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Now in the first place there were no such equivalent burdens' to be imposed. The estimated surplus was equal to the proceeds of the tax, each being between five and six millions. For purposes purely fiscal, the tax might (as was the case in 1845) have been removed without causing a deficit. But the largeness of the surplus offered an opportunity for a greater financial reform than had or has ever at any one period been feasible; and for great further relief, with new taxation equivalent not to the income tax but to that further relief. Now I confidently state that the disclosure of the particulars of the plan would have been both wholly novel, and in the highest degree mischievous to the public interest.

To announce to the nation the repeal of the income tax involved no danger of public mischief, because it did not enable individuals. to work in any particular manner against the public interest. To have named the enlargement of the death duties would not have been so absolutely safe, as it might have suggested to individuals here and there the alteration of testamentary arrangements in order to evade the change. It was, therefore, better not to name them, but only to sketch the substitution in general terms. A far more conclusive consideration, however, was this: that, if one substituted tax had been named, it would have been hard to resist that disclosure of the entire scheme, which I now find might, like a lightning conductor, have drawn off part, at least, of Mr. Lecky's displeasure. For that scheme included, as was announced in my address of Jan. 24, 1874, marked relief to the general consumer. That is to say, it was intended to propose large alterations of indirect taxation. But, as is well known to all persons conversant with such matters, announcements of changes in the duties on great articles of consumption cannot be made until the actual moment comes for putting them in force, as they would afford opportunity for wholesale gains at the public charge. On this account, though Mr. Lecky has evidently made his suggestion in a spirit of uninformed benevolence, I have stated that it was wholly out of the question.

The real issue, however, between Mr. Lecky and myself is much wider than the vindication of a particular minister or ministry in regard to a particular occasion. It is of the utmost public interest, and therefore warrants some remark. We are told that the people ought not to be invited at an election to vote upon taxes. And yet the original, primary, and perpetual duty of our Parliaments has been to grant taxes, and to make them the fewest and the least injurious they could. Mr. Lecky thinks that the elector should never vote with any view to the alleviation of his burdens; for it disparages his lofty function. Such is the way in which gentlemen, to whom the payment of taxes is a secondary matter, dispose of the interest of the nation in good and thrifty government. Just so, in regard to the sufferings of the electors from open voting, it was urged that they

ought to bear those sufferings cheerfully as offerings to duty. To preach high doctrines of this kind is a very cheap method of attaining at once the summits of virtue and the pleasures of self-complacency. But politicians know that the large majority of men find it very difficult to live. They ought, then, to have every opportunity given them for the diminution of that difficulty through public thrift; and this not least through the repeal of any tax which, by the remarkable facilities it has offered for extending charge, has been, and I fear ever will be, an engine of public extravagance.

The elections of 1841 and 1847 were fought upon direct issues of pecuniary gain and loss by the repeal, the maintenance, and the restoration of the corn tax. And when, in 1852, the Tory Ministry resorted to a dissolution, the nation was informed from authority that the Government would bring forward measures of which one part would redress the grievances of the cultivators of the soil, and other parts would relieve every class in the country by introducing improved principles of taxation. From first to last, money, money, money, was the burden of the only song, which at that time commanded the ears of the agriculturist. Nor did any one contend that promises of pecuniary relief were in principle illegitimate and corrupt. They are full of danger. They should be watched with vigilance, and tested, as to their feasibility and utility, with great severity. These cautions, which Mr. Lecky seems to think it a peculiarity of his own to have inculcated, are among the merest commonplaces of politics. The doctrine of Mr. Lecky would seem to preclude even the mention of gains by economy, as well as gains by repeal of taxes. But my contention is that the promise of January 1874 was prompted on the one hand by the most cogent motives of honour and public policy for making it, and attended on the other with every incident of time and circumstance which could neutralise the dangers specially inherent in this class of subjects; especially with the very best of all securities, the absolute and inexorable necessity of immediate redemption.

The sum of the matter, then, is this.

The election of 1874 was not fought between two parties, one surrendering and the other upholding the income tax, but between two parties both approving the repeal, while one of them claimed the additional credit of having been always opposed to the tax.

There was nothing novel or peculiar in referring to the nation at an election a great subject of financial readjustment.

The Budget of the year was not made known in an address or speech at the election, because such a proceeding would have been wantonly and grossly injurious to the public interest.

7 Speech of Mr. Disraeli at Aylesbury, July 16, 1852.

8 Nineteenth Century, July 1887, p. 54.

While each party struggled for its own success, the Liberal party strove to insure that, whether it were successful or defeated, the tax should be repealed.

