10 MARCH 1900, Page 2

But for the war the surplus would have been one

of about 25,000,000, and we may, in fact, in spite of the war, congratu- late ourselves on a year of unexampled prosperity. The yield of the Death-duties has been most satisfactory, but this was in some measure due to the large number of millionaires who happened to die within the year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer mentioned that the estate of one of them, a gentleman well known as "Chicago" Smith to members of the Reform Club, actually paid 2900,000—the price of a great warship—to the Treasury. It remains to be said that Sir Michael Hicks-Beach reserved to himself the right to choose under what conditions he would borrow that part of the loan money, about 230,000,000, which is not to be raised in Treasury bills, but to be obtained by bonds, or the issue of stock repayable in ten years. We have expressed else- where our strong approval of this wise and unsensational Budget, which has, on the whole, been well received, though some of the newspapers were disappointed at what they regarded as its want of imagination. The Pall Mall Ga:ette, which has never failed to keep its head throughout all the changes and chances of the last few months, describes the Budget as "sound," and that seems to us the exact word, and what is more, the highest praise which a War Budget could possibly receive.