11 MAY 1901, Page 2

On the whole, the Government are to be congratulated on

the results of the opposition to the tax. Their firmness in resisting all attempts to " bluff " them out of proposals which they had deliberately adopted has been most beneficial in its results, and we have been treated to a timely and striking proof of the fact that vigorous opposition is good for the health of an Administration. Though we do not like the tax, we feel that the opposition to it has been very greatly over- done. In any case, the value of the arguments against it will very soon be tested. If it is going to prove as ruinous to the coal industry as is alleged, it will stop the export of coaL But that will mean that practically nothing worth levying will be got by the tax,—which will then of course be repealed. If, on the other hand, the expected 22,000,000 are derived from it, we shall have plain proof that our export trade in coal has not received a death-blow.