12 AUGUST 1905, Page 3

On Wednesday the Annual Report of the Commissioners of Inland

Revenue was issued. Income-tax Returns for 1903-4, which are the only figures yet available, reveal some remarkable facts. In that year the gross income brought under review was 2902,758,000, an increase of 223,120,000 as compared with 1902-3, and of £245,661,000 as compared with 1894-95. In the past decade the only class of profits which has declined has been farming profits, taxed under Schedule B. The most remarkable increase is under Schedule D, where business and professional profits have increased from 2340,558,000 to 2502,403,000. On the other hand, the yield from the Excise Department shows a decline, the con- sumption of beer per head for 1904-5 being only 28.44 gallons, as compared with 2951 gallons in 1903-4, and 3014 gallons in 1902-3. So also with spirits, which in the present year show 0-93 gallon per bead, as against 0.99 in 1903-4, and 1-03 in 1902-3. These figures would seem to show that we are becoming both a more temperate and a richer nation. To us it appears that no gauge of national prosperity is so sure as the amount of gross profits assessed to Income-tax. There is no inducement to declare profits too high, and though something must be set down to the increased efficiency of the taxing machinery, yet the bulk of the increase can be due only to a solid growth in prosperity.

• Bank Rate, 2j imm cent. Consols (2i per cent.) were on Friday 90i.