29 MARCH 1963, Page 8

Tax on Knowledge The pre-Budget rumours about a sales tax

make no mention of any exemptions, so it may be that the old tax-on-books battle is about to be fought all over again. In this case the Gov- ernment can take no comfort from what hap- pened the last time. This was after the first Emergency Budget at the beginning of the war, when the Chancellor, Kingsley Wood, made his famous remark about seeing no difference be- tween books and boots. In fact, the anti-tax league won its battle even before it could have any letter-headings printed. It was A. P. (Sir Alan) Herbert who pointed to the Tack of Cabinet consultation apparent when one Minis- ter was writing an article in the Bookseller saying books were one of the things he thought we were fighting for, at the same time as Mr. Wood was plunging into his philistinism. The measure was withdrawn amid considerable embarrassment. This time, of course, the Prime Minister has a personal interest.