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Ceylon

Volume 244: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1930

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27.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has considered the resolution sent to him as passed at a mass meeting held in Colombo, Ceylon, on 23rd October, representative of all communities in the island, with regard to the financial position of the island; and what action it is proposed to take in the matter?

The resolution to which the hon. and learned Member refers has been received. My Noble Friend is satisfied that the Government of Ceylon is taking adequate steps to deal with the financial situation. He does not consider that any special action is called for on his part.

Is not the hon. Gentleman keeping in view the fact that one of the resolutions passed at this most representative meeting which is referred to in the question was to the effect that the Income Tax proposals were against the wishes of the people, and would do great harm and aggravate the difficulties of the country in a time of unprecedented depression?

I have very full information as to the meeting which was held, and more than a quarter of the people who attended that meeting were members of the Labour party, who were not allowed either to speak or to move an amendment. If an Income Tax is to be imposed upon Ceylon, that will be a matter for the Legislative Council. I understand that the Governor does not feel that it is in his power to interfere.

Is it not the case that on the Second Reading of the Bill the official members were instructed to vote for the Bill, and that without the official vote the Bill would have been defeated?