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250,000 men. Even with these numbers he was inferior to Oyama. Kuropatkin may or may not have known this at the time. But he knew that Stössel's surrender had released Nogi with the equivalent of 100,000 seasoned troops, who were already on the way to join the Army of the North.

We have pointed out already in this paper that the Japanese had thrown their left out towards the river Hun. Their left was now composed of Nogi with his troops from the Liau-tung Peninsula. It consisted of a line of fortified villages on the Hsin-minting - Liauyang road, where it crosses the plain enclosed by the Sha-ho and Hun-ho rivers. Against this left Gripenberg's corps was suddenly set in motion. On January 25 the bulk of this

corps was suddenly concentrated at Chang-tan, north of the Hun, and twenty-five miles south-west of Mukden, from whence Gripenberg was to make his maiden effort. His force consisted of nearly 80,000 men, with 300 guns, for the most part composed of what was then considered to be the flower of Kuropatkin's army, namely, the 8th and 10th Corps.

The battle of Hei koutai is so closely interwoven with that of Mukden, that we must reserve its narrative until we can take the more far-reaching issue in hand. Together, these two last battles, which placed the fateful seal of defeat upon the Russian land forces, furnish, perhaps, the most interesting military study to be found in any campaign.



THE report of the Committee appointed to inquire into the payment of the income-tax is a remarkable document. It savours rather of Germany than of England. It is authoritative, menacing, indiscreet. Mr Ritchie and his colleagues are clearly of opinion that to collect the uttermost farthing of the income-tax is the most important duty of the Government, to which duty amiability, good manners, the pleasant conduct of life, must be sacrificed; and they make their recommendation without any thought for the dignity and privileges of the taxpayer.

Their tone is the more unfortunate, because the incometax is in its essence unjust, in its method unscrupulous. Levied in time of war or of national distress, it would be cheerfully paid and easily collected. Imposed by idle Chancellors of the Exchequer, whose ingenuity and courage are not equal to the task of striking a balance between revenue and expenditure, it is an imposition which would long ago have been removed had it touched the pocket of the working man. For its chief merit in the eyes of the politician is that it does not alienate the proud and independent voter. The people,


the master of us all, is never requested to read the prolix forms, couched in a wholly unintelligible jargon, which are sent out from Somerset House or some other factory of evil; and thus a hatred of the income-tax is never likely to disturb an election. In other words, it is class legislation, naked and unashamed. It is another attempt to pamper the idle at the expense of those whose thrift and energy have made them better off than their fellows. But the injust

ice which it inflicts touches more than one class. If it be an infamy to put a fine upon enterprise and intelligence, it is an equal infamy to tell the vast majority of our citizens that they are not fit to pay their share towards the expenses of the empire. The people is permitted to vote: it is not permitted to pay taxes. Why should it thus be deprived of its privileges? The small contributions which it makes when it drinks its glass of beer or smokes its pipe need not fill it with pride, and only a course of desperate drunkenness, a determination to burn tobacco day and night, could turn the British democrat into a patriot. The politician who prates of free breakfast-tables

appears to believe that he is the friend of the working man. And he is merely offering to his favourite a fresh insult. He is merely declaring in his loudest voice that the people who sends him to Parliament must be exempt, like paupers and criminals, from the responsibilities of citizenship.

none but a traitor would ever dare to exact the smallest contribution from the working man, whose breakfast table must be free, whose children must be educated for nothing, and who is never allowed to make a sacrifice for his country unless he is sodden with beer or dazed with tobacco.

And so because our politicians dare not tax the working man, who could perfectly well afford to pay his share, the income-tax still stands at a shilling; and Mr Ritchie's Committee, instead of apologising for an imposition as gross as the forced benevolence of old, clamours for more gold and severer penalties. It is as though a highwayman, having demanded your purse and got it, should shoot you through the head because it was not full enough. And this recklessness is the more foolish since it is certain that, if an unpopular tax be too roughly levied, it will ultimately be abolished, even though it do not touch the sacred person of the working man. The perfect tax, no doubt, obtains a maximum of revenue with

Cowardice, of course, is the cause of the injustice. The parliamentary candidate knows too well the effect which he produces by the promised abolition of indirect taxes, and when the candidate becomes a member of Parliament, he is not unmindful of his promise. And so it is that we live in the midst of an untaxed democracy. The people which can make war knows that it will not be asked to pay the cost of that war, and the people's carelessness may well be heightened by the fact that in England there is no enforced military service. We hear much of the thrift and dignity which make the French peasant a model for Europe, of the economy which he practises that he may put something by for a rainy day and for the profit of his children. But he is a minimum of insult to the thrifty and dignified partly because he recognises that he is part and parcel of the State, for which in youth he is ready to fight, and to whose revenue he deems it, in his maturer years, no hardship to contribute. How different is the outlook of the English peasant! He hears from every platform, he reads in every paper, that taxes are to be paid by the middle and upper classes; that

taxpayer. The wildest zealot could not describe the incometax in these terms. It obtains more than the maximum of revenue-that is true, but it obtains it by a method which is at once insolent and unjust.

In the first place, as Mr Ritchie's Committee allows, four-fifths of the income-tax is cut off at the main. That is to say, all those who derive

abatement by reason of small-
ness of income should be
abolished in the case of persons
resident outside the United
Kingdom." For this arbitrary,
high-handed suggestion there
is no excuse. Our Inland
Revenue has no right to inquire
into or to control the incomes
of foreigners who invest some
portion of their money in
London, and surely it is the
oddest inducement to French
and Germans to aid our English
enterprises with their money,
if we
tell them that one-
twentieth of their dividends
will be pocketed by the officials
of Somerset House.

their income from Government the grant of exemption or stock or public companies pay their income-tax automatically. "The tax is stopped before it reaches their hands." The amount of a man's income does not matter. He may be wholly exempt, or he may be able to claim abatement. That does not matter to the taxgatherer, who pockets what he can, and says no more about it. And if the retired soldier or unknowing widow is robbed of one-twentieth of his or her small income, that does not matter to the Inland Revenue, which body will not repay a penny until the small investor has appeared before it, and proved to its almost impossible satisfaction that all he has is invested in the funds. Nor are we promised any better system of repayment. The Committee is so intent upon getting all it can out of an overtaxed class, that it does not care whether this one or that, whose income is less than the exempt worker in the mines, gets his own back or not. And as to the foreigner who is rash enough to intrust his money to English companies, he is to be given short shrift. Hitherto a foreign investor "who derives an income of £160, and no more, from investments in the United Kingdom is granted exemption on that £160, and similarly as regards abatements." But Mr Ritchie's Committee does not believe that any of "the foreigners who invest in British securities have total incomes within the prescribed limits." It therefore "recommends that

By their own confession, therefore, the gatherers of the income-tax make no pretence to justice or honesty in their method of collection. It is convenience only that they study. They know that they rob thousands, but they leave it to the victim to prove the wrong that is done him, and there is no doubt that the Revenue profits enormously by the apathy or ignorance of the robbed. But it is towards those whose incomes are not in the Funds that the collectors of income tax behave with the most monstrous effrontery. Every step in the process of assessment and collection is vexatious. How should a tax be willingly paid which is administered with cunning and without urbanity? The form which harmless citizens are invited to fill up is so ill expressed, that he who understands it deserves exemption from all taxation

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