The repeal of the tax, however, was only one principal item in a great financial settlement, rendered possible by previous reductions, and by a surplus equal to its entire proceeds, which never has recurred, and is, I fear, at present most unlikely to recur. In that settlement, the means in hand were sufficient to afford needful relief to trade and general consumption, and to maintain a just balance of charges between property and industry; while public economy would have largely recovered the vantage-ground of which the tax has deprived it, and, by the removal of a tangled network of mantraps for conscience, a great stroke would have been struck on behalf of sound political morality.'





MR. MATTHEW ARNOLD, writing to the Times a year ago, after his last visit to the United States, touching the condition of American opinion on the Irish question, was good enough to say something-I cannot recall his exact words-to the effect that I was the only highly instructed or widely informed person he had met with in America, who took a favourable view of Mr. Gladstone's scheme of Home Rule, and then ruined even my feeble testimony by adding but Mr. Godkin is an Irishman.' I was prevented from taking any notice of this at the time by doubts as to whether the English public cared particularly what Americans thought about Home Rule, and whether they would be disposed to listen to what anyone had to say about it whose claims on their attention were less strong than Mr. Arnold's. But since then the discussion of the matter has, I see, continued in the English press. It has, I suppose, been more or less kept alive by the resolutions of protest against the Coercion Bill which several of the State Legislatures have thought fit to pass, by the appeals which Mr. Gladstone and other English Home Rulers now and then make to the judgments of foreign nations on their Irish policy, and by the letters which Americans, who, however, never give their names, frequently address to the Times. These letters generally assure that journal that the real Americans' hold Gladstone's plan and the Irish race in abhorrence: that nobody over here has or expresses any sympathy with Home Rule, except through fear of the Irish vote.' The only American, so far as my observation goes, who has been willing to put his name to assertions of this sort, is Mr. G. W. Smalley, the London correspondent of the New York Tribune, who gave in an article in this Review, as the result of his observations during a recent short visit to New York, the following explanation of the attitude of the American press on the Irish question::

The Irish have, I think, no daily paper; they prefer to edit ours. If they do not edit them they swarm on the various editorial staffs of the New York press. They are clever and versatile, and their cleverness is in nothing more plainly seen

than in the bent they often give to what passes for American opinion. Whenever an Irish question is uppermost in England—and when is it not?-the cable supplies the English public with what is here supposed to be an expression of American opinion on these Irish matters. The American himself distinguishes readily enough between the American accent and the Irish brogue. But how should the readers of English journals detect the difference? It does not exist. There are journals in New York which speak in no foreign tongue. They may have aliens on their staffs, but the deciding voice is of the soil.

Mr. Smalley in making these statements had evidently been imposed upon by some unscrupulous person, as there is hardly a word of truth in them. I am able to say, both as the result of long observation of the American press, and of particular inquiries instituted in consequence of his article, that there is no American newspaper in New York, except the two which I edit myself, edited by an Irishman, or which has an Irishman among its leader writers. The Herald, of which the story seems most probable, had an Irishman for a few years as its managing editor, but for the last six or seven certainly has been managed by an 'editorial council' of which the chairman is an ex-Unitarian minister of New England birth, and the other members also born Americans. The editor and proprietor is an American of Scotch origin.

I think I might tell the same story of the leading newspapers of all the leading cities, but, as I have not made any inquiry about them, would not tell it with the same positiveness. I know of no leading American journal, in short, out of New York which is either owned, edited, or written for by Irishmen. Doubtless many of them have Irish reporters. Some years ago the work of reporting was largely in the hands of Irishmen, but during the past thirty the Americans have succeeded in ousting the Irish in this field also, and have brought the interviewing' and embellishing branch of the business to a pitch of perfection which it certainly never could have reached in Irish hands. The common English belief that the American press had a large number of Irish contributors may have had some foundation in a state of things that existed forty years ago when American journalism was undergoing the transformation introduced by James Gordon Bennett in the Herald. Americans had not at that time turned their attention to journalism as a calling, but they soon did so and hold it now just as securely against foreigners as they hold any other business which requires knack, versatility, and energy. The notion that they are allowing Irishmen to 'run' their newspapers for them or even to do their interviewing and reporting in our day, is, in truth, a delusion which is generally harmless, but might possibly in the present case do some mischief if allowed to pass unnoticed. That is, it might possibly aggravate the bitterness of the Anglo-Irish controversy to have it supposed that American opinion about Home Rule was a pure sham of Irish facture.

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