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SOME DIFFICULTIES                67

fortune of £100,000 invested before the war in a well-
assorted list of securities, the whole of which he had,
for patriotic reasons, converted during the war into
War Loans. He would have no difficulty about
paying his capital levy, for he would obviously sur-
render something between 10 and 20 per cent, of his
holding. But, " in exchange for nearly two-thirds
of the rest, he might find himself landed with houses
and bits of land all over the country, a batch of
unsaleable mining shares, a collection of blue china,
a pearl necklace, a Chippendale sideboard, and a
doubtful Titian." The Round Table's suggestion
seems to be even more impracticable. According to
it, holders of all other forms of property besides
War Loans would be assessed for one-eighth of its
value—it does not explain how the value is to be
arrived at, nor how long it would take to do it—and
would then be called on to acquire and to surrender
to the State the same amount of War Loan scrip.
To do this they would be obliged to realise a part
of their property or to mortgage it, a process which
would seem likely to produce a pretty state of
affairs in the property market; and a very pleasant
state of affairs indeed would arise for the holders of
War Loan scrip, since there would be a large crowd
of compulsory buyers in the market from whom the
holders would apparently be able to extort any price
that they liked for their stock.

The next stage in the proceedings was a deputa-
tion to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, concerning
which more anon, of leaders of various groups of the
Labour Party, to press upon Mr Bonar Law the