4 MARCH 1871, Page 3

There was a grand fight in the House of Commons

on Tuesday -between the economists and the agriculturists. Sir Massey Lopes made his annual speech, averring that land ought not to bear all the rates ; and Mr. Goschen answered him by showing that land -in England paid taxes equal to 3s. 2d. in the pound, or 16 per cent., whereas on the Continent it often paid 33 per cent. Houses were taxed quite as severely as land. It was an interesting dis- cussion in its way, but nothing came of it, and nothing will come of it, till some one will propose a working plan for putting all rates of general benefit on all property through local agency. They manage that somehow in the United States ; and the beat thing Sir M. Lopes could do would be to get up their system thoroughly, and see if he can apply any part of it here. All such things would be easy if we could publish incomes, but that is just what cannot be done. For the present, we suspect the man with a million and no land must be let off his share of keeping the poor, though they are kept mainly to protect the million.