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250,000 men. Even with these corps was suddenly concennumbers he was inferior to trated at Chang-tan, north of Oyama. Kuropatkin may or the Hun, and twenty-five miles may not have known this at south - west of · Mukden, from the time. But he knew that whence Gripenberg was to make Stössel's surrender had re- his maiden effort. His force leased Nogi with the equivalent consisted of nearly 80,000 of 100,000 seasoned troops, who men, with 300 guns, for the were already on the way to join most part composed of what the Army of the North.
then considered to be We have pointed out already the flower of Kuropatkin's in this paper that the Japanese army, namely, the 8th and had thrown their left out to 10th Corps. wards the river Hun. Their The battle of Hei - kou. left now composed of tai is so closely interwoven Nogi with his troops from with that of Mukden, that the Liau-tung Peninsula. It we must reserve its narrative consisted of a line of forti- until we can take the more fied villages on the Hsin-min- far-reaching issue in hand. ting - Liauyang road, where Together, these two last battles, it crosses the plain enclosed which placed the fateful seal by the Sha-ho and Hun-ho of defeat upon the Russian rivers. Against this left land forces, furnish, perhaps, Gripenberg's corps was sud- the most interesting military denly set in motion. On study to be found in any January 25 the bulk of this campaign.
MUSINGS WITHOUT METHOD.
THE TYRANNY OF THE INCOME-TAXMAN INSTRUMENT OF HUMILIATION
THE IRRESPONSIBLE ELECTOR-ROBBERY OF THE EXEMPTAN EX-
THE report of the Committee the master of us all, is never appointed to inquire into the requested to read the prolix payment of the income tax is forms, couched in a wholly una remarkable document. It intelligible jargon, which are savours rather of Germany sent out from Somerset House than of England. It is author or some other factory of evil; itative, menacing, indiscreet. and thus a hatred of the Mr Ritchie and his colleagues income-tax is never likely to are clearly of opinion that to disturb an election. In other collect the uttermost farthing words, it is class legislation, of the income-tax is the most naked and unashamed. It is important duty of the Govern- another attempt to pamper the ment, to which duty amiability, idle at the expense of those good manners, the pleasant whose thrift and energy have conduct of life, must be sacri- made them better off than ficed; and they make their their fellows. But the injustrecommendation without any ice which it inflicts touches thought for the dignity and more than one class. If it be privileges of the taxpayer. an infamy to put a fine upon
Their tone is the more un- enterprise and intelligence, it fortunate, because the income- is an equal infamy to tell the tax is in its essence unjust, vast majority of our citizens in its method unscrupulous. that they are not fit to pay Levied in time of war or of their share towards the national distress, it would be penses of the empire. The cheerfully paid and easily col- people is permitted to vote : lected. Imposed by idle Chan- it is not permitted to pay cellors of the Exchequer, whose taxes. Why should it thus be ingenuity and courage are not deprived of its privileges ? The equal to the task of striking small contributions which it a balance between revenue and makes when it drinks its glass expenditure, it is an imposition of beer or smokes its pipe need which would long ago have not fill it with pride, and only been removed had it touched a course of desperate drunkenthe pocket of the working man. ness, a determination to burn For its chief merit in the eyes tobacco day and night, could of the politician is that it does turn the British democrat into not alienate the proud and in a patriot. The politician who dependent voter. The people, prates of free breakfast-tables
appears to believe that he is none but a traitor would ever the friend of the working man. dare to exact the smallest conAnd he is merely offering to tribution from the working his favourite a fresh insult. man, whose breakfast table He is merely declaring in his must be free, whose children loudest voice that the people must be educated for nothing, who sends him to Parliament and who is never allowed to must be exempt, like paupers make a sacrifice for his country and criminals, from the respons- unless he is sodden with beer ibilities of citizenship.
