24 JANUARY 1857, Page 17

nIitirnI 61,tutings. THE Income-Tex.—The gentlemen who address public meetings on thesubject

of the Income-tax would do so to rather more purpose if they showed. themselves quite up to all the facts of the case. As it is, they are sometimes liable to a very short answer. Are they all aware that even the 7d. in the pound is finally to expire in three or four years ? The occasion is eagerly seized by those easy financiers who think to substitute a Propertytax for the whole of our present indirect taxation. In our humble opinion, much as the tax might be improved, it could never be brought to such a pitch of perfection as to bear all the burdens of the country and yet be no load on our shoulders. Disguise it as we will, regulate it as we will, a

lumping tax paid out of the year's income, or according to the income whether it comes in or not, is mere financial bloodletting, and must reduce the system. It is the common remark that everybody is spending at least the whole of his income—too often more • and the wonder is, how people with no great margin get on at all with flick evident expenditure. Suppose, now, a man with an increasing family and increasing expenses, life-assurance, schooling, better dressing, doctor's bills, perhaps some legal expenses, n occasional loss, and a few weeks' " outing " at the very cheapest rate, all to be done on 5001. a year. He must feel it a heavy pull to have to pay 34/. Income-tax every autumn ; and we have little doubt that in most cases it is paid by some process of anticipation. But here

are reformers who propose that he shall pay. 501. every year that he has this income, and promise him some equivalent in the cheapness of articles now liable to duty. The proposed arrangement, however, like Sir Robert Peel's original Income-tax, presses hard on a class entitled to consideration. A man with a large family and a limited inseam° can escape much indirect taxation by the simple process of household economy. Ho has scarcely a bottle of wine or spirits in his house, and drink& beer, and that not strong, and never smokes a cigar. His family drink their tea weak, and tea and sugar are kept under lock and key. Such a household will pay but little to the Exchequer, and the feeling of all ages. has agreed to spare it. The Income-tax, however, and any Property-tax, would make this family pay as much as the bachelor with the same income, even though the large family might be living with the dietary of a workhouse and the bachelor might be enjoying comparative luxury.—Emee, Jan. 23.

AMERICAN COMMERCE.—If the foreign trade of the United States valued in 18.56 at the sum of 128,245,0001., how much was carried on with the United Kingdom ? Upwards of one third, or 47,203,694/. But that sum only indicates the direct trade between the United States and this country ; it does not include American commerce with the rest of the British empire. Now, the commerce of the United States with our transmmine possessions far exceeds the mercantile intercourse they have with any other foreign state except with England and France. Thus, last year, the commerce between the States and British North America reached the immense sum of 8,784,22.51.; the trade with Australia and India, 4„ 417,6231.; and with Gibraltar and Malta, 147,1621.; altogether, 13,339,008/. Add this to the value of the direct intercourse between Englainl and the United States, and out of a total trade in 1856 worth 128,245,0001., the sum of 60,542,602/. was represented by American commerce with the British empire. The commerce of our Colonies with the States is, moreover, capable of a very considerable augmentation by the conclusion of such a treaty in reference to the British West Indies as was concluded in 1854 by Lord Elgin in reference to British North America. As our trade, domestic and colonial, with the States stands, it is, however, largo enough to indicate the deep interest both countries have in maintaining the most friendly relations with each other. But as this commerce is necessarily even more valuable and important to the United States than it is to England, its pecuniary value ought to teach us that, despite their blustering, the Americans are as little likely as we are to interrupt such a trade as ours, and that reciprocity in concessions, when we come into collision, ought to be our policy. Compare for a moment the trade of the whole of the United States in 1856 with Continental Europe, and the trade which they carried on with the British Empire: it is 60,542,6021. as against 14,282,068/. with France, 6,379,836/. with Germany, 4,563,.9341. with Bele glum, 186,286/. with Russia which keeps up a first-rate mission at Washington, and affects the strongest desire to be on good and intimate terms with the United States Government and people. The truth is, that after England, France, and Germany, the country with which the United States have the largest trade is Brazil—Daily News, Jan. 21.

