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commissions, with the essential facts in regard to their organization; a bibliography of their publications, and the full text of the laws governing the more important commissions; the facts in regard to the method of appointment, term of office and payment of assessors in those states in which the county assessment system exists; the mortgage registry tax law of Minnesota, the Ontario business tax law, and the personal property tax law of Pennsylvania.
While the work has apparently been done with care and accuracy, a few errors have crept in, the most important being the statement (v. 2, p. 152) that the tax on gross earnings of railways in New York is "five per cent on interstate gross earnings" instead of five tenths of one per cent on the gross earnings from business within the state.
HENRY B. GARDNER.
The History of Parliamentary Taxation in England. By SHEPARD A. MORGAN. Printed for the Department of Political Science of Williams College. (New York: Moffat, Yard and Company. 1911. Pp. xiv, 317. $2.00.)
This is the second volume in the series of David A. Wells Prize Essays, established for Williams College under the provisions of the bequest of the late David A. Wells. The book covers the period in English history from the Saxons to the Bill of Rights. This period is sub-divided into seven chronological stages by the seven chapters of the essay, entitled: I, The Saxons; Customary Revenues and Extraordinary Exactions; II, Feudal and Royal Taxation; the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1066-1215; III, The Custom of Parliamentary Grants, 1215-1272; IV, The Law of Parliamentary Taxation, 1272-1297; V, Taxation by the Commons, 1297-1461; VI, Extra-Parliamentary Exactions, 1461-1603; VII, The Stuarts, 1603-1689.
The main task of the essay, which is to describe the transition of the taxing authority from the kings to the Commons, is well done; although there has been no attempt to do original work in this field. There is but little reference to, and no study of, the political, economic and social factors which produced the shift of the source of taxing authority. As the above chapter headings indicate, there has been a selection of materials which would illustrate the transition described, but no comprehensive historical account
of taxation in England. It is a well-constructed but rather uncritical compilation of historical data, with a certain interest for the general reader of economic history. The chief value of the book, however, is not so much in its worth as an authoritative treatise, but as an indication of the kind of thoughtful work which it is possible to encourage in colleges which have no elaborate equipment for research purposes. The press work is excellent, although a volume less pretentious in appearance would have seemed more in keeping with the general character and quality of the essay. HARLEY W. LUTZ.
L'Oeuvre Financière du Parlement de 1906 à 1910. Recueil des Principales Questions Budgétaires et Fiscales Traitées par la 9 Législature. By E. PELLERAY. (Paris: Roustan. 1910. Pp. x, 140. 3 fr.)
M. Pelleray, assistant-secretary to the committee on the budget in the Chamber of Deputies, contributes in this book on the recent financial legislation of France a careful and intelligent piece of work although no pretension is made to any special literary or technical merit. The author seeks merely to present in an accessible form the recent financial budgetary and fiscal legislation of the Republic. The ten introductory pages are given over to a rapid but lucid summary of the work performed by parliament in this regard; and in particular to recent schemes for social welfare. The remainder of the book presents an analytical account of such important features of the financial situation as the public debt; the budgets of 1907-1910; the income tax; the reorganization of railways; and workingman's insurance. Altogether, the work is admirably done, and should prove helpful to all interested in the trend of thought and legislation in France. W. W. SWANSON.
Queen's University, Kingston.
Die Finanzgeschichte des deutschen Reiches. By EMANUEL WURM. (Hamburg: Hamburger Buchdruckerei und Verlagsanstalt, Auer und Co. 1910. Pp. 272. 1 m.)
The author, who is a socialist and a member of the Reichstag, has collected in this volume material in opposition to the imperial budget program of 1910. Of history in any strict sense it contains but little. But of facts, or alleged facts from any period
which would lend support to the author's contention, there are many. The thesis is that the "financial history of the Empire is also the history of the sufferings of its workingmen."
The book is written in somewhat passionate language, and the style is that of the German newspaper. Violent partisanship appears in every page, and uncomplimentary nicknames are freely hurled at the author's opponents, who not infrequently are charged with being "wretched hypocrites." As few, if any references, barring the numerous quotations from Lassalle's "Arbeiter-Programm," are given, it is not always possible to verify the statistics. Yet withal, the book is very readable, and, granted the accuracy of the statistics, makes a plausible argument in support of its thesis. When actual figures fail or are not strong enough for the author's purpose, then it is cheerfully assumed that the particular phenomena "are doubtless very much more numerous than is officially acknowledged."
Entirely aside from the truth or falsity of its violent charges, the book is interesting as showing the feeling of the socialists in relation to the financial program of the coalition of parties at present in control in Germany. The growth of imperial expenditures is first set forth. It is claimed that while the population of the empire grew from 41 to 64.2 millions between 1871 and 1900, or 50 per cent, the peace footing of the army rose from 359,000 to 621,162, or 73 per cent, and the expenses 155 per cent. But with all this increased expense the common soldier gets "no more than he had before, 22 pfennige daily," (a statement obviously strained). But the officers are provided for and have a comfortable pension so that "their joyfulness in the service may not be allowed to vanish."
