§ 41. Mr. T. Reid
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what export duties are at present imposed on their major products by Colonies; how far their object is to finance their Governments by taxes levied indirectly on foreigners; and how far the export duties are shared with the exporters of the products.
§ Mr. Rees-Williams
The information for which my hon. Friend asks in the first part of his Question covers too wide a field for an oral reply. I will, therefore, with his permission send him a copy of Colonial Office Miscellaneous Publication No. 512 containing details of the export duties in force in the Colonial Empire at a recent date.
The object of these duties, which are imposed irrespective of the country to which the products are exported, is simply to raise Government revenue and the proceeds are not shared with the exporters. It is impossible to say in general terms whether they represent indirect taxes on overseas buyers. Where the price of a product is determined in a fully competitive market, the burden of export duties ultimately falls on the producer; but where competition is imperfect they may be shared in varying proportions between the producer and the consumer.