THE INCOME TAX. Notwithstanding the statement by the Hobart press supporter of the Legislative Council and the income tax that the Premier acted foolishly in attending the Launceston meeting, the Attorney General and Chief Secretary are in the North to address meetings at other centres on the subject. The Premier in his telegram to the promoters of the movement in Launceston suggests that deputations wait on some of the opposing members of the Legislative Council, and that if they can be induced to change their mind Parliament might be called to- gether. There would be no harm in carry- ing out the suggestion, but we are doubt- ful about the results. Sir Adye Douglas is a resident of Hobart, and did not take the trouble to reply to the invitation to be present at the Launceston meeting; therefore it is hardly likely he would come up to receive a deputation, and it would be an innovation for the depu- tation to have to go to the other end of the island to find the representative of a Launceston constituency. Mr. Hart also is an invalid, and a deputation to him would be out of the question. As for the other gentlemen named, it would be for their constituents to act, and so far as we can learn there is keen opposi- tion in some of the country districts. Mr. Long has advised his Mount Lyell constituents not to pay, but this is an attitude that cannot be supported, since it is a direct incentive to defy the law, and he should be one of the last to advise that course. Especially is this so when the fact remains that if the tax were not collected some £35,000 would still have to be found this year. So far we have found no one disputing the Trea- surer's figures, and while it may be possi- ble to raise £10,000 of this sum in a full year by death duties on real estate, that amount would not be forthcoming this year. Even if it were, there would still be £25,000 to raise, and those who object to raising it in one way should be prepared to formulate another scheme. An occupancy tax of 6d, without exemp- tion, would raise £26,375, which would about fill the bill. The fact that the money will have to be found is apt to be lost sight of, and while we do not appre- ciate its being gleaned by means of an unjust income tax, still we cannot lose sight of the financial aspect. A sugges- tion is made in our columns that the levy is illegal, and the writer is one whose opinion on the matter is worthy of serious attention. Should his sug- gestion be adopted, and the court uphold his contention, then Ministers would be relieved from a responsibility which weighs heavy on their hands. Then would come the question as to whether the Council would agree to the alterna-
tive, and the whole business would have to be gone over again. The situation bids fair to become somewhat compli- cated, and there is likely to be a period of serious unrest before the problem is solved, but as matters stand we fail to see how Ministers can avoid their plain duty. That they will absolutely refuse to make another collection may be taken for granted, and we hope one of the Ministers will to-night put the situation before the public and take them fully into their con- fidence.