THE EFFECT OF THE DEATH-DUTIES ON THE RURAL COMMUNITIES.
[To TH13 EDITOR OY THE "8PECTAT0R."1 SIR,—These duties will bear heavily on every one in the rural districts, from the Nonconformist clergymen (these will obviously be severely affected) to the labourer, because many of the proprietors will in future have no money to- spend on improvements, and must curtail their expenditure in every way outside of their household requirements,. while others will not care to increase the value of their properties, as this would be a perilous form of investment, and new men will not of course care to invest in a business- which has so many drawbacks. No new woods will be planted, and all those not close around the mansion-house will be gradually cut down. For why should any one leave- to his successor an unprofitable burden on which the Death. duty valuator will levy a heavy tax? Absenteeism will increase, because with the decline of* woods sport will decrease, and people will go abroad for it. Further crowding into the towns will of course ensue. Ultimately, as every one knows who has paid any attention to the effects of woods, the climate must stiffer. The duties will affect the rural communities first of all, but ultimately the town popu- lation will suffer in various ways. This is a subject which cannot be played fast and loose with—at least with impunity- -and should at once be closely investigated. The present policy may be reversed on a change of Government, but the- shock to the minds of the holders of land, and to the minds. of those who would otherwise be inclined to purchase land,. will be severe, and tell heavily on the prospects of the landed' development of Great Britain.—I am, Sir, &a., ROBERT H. ELLIOT.
Clifton Park, Boxburghshire, ,Tune 18th.