22 APRIL 1905, Page 2

The only person, to judge from the reports, who attempted

to bring out the true facts of the case during the debate was Mr. Loyd, who gave the history of the unfair exemption of personalty from rates much as we have given it. We note, however, with satisfaction that Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- man and the Liberals showed no intention of doing away with the partial act of justice now done in the case of agricultural land and tithe. We trust that when they are in power the whole system of rural rating will be remodelled on an equitable basis. For ourselves, we should like to see rates levied solely on dwelling-houses, and businesses of all kinds, whether agricultural or industrial, exempted. This would make the rates a local Income-tax, for, speaking generally, there is no better measure of a man's income than the house he lives in. Every one, again, has to live in a house, and therefore the impost falls practically on all parts of the community. No doubt if this plan were adopted, it would be necessary for the Central Government to bear a good many of the charges now borne locally, but the system would at any rate be fair.