24 APRIL 1920, Page 22

The State Debt and the National Capital. (Methuen. 2s. 6d.

net.)—The unnamed author, who, the publishers tell us, is a, high official, cannot be commended for lucidity, but we gather that he proposes to pay off the Debt by a forced loan issued at a low rate of interest. The loan is to be taken up by every one paying tax on " unearned " income, in amounts equivalent to the produce of a tax of five shillings in the pound. The author supposes that the normal rate of tax could be lowered at the same time, and that capital would benefit by the appreciation of securities. He would raise £200,000,000 " Levy Bonds " yearly for twenty-five years. The scheme is perhaps less impracticable than a " Capital Levy," but it does not appear to offer such advantages as the old-fashioned method, of high taxes and thrifty administration, which our great-grandfathers adopted after Waterloo. The National Debt of those days was heavier, in proportion to the national wealth, than the War Debt of to-day.