19 NOVEMBER 1910, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR OP THE "SPECTATOR."l SIB,—As a great deal of the support given to the land clauses depends upon the grossly erroneous belief that royalties were previously untaxed, will you kindly allow me to point out that all royalties have been fully taxed for many years ? One of the most irresponsible statements made by Liberal and Socialist speakers is that " the high price of coal is due to the extortionate royalty, averaging 5s. per ton, paid to the landowner. This royalty is absolutely untaxed." Now -what is the truth of the matter? First, the royalty paid to the landowner is only a few pence per ton, and does not average ls. for the whole of the United Kingdom. Secondly, this royalty is, and has been, fully taxed as already mentioned. Thirdly, the facts can be verified at the Revenue offices. If Unionist workers will rigorously expose these fallacies on every hand, it will save countless votes to the cause.—I am, (We presume that Socialist Radicals would say they meant never before "specially taxed,"—i.e., singled out for extra imposts. Their theory, apparently, is not that men should be taxed because they are rich and in proportion to such riches, but because they happen to possess a particular form of property, such as land or minerals. Money derived from minerals ought, in their view, to be subject to extra taxation, though money derived, say, from mortgages or Consols or railway debentures need not be so taxed. It is not a question of how rich are you P or how do you get your money ? but what is it derived from IL-En. Spectator.]