11 NOVEMBER 1922, Page 38


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—Your article headed " The Meshes of Taxation " raises the question of the incidence of the Death Duties. In the course of one of those thoughtful and thought-causing reviews of economic conditions which (in his capacity as chairman) Sir Felix Schuster used to address to the shareholders of the Union of London and Smiths Bank, Limited, on the occasion of their annual meeting, he expressed the opinion, which he supported by argument, that the Estate Duties as imposed by the Finance Act of 1894, when Sir William Harcourt was Chancellor of the Exchequer, had gone beyond the limit of legitimate taxation and that they were eating into the capital resources of the country and thereby causing unemployment. I am far away from all means of reference, but I think the speech to which I allude must have been delivered at one of the annual meetings of the bank mentioned, between 1908-1914, both years inclusive.--I am, Sir, &c.,

W. J.