5 MAY 1923, Page 2

The Select Committee to inquire into the proposed Betting Tax

.has been appointed. It consists of nineteen members, of whom eleven are Unionists, four Labour, two Independent Liberals, and two National Liberals. Mr. Cautley, K.C., the Unionist Member for East Grin- stead, is spoken of as the probable chairman. It is very much to be hoped that -the Committee will keep in mind the main issue, namely, whether it is true that about 120,000;000 could be raised by this tax, and if so, whether the gain will exceed the expense involved in collection. For. this appears to us to be the -whole point. The moral question does not really arise. There are those who bet and those who, either through prudence or conscientious scruples, do not bet. It is absurd to suppose that the latter class, will abandon. all their principles because the Government admits that some people do bet. The very fact, of such a tax being contemplated shows that people in official positions have known for some-time that the interest taken by the public in the Derby is not of an exclusively equine nature. People bet or not according as they think they will win -or lose, not according to whether the Government approves or not.