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I HAVE no wish to enter into a general examination of Mr. Gladstone's very courteous article on my last two volumes, but as there is one point on which Mr. Gladstone considers himself personally aggrieved, I ought, perhaps, not to leave his remarks without a few words of reply. Referring to his election address of 1874, I wrote: 'We have ourselves seen a Minister going to the country on the promise that if he was returned to office he would abolish the principal direct tax paid by the class which was then predominant in the constituencies.' Mr. Gladstone, in the first place, says that these words are inaccurate, for there was no question of 'returning to office,' and he informs me, as of a fact of which I was wholly ignorant, that when he issued his address he was Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is surely sufficient to answer that I expressly stated that Mr. Gladstone's offer was the offer of 'a Minister.' I was fully aware of the very elementary fact that Mr. Gladstone was Prime Minister when he went to the country, but a succession of reverses had, as he acknowledged, diminished his power, and, to the great surprise of the nation and, it is believed, of his own colleagues, he suddenly resolved to sacrifice his present majority, to dissolve Parliament, and to endeavour to regain his ascendency by large offers of financial relief. Part of these offers consisted of a general and undefined promise to reduce duties and assist the rates, but the part which at once and especially riveted the attention of the country by its conspicuous novelty and boldness was a definite pledge that if he recovered his position, and returned to office after the election, he would abolish the income tax.

Mr. Gladstone next says that the income-tax payers were not the predominant class in the electorate. It is true that even in the comparatively restricted constituencies of 1874 they were not the most numerous, but there is, I believe, little question that they were still the most influential class, and it was perfectly well known on both sides that a general movement of the income-tax payers would be sufficient to establish or to destroy the ministry. Is it irrelevant to add that they were the voters whose allegiance to the Liberal chief

was notoriously wavering? Every elector of this class who went to the poll had been informed that he had a direct, personal, money interest in the triumph of Mr. Gladstone.

Mr. Gladstone maintains, on several grounds, that his offer was legitimate and laudable. It was merely, he says, consulting the country on questions of taxation, just as it had formerly been consulted about reform, or the Chinese war, or the Irish Church. He dilates upon the well-known injustices and inequalities of the income tax. He urges-what I at least never dreamed of disputing-that the promise he made would be tested in a few weeks, and would be faithfully fulfilled; but he especially relies upon the fact that twentyone years before this election he had joined a ministry which had promised that the tax should not be permanent. This pledge, it appears, which had long been sufficiently dormant, revived in its full vitality at the eve of the election, and Mr. Gladstone represents his offer to the constituencies as prompted by a solemn and imperious sense of moral obligation.

regret that I am wholly unable to regard this matter in the light in which it presents itself to Mr. Gladstone. I have neither the right nor the wish to dispute Mr. Gladstone's motives, nor do I deny the force of the arguments that have been adduced against the income tax. If Mr. Gladstone had made its abolition a part of one of the budgets he introduced into the House of Commons, no one could have objected on grounds of political morality. But the election address of a party leader is necessarily a bid for power,and the bid which Mr. Gladstone made in 1874 appears to me to have been of a kind which no statesman ought to make. A minister who (to speak very plainly) tries to win an election by telling the most important body in the electorate that if they support him each individual among them will be freed from a specific pecuniary burden, and who does this without any clear or definite statement of equivalent burdens to be imposed, is as evidently endeavouring to govern votes by motives of direct personal interest as if he distributed banknotes. There could be but little doubt of his intention. There could be no doubt whatever of the manner in which his offer must have presented itself to the mind of an average elector or the nature of the influence it was calculated to exercise on his conduct.. No one in fact who followed the election could fail to observe that the boon offered to the income-tax payers was continually put forward as Mr. Gladstone's great title to their applause and to their


Mr. Gladstone, however, here accuses me of a somewhat

serious suppression. Mr. Lecky,' he says, ' ought to have known and to have stated that with the proposal to repeal the income tax came a proposal to reconstruct and enlarge the death duties. Direct taxation of a kind most vexatious to trade and industry was to be removed;



KITCHEN College! Well, why not? We have a College of Music, of Surgeons, of Physicians, of Preceptors; why not a College of the Kitchen?

It seems a little absurd at first sight, and yet the only absurdity is that no one ever thought of it before. For many years the servant grievance has been before the public. The scarcity and inefficiency of domestic servants have been talked about till we are almost as weary of the subject as of our incapable cooks and housemaids, but nothing seems to have been done to remedy the evil; there has been no improvement except in wages, for no matter how incompetent the servant may be, she demands and gets high wages, and gives very general dissatisfaction.

I do not mean to touch here on the facilities offered of late years by classes and schools of cookery-doubtless servants can learn much from a course of clever practical lectures—but I would venture to point out that in the majority of cases the persons attending the classes are not servants, but ladies-mistresses in many instances— who go with the praiseworthy intention of learning how to be practical cooks by seeing a practised instructor roll out pastry, or bake fancy bread in a gas stove, and then go home and attempt to teach their own cooks; the second-hand instruction frequently taking a negative form, such as, 'Cook, that's not the way to make puff pastry, that's not the way to make a custard, or truss a chicken ;' the mistress herself having only a very indistinct recollection of what is the way.

However much good the schools and cooking classes may have done, they do not seem to have reached the real root of the domestic servant difficulty; they have caused no perceptible improvement in servants as a class. Servants are still scarce and unsatisfactory, and there is still the same evident distaste for service amongst the young women of the working classes from which we naturally expect to draw our supply. Business of any sort, no matter how unhealthy, precarious, fatiguing, and unremunerative, is preferred to domestic service. A girl will work twelve hours a day and half starve rather than become a housemaid or kitchen-maid, with good food, a comfortable home, and comparatively easy work.

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