Mr. Goschen has created great irritation in some quarters by
using his surplus for the reduction of indirect taxation, instead of the Income-tax, the well-to-do apparently feeling like an anonymous correspondent who wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the brief but pithy letter : "Damn your tea and currants." Mr. Goschen therefore took the opportunity of a dinner given him at the Mansion House on Wednesday, to explain his position in regard to the Income-tax. He found the tax, he said, 8d., and in his first year of office struck off a penny, tampering for that purpose with the Sinking Fund, and so risking his reputation for financial orthodoxy. In the second year, he even imposed taxes to enable him to remit the second penny, coming, in order to do so, into conflict with the Stock Exchange and the drinkers of champagne. In the third year, he refused to pay for an increase of the Navy by an increase of the tax, though that was the traditional course ; but this year he thought the claims of those who paid it not so great as those of others. Mr. Goschen, of course, knows best the communications he receives, but we should doubt the existence of a strong feeling against a sixpenny Income-tax on the part of the well-to-do. It is the people with from £150 to 2300 who are solicitous about every penny of the tax, and for their benefit he made a serious reduction in the House-duty, for which, we may observe, direct as the relief is, but few thanks have been expressed.