Onderstaande tekst is niet 100% betrouwbaar

trade, also in alochol, were not injured. Therein is a contradiction. The liquor traffic is always pernicious for the natives, even though it may be carried on in an honest manner. It was the duty o fthe Governments to forward the interests of the natives, without considering those Europeans who wish to enrich themselves at the expense of the social and spiritual welfare of the natives. An absoulte prohibition was necessary for the complete protection of the natives.

In addition every Power had too much freedom in the practise of these precepts, which gave rise to many difficulties. One Power has a different idea of its task from another. When one Power enacts a law for a certain district, and the other does not do the same for a neighbouring district, there follows an opportunity for a pernicious smuggling trade. One Power can spoil the good, that the other does and meanwhile the alcohol-danger grows more and more. The Powers draw more and more profit from the import-duties, which become such an important source of income that they cannot be done without. At the same time an enormous sum must be spent on the social and moral elevation of the population, which is being hurried to its ruin by the alcohol. Great sums of money are trifled away, amounts which have no other result than the spreading of greater misery.

The movement in this direction is concentrated in the question, whether the import-duties can be still further raised and to what amount. The Government tries by means of high import-duties to keep spirits out of reach of the natives. But it fails in this object. The import becomes greater and greater, (except in the German Colonies, which seem to form an exception). In Southern Nigeria the import from 1900—1907 rose 60 %; in the French Colonies 55 %. Moreover the income of the native is rising through trade with Europe, so that now he is able to buy expensive drink just as he formerly bought the cheaper. How high ought the duty to be carried in order to oppose the increasing import?

The English Government, which takes the front place in this movement, requires the most. Already in the year 1889 it levied a duty of 200 francs per hectolitre; at the same time it wished to restrain the import of all pernicious spirits to make ist transport per railway more difïicult. (I regret that a shadow has fallen upon the merits of England in this respect through the inaccurate report of a Royal Commission of research in South Nigeria,

Sluiten