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THE   FABIAN  OBJECT               69

Government would in due course later on receive an
income, probably averaging about one-twentieth of
its value.

Perhaps, however, it would be more correct to
say that those who put the scheme forward did not
ignore this drawback to it, but rather liked it, for
reasons quite irrelevant to the objects that they
were apparently pursuing. A good deal of promi-
nence was given about the same time to the question
of a levy on capital in the New Statesman well
known to be the organ of Mr Sidney Webb and other
members of the Fabian Society. These distinguished
and very intellectual Socialists would, of course, be
quite pleased if, in an apparent endeavour to pay for
the war, they actually succeeded in securing, by the
Government's acquisition of blocks of securities from
property owners, that official control of industry and
production which is the object of State Socialists.

It will be noted, however, in this scheme that no
mention is made of any forms of property to be
accepted- by the Government in lieu of cash except
securities and mortgages on land. Items such as
furniture, books, pictures and jewellery are ignored,
and in one of the articles in the New Statesman, dis-
cussing the question of a capital levy, it was dis-
tinctly suggested that these commodities should be
left out of the scheme so as to save the trouble
involved by valuation. Unfortunately, if we leave
out these forms of property the natural result is to
stimulate the tendency, lately shown by an unfor-
tunately large number of patriotic taxpayers, of
putting money into pearl necklaces and other such