13 NOVEMBER 1909, Page 14



SIR,—Being an aunt wishing to free gifts to nieces from the 5s. duty proposed by Clause XLIII. of the Finance Act, should a donor die within three years after making the gift, I should be grateful if " Coelebs Senior" will explain how, in the event of his death within three years, the stock trans- ferred to his niece will escape that duty. As the clause now stands, I may spend may income (on which all State and civio dues have been paid) in riotous living or gambling at Monte Carlo, but if I give £100 to a niece for a trip, or £100 for education, or £100 for a trousseau, and die within three years, my estate is to be charged 5s, on these gifts out of my income, which might have been thrown into the Thames with

[The uncle, we understand, gave his niece a sum of money in consideration of secretarial and similar services rendered by her to him. Therefore there was no gift, but merely a. payment for work done, exactly like that made to a servant at governem—En. Spectator.]