrak the railways are expected to produce this year $622,750, and in Selangor $720,000, sums which give a very high rate of interest on the capital invested. In Sungei Ujong there is also a railway, but it belongs to a private company; it carries a Government guarantee, and so far has been a source of expense to the government of the State, though of course it has been a great public convenience. I trust these railways will, as funds permit, be considerably extended, and though it can not be expected that such proportionately high returns will be secured, still, the total receipts may be largely increased. The revenues derived from land and railways, the result of British advice and direction, are more satisfactory contributions to public funds than the monopolies which, as far as the railways are concerned, have supplied the means to construct them.



An analysis of the tariff relations existing between the colony and mother country, in countries other than the United Kingdom, was presented to the British Parliament in 1895 in the form of a series of reports made by British representatives located at the capitals of the countries in question. The question upon which they were directed to report was, in form, “The fiscal advantages accorded by foreign countries to goods imported from their colonial possessions, and conversely by the said colonial possessions to goods from their mother country." The following is the full text of the reports in question:


The commercial relations between France and her colonies and foreign possessions are now governed by articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the Customs Law of January 11, 1892, which run as follows:

"ART. 3. The duties and immunities applicable to products imported into the mother country from colonies, from French possessions, and from countries of the Indo-Chinese Protectorate are established in Schedule E, annexed to the present law.

"The French territories of the western coast of Africa (with the exception of Gaboon), Tahiti and dependencies, the French establishments in India, Obock, Diego-Suarez, Nossi-Be, and Sainte Marie, of Madagascar, are exempt from the stipulations of Schedule E. French longcloth proceeding from the French establishments in India shall, however, be free of duty. Exemptions or reductions may, in addition, be granted for other natural products, or for those originally manufactured in the above-mentioned establishments. Such reductions and exemptions shall be established by means of decrees issued by the council of state. Natural products, or those originally manufactured in the aforesaid establishments, for which no exemption or reduction has been granted, shall pay, when imported into France, the duties stipulated in the minimum tariff.

66 Foreign products imported into colonies, French possessions, and countries of the Indo-Chinese Protectorate, with exception of the territories enumerated in the preceding paragraph, shall be subject to duty as if imported into France.

"Decrees in the form of public administrative regulations, issued on the proposal of the minister of commerce, industry, and colonies, with the advice of the general councils or the administrative councils, shall designate the products which, in exception to the preceding provision, shall be subject to special duties.

"Paragraphs 1 and 3 of the present article shall not be executory for any colony until the regulations mentioned in paragraph 4 have been issued. The effect of this provision is limited to one year. The Government may, however, immediately grant all or part of the privileges stipulated in Schedule E to colonies which at the present time levy on foreign products the whole of the tariff duties of the mother country, or who subject colonial goods coming from abroad to the duties stipulated in the said tariff.

"ART. 4. The general councils and the administrative colonial councils may also suggest that modifications be made in the tariff of the mother country. The suggestions shall be submitted to the council of state, whose decisions thereon shall be issued in the same manner as the public administrative regulations mentioned in the preceding article.

"ART. 5. Native products of a French colony which are imported into another French colony shall be exempt from customs duty.

“Foreign products imported from a French colony into another French colony shall be subject in the latter to the payment of the difference between the duties of the local tariff and those in the tariff of the exporting colony.

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"ART. 6. The method of assessment, the regulations for collection and for the repartition of the sea octroi ("octroi de mer”), shall be established by the general or the administrative councils, and ratified by decrees issued in the form of public administrative regulations.

“The sea octroi tariffs shall be voted by the general or administrative colonial councils. They shall be rendered executory by decrees issued on the proposal of the minister of commerce, industry, and colonies.

They may, however, be temporarily put in force in virtue of a governor's decree. The expenditure of the customs service for salaries, etc., shall be entered as obligatory expenses in the local colonial budgets.

“Art. 7. The provisions of article 10 of the law of the 29th December, 1884, relating to Algeria, are maintained in force.

