6 JUNE 1931, Page 17


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—An article on " Countryside Amenities " in your issue of April 11th directs attention to the problem of advertise- ments at the village shop, and makes a suggestion about the issue of licences. It would appear that a system in force on parts of the Continent might meet the needs of the situation. There every advertisement appearing on a hoarding or in shop or other windows bears an adhesive revenue stamp. There is a scale to correspond to the size of the advertisement. Even notices of vacancies for em- ployees are included in the taxed advertisements. It would appear to need little machinery to introduce such a scheme in England. Stamps could be • obtained at post offices and it would seem to present no greater problems than the stamping of receipts and certain other documents which is at present obligatory. In this way a check would be made on the display of advertisements and a considerable benefit should accrue to the revenue.

In East Africa there is great need for a society to deal with the preservation of the amenities of the countryside. Picturesque railway stations in areas where there are few Europeans are disfigured with an even greater display of glaring enamelled advertisements than at home, and one begins to wonder whether the control of such things in England is resulting in the export of the offending articles to the East African dependencies.—I am, Sir, &c.,