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for armaments in the years of peace preceding the war.

The resumption of peace on the basis of present war debts, whether on a basis of continued armaments or not, will entail an enormous burden upon the warring peoples to meet current charges and in

terest.

ENGLAND'S EXTRAORDINARY WAR TAXES Of all the nations engaged in the war England alone, apparently, is trying to make the war "pay its way." Germany and the other Central Powers seek to pay the cost of the war out of imperial treasury loans and a moderate issue of paper money. The total indebtedness of Germany at the end of the second year of the war, including her peace debt, was a sum greater than her total war cost for those two years. The issue of German government bank currency, not redeemable in gold, has trebled since the war began. France in a somewhat lesser degree is following the same policy. The paper currency in France has also greatly increased, as has also her bonded indebtedness. England's issue of paper currency, on the other hand, is negligible. All of her paper currency is redeemable in gold.

England's revenue derived from taxable sources for the year ending March, 1914, was 163 million pounds; for the year ending March, 1915, 189 million pounds; and for the year ending March 1. 1917, will be 330 million pounds. Through the most remarkable system of war measures the revenues from taxation have been raised 167 million pounds over the amount raised in the last year of peace. Of this 167 million pounds, however, thirty million is estimated to be a munition profit tax that will stop with the war, leaving a net increase of income from taxes of 137 million pounds a year.

To secure this enormous increase in revenues from taxation in two years has required most extraordinary war measures. The minimum income tax prior to the war was two fifths of one per cent. That has been raised to one per cent. The maximum income-tax prior to the

war was thirteen per cent. That has been raised to forty-one and one half per cent. Nor is the significance of this alone measured by the increases in the tax rate. Of equal or greater significance is the reduction of the exemption from 800 dollars. per person to 650 dollars. This has increased in a very marked degree the number of people who are paying income taxes, as well as the amount every taxpayer pays. In addition thereto, of all the increases in the profits of all businesses in Great Britain during the war, sixty per cent. has been taken directly by the state. Taxes have been imposed upon amusements, railroad tickets, matches, mineral waters, and have been reimposed upon war profits, motor-cars, incomes, sugar, cocoa, and many similar commodities. Thus it would appear that England, the wealthiest of all the nations at war, in the white heat of patriotism and in the midst of the greatest of war enthusiasm, is to-day able to raise by taxation, despite her remarkable. efforts, only one sixth of the current war expenditures.

ENGLAND'S REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES

ENGLAND'S daily expenditures are five and three fourths million pounds a day, or approximately 2180 million pounds a year. According to a recent statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the revenue from all sources, including that from taxation, for this year was estimated to be 502 million pounds, which would leave. a deficit of 1678 millions to be covered by loans. From the total cost of the year there should be deducted the amount used for civil purposes, which would probably reduce the war expenditure to approximately 1800 millions; and it therefore appears that of the 1800 millions used for war purposes approximately only one sixth is paid by revenues raised from taxation.

At the present rate England is amassing a debt at the rate of at least 1600 million pounds a year. Thus in one year England accumulates nearly three times the debt that she had accumulated in the previous 227 years. At the end of the present fiscal year her total indebtedness for this war

will be 3500 millions, a sum that is five times the debt at the beginning of the

war.

seen

Each succeeding year of the war will probably show an increase in cost of at least one third over the year preceding. Another year of war would make England's debt approximately 5500 million pounds, and if peace were to come then, we should still be obliged to apply another year's expenditures, under the Hamilton rule, and the total indebtedness would approximate 7000 million pounds. The significance of this sum translated into dollars-35,000,000,000—is when one realizes that the total assessed value of all real and personal property for purposes of taxation in the entire United States amounted, according to the last census, to 69,452,936,000, or only about twice the sum of this gigantic war debt. The total levies of all property taxes for state or local purposes in the United States amounted, according to the last census, to only 1,349,841,000 dollars, a sum sufficient to pay about four per cent. on the probable debt of Great Britain at the end of another year of warfare.

ENORMOUS BURDEN OF TAXATION

THE interest upon such a debt at six per cent. would be a sum almost twice the total of all the revenues of Great Britain from all sources in the last year of peace, and the interest on this war debt alone would exceed the enormous sum that is now raised by taxation under these unusual war conditions. The entire revenues from taxation would be needed to pay the interest on the public debt alone. If the army and navy were to be sustained on no more extensive a scale than in the last year of peace, the sum needed to run the Government and pay current interest charges would be greater than the total amounts now obtained by taxation under the stress of war conditions.

