20 MARCH 1880, Page 2

Mr. Gladstone, in criticising the Budget, on Monday night, rallied

the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the new fashion he had introduced, in reckoning his operations on the National Debt, of taking credit for the assets he had created, in the form of paying terminable annuities, towards the extinction of Debt. If during the financial discredit of the Melbourne Administra- tion, Mr. Spring Rice and Mr. Baring had had the wit to fall back on the terminable annuities they were paying, they might have shown that during every year of that Government they were paying off Debt. Turning to the new Probate duties, he said that though he approved of some of the changes which the new revision made, he could not approve at all of the pro- posal to add three-quarters of a million sterling to the duties levied on personalty bequeathed, when the duties on personalty were already between three and four times as great as the duties upon realty. "Take the case of the farmer and his landlord. The value of the farmer's stock would usually be a quarter of the value of the landlord's interest in the farm. The farmer died, and the landlord died, and were both succeeded by their sons. What was the result ? The farmer paid a great deal more duty on his stock than the landlord had to pay on the farm, which was four times the value of the stock. Now, that is what the farmers ought to understand, and what, to the best of his power, he would endeavour to make them understand." And in his journey due North, Mr. Gladstone appears to have kept his word.