or dazed with tobacco. Cowardice, of course, is the And 80 because our policause of the injustice. The par- ticians dare not tax the workliamentary candidate knows too ing man, who could perfectly well the effect which he pro- well afford to pay his share, duces by the promised abolition the income-tax still stands at of indirect taxes, and when a shilling; and Mr Ritchie's the candidate becomes a mem- Committee, instead of apolober of Parliament, he is not gising for an imposition as unmindful of his promise. And gross as the forced benevolence so it is that we live in the of old, clamours for more gold midst of an untaxed democ- and severer penalties. It is as racy. The people which can though a highwayman, having make war knows that it will demanded your purse and got not be asked to pay the cost it, should shoot you through of that war, and the people's the head because it was not carelessness may well be height- full enougb. And this reckened by the fact that in Eng- lessness is the more foolish land there is no enforced mil. since it is certain that, if an itary service. We hear much unpopular tax be too roughly of the thrift and dignity which levied, it will ultimately be make the French peasant a abolished, even though it do model for Europe, of the econ- not touch the sacred person omy which he practises that of the working man. The he may put something by for perfect tax, no doubt, obtains a rainy day and for the profit a maximum of revenue with of his children. But he is a minimum of insult to the thrifty and dignified partly taxpayer. The wildest zealot because he recognises that he could not describe the incomeis part and parcel of the State, tax in these terms. It obfor which in youth he is ready tains more than the maximum to fight, and to whose revenue of revenue—that is true, but he deems it, in his maturer it obtains it by a method years, no hardship to con- which is at once insolent and tribute. How different is the unjust. outlook of the English peasant! In the first place, as Mr He hears from every platform, Ritchie's Committee allows, he reads in every paper, that four-fifths of the income-tax taxes are to be paid by the is cut off at the main. That middle and upper classes; that is to say, all those who derive
their income from Government the grant of exemption or stock or public companies pay abatement by reason of smalltheir income-tax automatically. ness of income should be “The tax is stopped before it abolished in the case of persons reaches their hands." The resident outside the United amount of a man's income Kingdom.” For this arbitrary, does not matter. He may be high-handed suggestion there wholly exempt, or he may be is no
Our Inland able to claim abatement. That Revenue has no right to inquire does not matter to the tax- into or to control the incomes gatherer, who pockets what he of foreigners who invest some can, and says no more about portion of their money in it. And if the retired soldier London, and surely it is the or unknowing widow is robbed oddest inducement to French of one-twentieth of his or her and Germans to aid our English small income, that does not enterprises with their money, matter to the Inland Revenue,
tell them that which body will not repay a
twentieth of their dividends penny until the small investor will be pocketed by the officials has appeared before it, and of Somerset House. proved to its almost impossible By their
confession, satisfaction that all he has therefore, the gatherers of the is invested in the funds. Nor income-tax make no pretence are we promised any better to justice or honesty in their system of repayment. The method of collection. It is Committee is so intent upon convenience only that they getting all it can out of an study. They know that they overtaxed class, that it does rob thousands, but they leave not care whether this one or it to the victim to prove the that, whose income is less than wrong that is done him, and the exempt worker in the there is no doubt that the mines, gets his own back or Revenue profits enormously by
And as to the foreigner the apathy or ignorance of the who is rash enough to intrust robbed. But it is towards his money to English com those whose incomes are not panies, he is to be given short in the Funds that the colshrift. Hitherto a foreign in- lectors of income - tax behave vestor “who derives an income with the most monstrous of £160, and no more, from effrontery. Every step in the investments in the United process of assessment and colKingdom is granted exemption lection is vexatious. How on that £160, and similarly as should a tax be willingly paid regards abatements.” But Mr which is administered with Ritchie's Committee does not cunning and without urbanity? believe that any of “the for- The form which harmless eigners who invest in British citizens are invited to fill up securities have total incomes is so ill expressed, that he within the prescribed limits." who understands it deserves It therefore "recommends that exemption from all taxation
for the term of his natural life. devil, pull baker. The Inland And when the citizen has at Revenue is in no hurry to be last mastered its absurd taut- honest. There exists ology, the effort avails him than one society whose sole little. For his word, though object it is to recover sums truthfully spoken, is seldom of money which the Inland believed, and then begins a Revenue has too hastily tedious series of recriminations handled. And it is not reand impertinences. Spies are markable that some victims set to work, who count up how of this partial tax should take much their neighbours spend, example by their oppressors, and magnify a trivial extrava- and interpret their duty rather gance into a sign of wealth. loosely. Nor does the Treasury Surveyors, carefully chosen for ever show signs of relenting. their optimism, detect in Mr Now and again we read that Jones's snug villa, or in Mr some hero, who conceals his Smith's comfortable office, the bravery under a plain initial, clear proof of hidden gold; and has paid conscience money to the whole machinery of espion- the Chancellor of the Exage and eavesdropping, which chequer. We have in our exceeding virtue we de- known the Chancellor of the plore in other countries, is set Exchequer pay conscience in motion, not to save the State money of his own accord to but to preserve the working any of the simple - minded man from taxation. It is an persons whose money he imignoble device, and a tax which properly detains. can only be collected by louche But he who
comes into methods condemns itself. collision with the tax-gatherer
However, Mr Ritchie's Com- has little hope of success. At mittee has discovered that every point the victory is won fraud and evasion are only too by the side of the big battalions. common—that many taxpayers One example of the ignoble withhold their proper contri- conflict will serve to illustrate bution to the revenue. Of our meaning as well as another. course this fraud and this A taxpayer, whom will evasion deplorable, but call K, omitted to assess himthey are not without their self.
a lamentable justification. The conduct of inadvertence, but every one is the tax-gatherers in stopping not wise at all times. He was vast sums at the source, to assessed at considerably more which they have no right; than his income by the megalotheir trick of increasing this maniac who in all parts of the or that man's income without country is permitted to attend warrant-has naturally created to these delicate matters, and a feeling of hostility to the he protested. He was, then, income - tax. Between the invited to appear before the public and the Inland Revenue Surveyor of Taxes in a neigha war is waged, which is amply bouring town, and bidden in justified. It is a case of pull terms of some insolence to