The taxes are taken up in the same spirit. To find a point in his favor the author goes outside the field laid down in his title and decries the Prussian income tax as exempting as the minimum of subsistence only 900 marks, while the British income tax exempts £150 (we supposed it was £160), "or 3200 marks" (another slight inconsistency). On the protective tariff Marx's "endless screw" is cited as authorization for socialistic opposition. It is asserted that the grain duties benefit solely "a little flock of rich, large, and moderate landowners" who make bread dear for the laborer. In the same way the beneficiaries of all the other duties are "rich" while the poor are mulcted. The most vitriolic abuse is poured on the new liquor and beer taxes. The liquor tax re
dounds, it is asserted, mainly to the benefit of counts, princes, and kings, "and Bismarck was a prince." The conclusion was a foregone one before a single "statistic" was misquoted. It is: "Socialism alone can bring about the freeing of the working classes."
University of California.
Die deutschen Getreidezölle.
C. C. P.
Eine Denkschrift. By LUJO BREN(Stuttgart and Berlin: J. G. Cotta'sche Buchhandlung Nachfolger. 1911. Pp. 124.) The original contribution by Brentano on the German grain duties was prepared for the Free Trade Congress which met in Antwerp in August, 1910. The second edition contains answers to various objections raised by members of the Agrarian and Center parties. The statistical appendix has also been enlarged and improved, and now forms about a third of the work (pp. 83-124), offering the best single collection of statistical material relating to German agricultural protection. The extensive foot-notes also refer to most of the literature on the subject.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century from 75 per cent to 80 per cent of the German people were occupied in agriculture. Though much land was not cultivated, yet considerable grain was exported, made possible because of the low standard of living. From 1800 till 1900 there was an increase of 43 per cent in cultivated land and 35 per cent in grain lands, due largely to the disuse of fallowing. Enough poor land, however, was brought under the plow to hold down the average yield per acre, compared with England. Most of this increase in acreage occurred before 1878; while from 1878 to 1900, the increase in plowland was only 0.99 per cent, against an increase in population of 29 per cent. In other words pressure was then transferred to the intensive margin. As a result, wheat imports began to prevail after 1876; and at the same time prices declined rapidly, owing to the westward movement of population and consequent extension of grain growing in America, after the panic of 1873; and also because of the concurrent cheapening of transportation both by land and sea. This fall in prices, causing a crisis in German agriculture, converted the German agrarians, who had hitherto formed the backbone of the free-trade party, into ultra protectionists. Bismarck was thus enabled, in 1878, to establish an alliance between the agrarians and manufacturers, based on protection, which put
through the protective tariff of 1879. The duty on wheat and rye, in the tariff of 1879, was 1 m. per kg. This proved ineffective as a protective measure owing to the continued cheapening of transportation and the special export rates on Russian railways. The rate was therefore advanced to 3 m. in 1885 and to 5 m. in 1887.
A large part of the work (pp. 10-42) is concerned with the effects of these Bismarckian duties. This portion is of considerable theoretical interest. The author's conclusions are, in brief: (1) that the duties did not cause a cessation of imports nor prevent a further decline in prices, though prices fell less in Germany than abroad; (2) that in consequence the duties yielded a large revenue; (3) that the German consumer, in the long run, paid the whole tax, except for the reduction in rates on Russian railways; (4) that the profits went exclusively to 19 per cent of the farming population, chiefly large landowners; (5) that the bread tax amounted to from 1 per cent to 7 per cent of the usual family income, being the equivalent in the case of weavers of 17.9 days labor per year; (6) that taxes on bread tended to check the use of other less indispensable or dearer commodities, such as meat; (7) that the grain taxes tended to drunkenness,-under-feeding and over-drinking being closely associated; (8) that grain prices and crime rose and fell together; (9) that grain duties had no tendency to render German agriculture capable of competition with other countries; (10) that they also tended to military weakness, since even in peace hundreds of thousands of immigrant laborers are necessary to harvest the crops, and in time of war, with most of the men withdrawn from the fields, the result would be famine.
The increased importation of grain, especially of wheat, was due to the growth of the cities, the enormous increase of population, and the rising standard of living. Since 1882 there has also been a continuous decline in the area of farm land on account of the multiplication of roads, industrial plants and suburban districts. Grain imports have however been held in check to some extent by increasing intensity of cultivation, which has taken place despite falling prices. This increased intensity has been regarded by some as an effect of the duties, but the author points out that this explanation is untenable because the duties failed to advance prices. The author seeks to explain it through increased technical efficiency, which occurred in spite of, rather than because of the duties; and also through the assumption that German agriculture