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70                A LEVY ON CAPITAL

gewgaws in order to avoid income tax. If by buying
fur coats, old masters and diamond tiaras it will be
be possible in future to avoid paying, not only
income tax, but also a capital levy, it is to be feared
that appeals to people to save their money and invest
it in War Bonds are likely to be seriously interfered

Unfortunately, the Statesman was able to an-
nounce that the appeal for this system of taxation
had been received with a good deal of sympathy by
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the next stage
in the history of the agitation was the publication on
Boxing Day in several of the daily papers of what
appeared to be an official summary, issued through
the Central News, of what the Chancellor had said
to the deputation of Labour Leaders introduced by
Mr Sidney Webb, which waited on him, as already
described, in the middle of November. Having
pointed out that he had never seen any proposal
which seemed to him to be practicable for getting
money during the war by conscripting wealth, Mr
Bonar Law added that, though " perhaps he had not
thought enough about it to justify him in saying so/'
his own feeling was that it would be better, both for
the wealthy classes and the country, to have this
levy on capital, and reduce the burden of the national
debt when the war was over. It need not be said
that this statement by the Chancellor has been very
far from helpful to the efforts of those who are trying
to induce unthrifty citizens to save their money and
put it into National War Bonds for the finance of
the war.