to the right quarter, and that with a return to relative prosperity it would not accrue to the landlord in an increase of rent. The consequence of the opposition which the measure aroused was that before it passed into an Act (59 and 60 Vic. c. 16) its provisions were limited to five years, though it has since been continuously renewed; and a Royal Commission to inquire into local taxation was promised, the recommendations of which, when they at last appeared on the eve of the South African War (in 1899), were long to remain without any practical effect.1
The Finance Bill passed through all its stages without a word of discussion in the House of Lords.
WHEN, twelve months earlier, it had been the duty of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach to call the attention of the Committee to the financial condition of the country, he had, as he said, to place before it the record of a very prosperous year. "Financially we seemed to be on the crest of the wave," and, in spite of political anxieties and unrest in South Africa, distress in India and the war between Greece and Turkey, the revival of trade begun in the summer of 1895 had been well maintained, and the record of the present year had surpassed that of its predecessor. The result was another great surplus, due, no doubt,____________________