"ART. 8. The government is authorized to levy surtaxes on, or to prohibit the importations of, all or part of goods the product of countries who levy or may levy surtaxes on, or prohibit the importation of, French goods.

“These measures must be submitted immediately to the chambers for ratification, should they be sitting; should the chambers not be sitting, they must be submitted at the opening of the following session.

The tariff for products imported into the mother country from French colonies and possessions, and from countries of the IndoChinese Protectorate, are set forth in Schedule E, referred to in article 3, section 1, as follows:

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Products of colonial origin:a
Sugar, molasses not for distilling purposes ..

Duties stipulated in the tariff of the mother country.
Sirups and bonbons, sweet biscuits....
Jams and fruits of all kinds preserved with sugar or honey ..

Do. Cocoa ......

One-half of duty stipulated in tariff of mother country. Cocoa, ground ..................

Coffee, in the bean, or roasted, or ground......................

Tea ........

Do. Pepper, pimento, cloves, cinnamon, cassia, lignes, amomums and cardamoms, nutmegs, mace, and

All products not above mentioned, the origin of colonies or possessions.........

Products of foreign origin:
Imported from Algeria-

After having been nationalized there through the payment of the duties specified in the tariff of Do.

the mother country. After payment there of special duties......

............. Pay the difference between the duties of the Algerian

tariff and that of the mother country. Haying paid no duty in Algeria, or arriving after being warehoused or transshipped there........ Duties stipulated in the tariff of the mother country. Imported from other French colonies or possessions .......

The prohibitions or restrictions established by the customs tariff, whether in the interest of public
order or in consequence of the existence of a monopoly, are applicable to goods imported from the
French colonies and possessions, whether such articles be colonial or the produce of foreign countries.


a The products of French colonies and possessions shall only enjoy this favor on condition that the importation be direct, and on production of the proper certificates of origin.


By implication, all French goods imported into the colonies, etc., are admitted free of duty.

The application of this law is not, however, as yet universal, as by article 3, section 2, certain colonies are excepted from its provisions, the practical result being that, as regards tariff legislation, the French colonies may be divided into three groups:

These colonies are as follows:

Comoro Islands.
Guadeloupe and dependencies.

New Caledonia and dependencies.

Indo-China (French).

St. Pierre and Miquelon.

(Madagascar. 2)
Mayotte and dependencies.

The customs law (article 3, paragraph 2) authorizes, however, the Government to alter by decree the French tariff as applied in the colonies. This faculty has been freely used, and it is only by carefully comparing these decrees with the French tariff that an exact knowledge of the French colonial rates can be arrived at.

In all the colonies of this group French products enjoy a privileged treatment as compared with those of foreign countries.


These colonies are:
Benin (Gulf of).

Oceania, French establishments of.
Congo, French (Conventional Basin).

Guinea, French.

Soudan, French.
Ivory Coast.

Tahiti and dependencies. Nossi-Bé. In all these colonies, with the exception of Sénégal, Nossi-Bé, and Oceania, French goods pay the same rates as those of foreign origin. In Sénégal, however, there are certain additional ad valorem duties imposed on foreign produce from which French produce is exempted.

În Nossi-Bé and Oceania the customs tariffs apply only to foreign guds.

GROUP 3.-COLONIES WHERE NO CUSTOMS DUTIES EXIST. In Obock and the French possessions of India, at Sainte-Marie de Madagascar and Diego-Suarez, there are practically no customs duties.

1 In the case of countries having commercial treaties with France this will be the minimum tariff. 2 Since the above was written Madagascar has been added to this list.


As regards duties on colonial produce imported into France, all the colonies in group 1 are exempt from any duty except those duties specified in the table given above.

As regards colonies in group 2, their produce pays the rates of the French minimum tariff, but Article III of the law of the 11th of January, 1892, provides that special exemptions or reductions can be made by decrees of the Conseil d'État, and there is scarcely one of the colonies which has not obtained in this manner considerable privileges for their produce.


