19 DECEMBER 1896, Page 2

Mr. Morley has addressed to the Times two able letters

on Wednesday and Thursday in defence of the assertion that the Commission of Inquiry agreed to by the Conservative Govern. meritin 1390 admitted that the principle of taxing in pro- portion to the " taxable capacity" of the two countries, was at least to be regarded as presumably a sound one, and that Mr. Goschen, agreeing to its appointment, so stated the points to be inquired into as to suggest that taxable capacity was to be taken into account. We are not convinced by Mr. Morley's letters that even if it were to be taken into account, it was in any sense to be regarded as the one decisive gauge of the amount of taxation due. All his quotations are quite consistent with the assumption that it was one element in the case, and that this element might determine whether or not there might be certain remissions made to Ireland which would more or less turn the balance in her favour. And this we should not be loth to admit. At all events nothing seems more revolutionary or dangerous than to adopt for Ireland a principle which would immediately be claimed for all the poorer districts of England and Scotland, on the strength of mere instructions to a Commission, the principle of which, even if Mr. Morley is right, bad never been thoroughly discussed in the Legislature, or so much as adequately understood in the country. It seems to us that the taxable capacity of Lancashire is much greater than the taxable capacity of Lincoln- shire, but we should be surprised to learn that Lancashire would be willing to pay a higher rate of taxation for the same amount of wealth, than Lincolnshire pays.