HC Deb 28 July 1936 vol 315 cc1342-3W

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs at what age native subjects and European subjects, respectively, in Southern Rhodesia become liable for poll tax or income tax; and at what rates such taxation is levied?


Native tax at the rate of £1 per annum, with an additional tax of 10s. per annum for every wife in excess of one, is payable, subject to certain exemptions, by every adult male native. The Southern Rhodesia Native Tax Act does not define the expression "adult male native," but I understand that in South Africa a native is generally regarded as an adult when he reaches the age of 18. Income tax commencing at the rate of 6d. in the pound and rising to a maximum of 3s. in the pound is payable on the taxable amount of the income of any person irrespective of age.


asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether, under Section 14 (3) of the Native Registration Enactment in Southern Rhodesia, licensed concubines are specifically allowed freedom of choice; whether they can be subjected to compulsion or punishment by superintendents of locations for refusal through disinclination or ill-health to discharge their licensed functions; if so, what is the nature of the compulsion or punishment; and whether a pension system has been or will be established for these women?


The hon. Member's question is based upon a misapprehension. The main object of the particular sub-section of the Natives' Registration Act to which he refers is to enable certain native women who have formed voluntary unions and who are living with native men in the locations, to stay in the locations. Though these couples are not legally married, they have come to be regarded by the natives as man and wife. There is no element of compulsion, and no part of this question, therefore, arises.