Algeria, as shown above, is classed among the colonies in group 1, where all French imports are free, but foreign imports pay the duties of the French tariff. There are, however, certain special rates for salted meats, coffee, sugars, tobacco, cigars, etc. Matches, which are a Government monopoly in France, and are altogether prohibited, may be imported into Algeria, where there is no monopoly.

Goods, the produce of Tunis and Morocco, are admitted free when imported by land, the only exception being for barks from Tunis, which are prohibited.

All Algerian goods imported into France are free of duty.


There is an ad valorem duty of 8 per cent on foreign goods, generally, imported into Tunis from France and other foreign countries.

Up till 1890 all Tunisian produce imported into France was subject to the duties of the general tariff. By the law of the 19th of July, 1890, however, certain produce, such as cereals, olive oils, animals, etc., are admitted free up to a certain quantity, which is fixed annually by decree. All other produce pays the rates of the minimum tariff.

Export duties are levied on dates, sponges, halfa, olive oil, fresh olives, wool, bones, skins, and a few other articles.

It may be useful to add that the commercial relations between Great Britain and Tunis are fixed by the convention of the 19th of July, 1875, Article VII of which provides that in no case shall the rate of duty exceed 8 per cent ad valorem, while Article XI stipulates that the convention shall remain in force until its revision shall have been accomplished by common consent after the expiration of seven years from the date of its conclusion.

shall remain in Y des that in no case sh between Great Britain


By article 2 of the law of the 13th of July, 1886, sugars from the French colonies imported into France are entitled to an allowance called "déchet de fabrication,” equivalent to the average of the excess of yields obtained by native sugars during the previous season's working. The amount of this allowance is fixed every year by decree. In the years 1892–93, 1893–94, 1894-95, and 1895–96 it has been 23 francs 80 centimes, 19 francs 47 centimes, 21 francs 19 centimes, and 21 francs 73 centimes per cent, respectively. Though not a bounty in the proper sense of the word, its effect is to protect colonial sugars.


Goods imported into the French colonies are subject to a tax called “octroi de mer,” which is levied upon all produce, whether of French or foreign origin.

These taxes are fixed by the colonial administrations, and vary considerably in the different colonies. They are local taxes and devoted to local purposes.


In many, if not all, the French colonies special taxes (“taxes de consommation") are levied on spirits, wines, beers, tobacco, etc., of foreign and local origin.

This memorandum only gives the general principles on which the commercial relations of France with her colonies are established. Their intention has been to protect, as far as possible, the produce of each colony in competition with foreign countries, and to bring the colonies, as far as circumstances will permit, within the French customs frontier.

In the case of the colonies in group 2, however, geographical conditions or diplomatic obligations have hitherto prevented a complete fulfillment of the object aimed at; but every opportunity will no doubt be taken of putting the law of the 11th January, 1892, into full execution, and of thus placing French produce imported into the colonies on a privileged footing as regards the produce of foreign countries.

The following tables show briefly the position of the customs relations of the French colonies as regards their import and export trade with France and foreign countries:




Of foreign origin imported into the


| Of French origin

imported into
the colony.

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Algeria ..............
Comoro Islands ........
Gaboon ........:
Guadeloupe and dependencies .....
Guiana, French ....
Indo-China, French ........
Martinique ..
Mayotte and dependencies
Réunion .....::.
St. Pierre and Miquelon ..........
Benin (Gulf of)...
Congo, French (Conventional Basin)..
Diego-Suarez and dependencies 2.....
Guinea, French ....

India, French?....
Ivory Coast ...............
Obock? ....
Oceania, French establishments of ...
Sainte-Marie de Madagascar.
Soudan, French
Tahiti and dependencies ........

Special tariff 1


Special tariff. 2



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1 French and foreign produce pay in principle the same duties.

2 Practically no customs duties.

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