The expenditures on the navy during the last year of peace were forty-nine million pounds, and on the army twenty-eight million pounds. The expenditures last year, currently reported, were four times

as great for the navy, in the sum of 190 million pounds, and over twenty-five times as great for the army, in the sum of 715 million pounds. If, with the restoration of peace, the army cost were to be reduced to one fifth of its present amount, the annual cost would be over 140 million pounds; and if the navy expenditure were to be reduced one half, the annual cost would be 95 million pounds, a total of 235 million pounds. This is a sum forty-two million pounds in excess of the total requirements of the Government for all purposes during the year 1914. If such a sum were to be required in addition to current civil and standing expenditures and current interest charges, the total revenues required for each year of peace would be almost double the present amount of revenue that is raised by taxation.

BRITISH SOLVENCY UNQUESTIONED

THE purpose of this estimate is not in any way to reflect upon the solvency of Great Britain. This computation does not include the wealth or resources of her empire. It is addressed only to the British Isles, and to indicate what the burden of taxation may be. Astonishing as is the present indebtedness, it is not such as to be necessarily alarming to creditors. It is really not so great, when the ratio of indebtedness to national wealth is considered, as previous debts which Great Britain has successfully sustained. The per capita debt after twenty-three years of the Napoleonic wars was 226 dollars, while the per capita wealth was 672 dollars. The present estimated per capita wealth of Great Britain is approximately 1900 dollars, and the indebtedness of Great Britain could still be more than doubled over its present condition before the same ratio would obtain as between per capita. debt and per capita wealth that obtained at the end of the Napoleonic wars. England worked out her fiscal salvation from that situation, and probably will again. The resilience of England's finance has been remarkable. Outside of the Bank of England, the English banks in the first two years of war increased their deposits

250 million pounds, their cash 72 million pounds, and their investments 165 million pounds. England now nominally redeems all of her currency in gold.

The purpose of citing England in this connection is only to illustrate the situation as to taxation and war indebtedness.

ENORMOUS FUTURE BURDENS OF TAXATION FOR ALL WARRING NATIONS

IF conditions such as these obtain in the wealthiest nation, then the conditions described would obtain with still greater force in the other warring countries. Indeed, the conditions in those nations which are making no effort to meet war expenditures out of current revenues may perhaps be still more disturbing than in a country where such tremendous effort is being displayed to pay at least a part of the war burden by means of taxation.

Every year of the war which is financed on borrowed money will increase the debt of the nations at war and of many neutral nations as well. With each succeeding year of the war not only will the interest rates increase, but the discounts on government paper will be greater, and at the same time the purchasing power of money will be reduced.

With each succeeding year of these conditions the gross annual sum which will have to be paid for interest as fixed carrying charges in time of peace will increase.

With the resumption of peace, then, there will remain this tremendous burden of national debt. Unless repudiation comes, the interest will have to be met every year. The other expenses of government will go on increasing as in the past, and all these expenses must be paid by taxation, direct or indirect, or from other sources of government income. If to these obligations which must be met to preserve credit there must be added the

great expense of sustaining armies and navies, the burdens upon governments will be appalling, and greater than any governments in the world have heretofore been required to sustain.

ECONOMIC PRESSURE AND
PEACE PROPOSALS

It is not strange, therefore, that from the chancelleries of Europe on both sides of the conflict there comes the constant reiteration of the suggestion that the coming peace must be a peace of a permanent character, which will make future wars impossible. It is possible that upon the resumption of peace the burden of debt alone will be sufficient to tax the capacity of governments to meet their obligations without the imposition of any additional taxation to sustain or create armaments either to protect a present peace or to prepare for a future contest. And so it may come that the economic pressure rising out of these conditions may be one of the most impelling considerations in the determination of what shall constitute the terms of peace. Armaments, of course, will have to be sustained unless the terms of peace are predicated upon such conditions as will not sow the seeds for a still more horrible war in the future.

The altruistic and humanitarian impulses of humanity to prevent, if possible, the recurrence of so horrible and awful an experience as this war will have their weight, but it is characteristic that considerations of this kind soon fade away into a memory. The economic considerations involved in the question of national debts and the payments of interest thereon may be a more compelling force in the promotion of permanent peace. For these economic factors will continue, and their influence will be felt for hundreds of years

to come.

Mrs. Fiske to the Actor-in-the-Making

A conversation remembered by ALEXANDER WOOLLCOTT

IF

F Mrs. Fiske were ever to take herself so seriously as to write a book on the art to which she has somewhat begrudgingly given the greater part of her life, I am sure she would call it "The Science of Acting." Let every one else from George Henry Lewes to Henry Irving make utterance on "The Art of Acting"; hers would be on the science.

