30 JULY 1921, Page 2

America is now suffering from a return of her old

malady, "Tariff Mania." In this, indeed,: she is by no means alone. The war as an educator seems to have been a grossly overrated institution, and all the oldest and crudest Protectionist absurdi- ties seem to be springing up again. The latest American out. break is one of the most monstrous attempts at a lax on knowledge that -we have ever heard of. Mr. G. H. Putnam, the -wellknown publisher, lately gave a lucid explanation of it in an article in the American Press. Not content with increasing the duty on (among many other things) all imported books, the soheme provides for a new system of valuation by whieh it is not the buying price in the foreign market on which the American bookseller is to be taxed, but the selling price in his own market. But of this price the duty forms an important part. So, as Mr. Putnam puts it, there is to be "a duty on a duty." This is what, he tells us, will be the result of the new scheme : "With any such burden of duty the importation of books in editions would be practically brought to a close. There would be no continuation of joint publishing arrangements under which could be produced inter- national series with contributors from all parts of the world."