Art. 11. The Provincial Assembly shall have the following duties and powers: (a) It may pass such laws as allowed by the Constitution. (b) It may pass the bills on the provincial Budget and Accounts. (c) It may impeach the members of the Provincial Council. (d) It may address interpellations or give suggestions to the Provincial Council. (e) It may elect Members for the Provincial Council. (f) It may attend to the petitions submitted by the public.
Art. 12. A Magistrate shall be appointed for each hsien district to enforce administrative measures. He shall be appointed directly by the Shenchang, and his term of office shall be three years.
Art. 13. The Central Government shall hold examinations in the provinces for candidates for the Magistracy. In a province half of the total number of magistrates shall be natives of the province and the other half of other provinces; but a native shall hold office of Magistrate 300 li away from his home.
Art. 14. The organization for the legislative organ of the hsien district shall be fixed by law.
The following is a translation of a memorandum prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce regarding abolition of likin and an increase of the Customs duties:—
“Disproportionate taxation on commodities at inland towns and cities tends to cripple the productive power of a country. Acting upon this principle, France in the 17th, England, America, Germany and Austria in the 18th Century abolished such kind of taxation, the Customs tariff remaining, which is a levy on imports at the first port of entry. Its purpose is to increase the cost of production of imported goods and to serve as a protection of native products (sic). Raw materials from abroad are, however, exempt from Customs duty in order to provide cheap material for home manufactures. An altogether different state of affairs, however, exists in this country. Likin stations are found throughout the country, while raw materials are taxed. Take the Hangchow silk for instance. When transported to the Capital for sale, it has to pay a tax on raw material of 18 per cent. Foreign imported goods on the other hand, are only taxed at the rate of five per cent ad valorem Customs duty at the first port of entry with another 2.5 per cent transit duty at one of the other ports through which the goods pass. Besides these only landing duty is imposed upon imported goods at the port of destination. Upon timber being shipped from Fengtien and Antung to Peking, it has to pay duties at five different places, the total amount of which aggregates 20 per cent of its market value, while timber from America is taxed only ten per cent. Timber from Jueichow to Hankow and Shanghai is taxed at six different places, the total amount of duty paid aggregating 17.5 per cent., while