Pnorotsiro DEPARTMENTAL Reroiers.—We have before us in the annual report of the Secretary of the Navy tel the United States) a compendious statement, such as we could defy the most diligent :and practised compiler to extract from all the speeches and reports of the whole British Admiralty, even aided by the Navy Litt and the intelligence from the ports. Here we have an account of all the squadrons; their force; where they have been; what more are wanted, and where ; what new ships have been built, with what guns, of what calibre • with a discussion on the comparative advantages of shot and shell. Tien we have the condition of the crews ; proposed changes ; new officers,—in a word, the whole naval history of the year, and the Ministerial projects for the session, all stated fully and plainly Now, why should not each department of the British Executive make, at the beginning of the session, r publish beforehand, just such a full, compendious report ? No doubt, when Government is attacked on this or that part of our foreign policy, Lord Palmerston in the one Houses and Lord Clarendon in the other, will get up and defend either the Persian expedition or our part in the negotiations with Russia, or any other disputed point ; very likely, a dozen such points. The more, indeed, the better ; for, when the Premier has floored his antagonists on one or two, he will smother all the rest under some brilliant platitude, and go off with flying -colours. That will leave us not much wiser than it found us. It would, however, be a very different task to draw up a full account of our relations with every Foreign Power, what has been done by the Foreign Office, what left undone, and why. Many an act of folly, many an oversight, many a ridiculous project, might have been averted, or at least repaired, if it had only been confessed in time. An honest statement of our wrangles with Persia last February might have spared us a costly and possibly a sanguinary war. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer might publish an annual report, by which everybody might learn at a sitting the whole financial position of the country. Even the Budget fails to give us this knowledge. The Colonial Office must have a great deal to tell us, for ther.1 is always something new going on in our numerous colonies,-conviets r -acted or accepted, constitutions adopted, refused, or mended, the eonditi, of the settlers, the yield of the harvests or the gold-fields, and all we naturally want to know of regions which have afforded an asylum to so many of our acquaintances. The Colonies never emerge into Parliamentary notice except apropos of a particular constitution, or a batch of convicts, or some petty misunderstanding. A regular report of the Secretary for the Colonies would insure that no subject, no colony, no interest was forgotten.-Times, Jan. 22.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE you PERSIA.-For half a century we had been endeavouring to raise up in Persia a bulwark to India. We thought our interests were mutual. We thought a weak state adjoining a powerful and unscrupulous empire would rejoice to lean, and would Jean with loyalty, on a neighbour like England, not near enough to create suspicion, who was willing to reward and was able to punish. But we forgot to calculate on the levity of children, the faithlessness of barbarians, men whom no oath binds, who despise gratitude. We gave them arms, we gave them money, we gave them subsidies. We sent them officers and instructors to discipline their army ; artificers to teach them to east cannon and shot, in which they succeeded too well; miners to instruct them how to extract the ore from the depths of their mountains. We rescued their richest province from the ambition of Russia when she had actually conquered it; we saved her from being conquered by Turkey a few years ago ; we placed the predecessor of the present King on the throne in the face of a host of competitors, bestowing on him for that purpose a largo sum of money, and sending from India a large detachment of officers and sergeants. The first return Persia made for these favours was to endeavour to penetrate into Affghanistan at the instigation of Russia, and headed by the Russian Mission. We foiled her attempt, though at a tremendous cost. Since then, her efforts in the same direction have been ceaseless ; and so, too, must be our efforts to counteract them. We left no stone unturned to make Persia a friend ; we protected her, we enriched her, we gave her the means of defence. Are we now to remain with our arms folded, when she breaks her solemn promises, and when she has inflicted on us a deep injury ?Morning Post, Jan. 22.

Own TRIM INDIAN FRoxnun.-If we reflect on the enormous expense that would attend the transport of an army across Persia and Cabal, the difficulty of feeding and recruiting it, the sums that would have to be lavished to pay for Persian troops and bribe Afighan chiefs, we may rest assured that the time is yet distant when Russia would voluntarily incur such a ruinous drain upon her treasury. Unfortunately, the whole tendency of the policy of the present Government towards Persia is deplorably shortsighted. Persia, if she has not lost her memory for what has happened to herse/fx or her eyes for what has happened to her neighbours in that quarter, must regard Russia with far more apprehension than she does Great Britain. Year by year, by treaty or by force, Russia is always wresting something from her; whereas from us she has, or ought to have, politically nothiie to fear. Persia must feel that we are the power to which she must naturally trust to help her to hold her own against Russia ; and yet, by the unwise conduct of our Government, we ate absolutely forcing her, without the shadow of an alternative, to call upon Russia for assistance against us. We compel her, sorely against her will, to open the gate and let the bear in; and dearly will she have to pay, in one way or another, before she gets him out again, if indeed she ever succeeds in doing so. In defeating the machinations of Russia in the East, our Government prefers to have Persia a foe rather than a friend. Instead of voluntarily annexing, or putting ourselves in the position where we must annex, additional territory beyond the Indus, most clear-minded Indian officers agree that we committed a sad blunder in passing beyond that river at all. That river, flanked by its deserts, was to us a fosse and rampart of the first order-a barrier beyond which treacherous chiefs might conspire and massacre among themselves without danger to us. But even as it is, there is comfort in reflecting, that, beyond our Indian frontier, a good thousand miles of difficult country separate us from the only power whose ambition we have to fear. We have said nothing of what would be going on in Europe during the long months when Russia was marching on the Indus. Again our fleets would annihilate Russian commerce and ravage Russian coasts. Nor is it at all likely that Europe would see with indifference the efforts of Russia to aggrandise herself in India. The British empire excites envy on the Continent, but no alarm. Our little island with its colonial empire will never become too formidable to Continental states ; without it, indeed, England would hardly be a first-rate power. But it is not so with Russia. Arrived at that point of strength when any addition to it would make her justly formidable to the liberties of Europe, her dominion in India would be considered altogether subversive of the balance of power ; and unquestionably the sympathies, and probably also the forces of the Continent, would range themselves on our side as a matter of conservative policy ; not from any feeling of concern for us, but from alarm, at the increasing magnitude of our rival.-Aforning Herald, Jan. 24.