THE INCOME TAX.
Last evening an open-air meeting was held in Main street to deal with the income tax demands. There was a goodly number present, who assembled in front of the Victoria Hotel, from the balcony of which the speeches were delivered, and were heartily applauded. Mr R. J. Wilkinson said he was there
at the call of duty. He recalled what had taken place at former open-air meet- ings regarding the income tax, and the efforts which had been put forth against it. He had addressed thirteen meetings against the tax, and he recalled the burning of effigies; also the reply given at one of the meetings as to who would resist, in every lawful way, the payment of the tax, when there were at least 300 who had determined to resist it. He moved the following resolution :— "That we, the taxpayers of Zeehan, in mass open-air meeting assembled, hereby express our solemn determination to passively resist the payment of the un- just income tax imposed by the late Government, who were in consequence literally pitched out of office, and which the present Ministry were pledged to repeal, the said tax being, therefore, contrary to the almost unanimous wish of the country." He said that some of the workers had been asked to pay £2 6s, and up to £2 15s, as income tax, and then, proceeded to point out that before he took up a matter he asked whether it was right or wrong, and the cost. He had carefully looked into the Question of passive
resistance, and had come to the con- clusion that it was right. That being so he cared not who was opposed to him in the matter. On November 25 last the Legislative Council, which is tyrannising and dogmatising over the House of Assembly, determined it they would have the pound of flesh, and that the tax should be taken from the working classes in spite of the will of the people. The Legislative Council by its action had almost driven the people into revolt against the law. If the amount had been 4d in the pound there would have been a surplus of £5,000, so that it was not necessary. The Lewis Government had asked the working classes to pay £20,000, but the owners of real estate and agri- culturists were called on to pay only £6,000. He next touched on the last general election, and the lesson it taught the Lewis Government. In the May following the general elections there were six members of tbe Legislative Council to be elected, and of these four of them are the most determined oppo- nents of the Propsting Government. He held that when a man made a pledge on
the platform be should fulfil it at any cost. There would be a great deal of suffering caused through the collection of the income tax, but they could not blame the West Coast or Major Mor- risby, but they could the other parts, because they did not have written pledges from the candidates. It was wise to have these pledges, particularly the members of the Legislative Council. There would be some more vacancies, and the other parts of the State ought to be alive. He blamed the Government for not having the backbone to say that it would not collect the tax. Had the Government known it had the voice of the country behind it they would have defied the Council; it ought to have done so, as the country at the elections had sent the previous Government to the right-about for their mis- deeds. Had the Propsting Gover- ment been firm and gone to the country they would have been returned with still greater honors. The tax on real estate had been reduced from £74,000 in 1892 to £41,000 in 1902, while direct taxation, exclusive of the present income tax, had increased from £49,000 to £68,000. Passive resistance was next
explained. He was going to let the Government do its best to get what it could from him. If the country was in distress and needed tbe money he would willingly pay it. To passively resist was to take no notice of the demands issued, just as was done in England in regard to the Education Act. If their goods were seized he did not think that any one would bid for them. Mr Geard seconded the motion in a bright speech. It was a pleasure to him to speak against anything that was wrong, and if the income tax was right, why did the country send the old mem- bers to the right-about? He could not pay, and if everyone held the same opinion as he did, tbe Government would soon get tired of asking. Mr Wilkingson said that it had been deemed advisable to hold a second meet- ing on another night under the auspices of the Workers' Political League of the Zeehan district. There had been too much waiting on what the other fellow was going to do, and he had called that meeting without consulting anyone. The motion was carried unanimously amid cheers. Mr Lamertonanokeauainstthe income
tax, and reviewed what be had done in Parliament. He advocated tho calling of Parliament together, and a Bill in troduced providing for an exemption of £150 per annum. Tho meeting dispersed, it being in timated that another would be held next week. MEETING AT BEACONSFIELD.
Lau.nckston, Friday. A large public meeting was held. at Beaconsfield to-night to denounce the personal exertion tax, some strong speeches being made. It was resolved to urge Ministers to call an early meet ing of Parliament to consider the tax.
Working housekeeper dealres situation* The Cash Grocery Co. will receive another monster shipment of choice fresii fruit and tomatoes, direct from the orchard, this day. Messrs G. P. Fitr.gerald and Co. advise the public to commence the new year well by doing their shopping at their establishment. Messrs A. Clerke, Grubb, Bond, King, and Hunter, arrived by the Burme train to the conference at the Gospel Hall, to be held to-morrow and Monday, to which all Christians are specially invited. Attention is directed to Mcsers Stub bings and Co.'s advertisement to-day. Some special linen have been secured, and arc now offered at about half ordi nary prices. For all rouud values the firm are well to the front.
Members of the Presbyterian Church are reminded that tbe Sacrament of the Lord's Supper will be dispensed at the close of the morning service to-morrow. The subject of discourse will be 'Fat things full full of marrow, and wines on the lees well refined.' One of the most comfortable and centrally situated hotels in Zeehan is the All NationB Hotel, Main street, and t is kept by one of tbe most popular bonilaces on the West Coast, Mr J. Lawler. The dining rooms liave been re-opened, and every comfort provided for visitors and boarders,
Mr J. B. 'tooley wishes the people of Zeehan and dlstrlc to know that he will to-day throw out some wonderful bar gains. Tho fact that be is doing good straw hats at a single copper is aure to be a big draw. The Bon Marcbe i» always a cheap house for drapery, but this is to be something very special. Lifebuoy Soap Is a pure nntlseptic so.'ij. which kills disease germs, but will not injure the mow xmiltlve skin, or frailest fabric.