"The science of acting," she went on, "is no term of mine. I first heard it used by the last person in the world you would ever associate with such a thought-Ellen Terry. It may be difficult to think of her indescribable iridescence in terms of exact technic, yet the first would have gone undiscovered without the second."

It was one glittering Sunday afternoon. last autumn that I attempted to explore the psychology of that preference. We had been strolling through Greenwich Village in quest, for some mysterious and unconfided reasons of her own, of beautiful fanlights, and quite naturally we wound up at a small, inconspicuous Italian restaurant in Bleecker Street where certain wonderful dishes, from the antepasto to the zabaglione, may be had by the wise for little. Mrs. Fiske had stressed the word "science" with positive relish.

"I like it," she confessed. "I like to remind myself that there can be, that there is, a complete technic of acting. Great acting, of course, is a thing of the spirit; in its best estate a conveyance of certain abstract spiritual qualities, with the person of the actor as medium. It is with this medium our science deals, with its slow, patient perfection as an instrument. The eternal and immeasurable accident of the theater which you call genius, that is a matter of the soul. But with every genius I have seen-Janauschek, Duse, Irving, Terry-there was always the last word in technical proficiency. The inborn, mysterious something in these players can only inspire. It cannot be imitated. No school can make a Duse. But with such genius as hers has always gone a supreme mastery of the science of acting, a precision of performance so satisfying that it continually renews our hope and belief that acting can be taught.

Undiscovered? Who shall say, then, how many mute and inglorious Duses have passed us in the theater unobserved for want of this very science? Mrs. Fiske would not say. For her own part, she had detected none.

"As soon as I suspect a fine effect is being achieved by accident I lose interest," she confessed. "I am not interested, you see, in unskilled labor. An accident-that is it. The scientific actor is an even worker. Any one may achieve on some rare occasion an outburst of genuine feeling, a gesture of imperishable beauty, a ringing accent of truth; but your scientific actor knows how he did it. He can repeat it again and again and again. He can be depended on. Once he has thought out his rôle and found the means to express his thought, he can always remember the means. And just as Paderewski may play with a different fire on different nights, but always strikes the same keys, so the skilled actor can use himself as a finely keyed instrument and thereon strike what notes he will. With due allowance for the varying mood and interest, the hundredth performance is as good as the first; or, for obvious reasons, far better. Genius is the great unknown quantity. Technic supplies a constant for the problem."

And really that is all Mrs. Fiske cares about in the performances of others.

"Fluency, flexibility, technic, precision, virtuosity, science-call it what you will. Why call it anything? Watch Paylowa

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dance, and there you have it. She knows her business. She has carried this mastery to such perfection that there is really no need of watching her at all. You know One glance at her, One glance at her,

filled

it will be all right.
and you are sure. On
most of our players
one keeps an appre-
hensive eye,
with dark suspicions
and forebodings-
forebodings based on
sad experience. But
I told Réjane once
that a performance
of hers would no
sooner begin than I
would feel perfectly
free to go out of the
theater and take a
walk. I knew she
could be trusted. It
would be all right.
There was no need to
stay and watch."

"And how did she bear up under that?" I asked.

"She laughed," said Mrs. Fiske, "and was proud, as of course she should have been. What greater compliment could have been paid her?"

And it is because of just this enthusiasm for the fine pre

cision of performance that Mrs. Fiske laments the utter lack in this country of anything approaching a national conservatory. To the youngster who comes to her hat in hand for advice she may talk airily and optimistically of "some good dramatic school."

my own acting, I have always been successful in teaching others to act.

Mrs. Fiske as Hannele

is

"And when he reminds me that there none," she said, "what can I tell him? How can I deny it? I have half a mind to start one myself. Seriously, I may some day. It is an old dream of mine, for while I have never particularly admired

are

"And how can I give him any assurance that he will encounter one of the half-dozen scattered directors likely to do him more good than harm? The young actors pitched into the sea, poor children, and told to sink or swim. Many of them swim amazingly well. But how many potential Edwin Booths go to the bottom, unchronicled and unsung? Though I suppose," she added thoughtfully, "that a real Booth would somehow make his way. Of course he would."

But surely something could be done. In default of a real conservatory and much chance of a helpful director, what then? In order to find out, I brought from his place at a near-by table an ingratiating, but entirely hypothetical, youth, made a place for him at ours, and presented him as one who was about to go on the stage.

"Here he is," I said, "young, promising, eager to learn this science of yours. What have you to tell him? What is the first thing to be considered?"

Mrs. Fiske eyed the imaginary newcomer critically, affected, with a start, to recognize him, and then quite beamed upon him.

[graphic]

"Dear child," she said, "consider your voice; first, last, and always your voice. It is the beginning and the end of acting. Train that till it responds to your thought

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