On Monday the House of Commons took the second reading
of the Finance Bill. The general character of the debate showed that though opposition to the Budget was of many kinds there was no great heart in it. Although doubts were felt on all sides the doubts were just as reasonable or unreasonable (as the case might be) among Unionists as in any other party, and it was, therefore, evident from the beginning that the Finance Bill was in no danger at all. Mr. Snowden accused the Government of having increased everything—unemployment, interest on Treasury Bills and national expenditure. The only thing they had decreased was the value of Government securities. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer had merely wanted to reduce taxation he might have done it in a single clause without all his circumambulations. The Budget was an amazing one to have been put together by a Chancellor of the Exchequer who had talked of " diminishing taxation on production." The silk duties surpassed in insanity even the most insane proposals of the Tariff Reformers.
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