§ Mr. REES
asked the Under-Secretary for India whether he was aware that the Famine Commission presided over by Sir Antony (now Lord) Macdonnell reported that the incidence of the land tax on the average value of the produce was less than four per cent, in the Central Provinces, seven per cent, in Berar and most of the Punjab, and from seven to eight per cent, in the Deccan; and that the Famine Commission further recorded that the pressure of the land revenue was not severe, the incidence on the gross produce of the soil being light and not such as to interfere with agricultural efficiency in ordinary years; and whether he would say if any subsequent information had been received that threw doubt upon the conclusions at which the said Commission arrived?
The MASTER of ELIBANK
The incidence of the land tax in the several provinces was found by the Famine Commission to be as stated by the hon. Member, though they added with regard to the Deccan that in view of the sterility of the soil and precariousness of the climate the assessment was probably a full one. Elsewhere they thought that the revenue was low to moderate in ordinary years and should not per se be the cause of indebtedness. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.