12 MAY 1923, Page 3

We were particularly interested to read in the Man. chester

Guardian of Tuesday an account of the so-called capital levy in Czecho-Slovakia. Supporters of the principle of a capital levy in this country are for ever telling us that the opponents of the scheme are being frightened by a bogy and that in Czecho-Slovakia the thing has not only been accomplished, but has worked quite smoothly and beneficially. The verdict of the Manchester Guardian on the account which it publishes is that it is impossible to draw any trustworthy inference as to how a capital levy would work here. The tax in Czecho-Slovakia was partly on property and partly on War wealth. A levy on War wealth is now beyond possibility for us. And as for the tax on property in Czecho-Slovakia, it has contributed in the six years of its operation only about the same proportion of the whole State revenue as is contributed here by the Death Duties. In other words, such a " capital levy " as exists in Czecho-Slovakia is already exacted in Great Britain, and has been so ever since it was introduced by Sir William Harcourt many years ago.