chapter  VIII
The Taxation and Rating of Advertisements
Pages 21

In the most striking passage of his speech, Milner Gibson said: "If a man advertises in a newspaper, one would suppose that he is adopting the most obvious and rational mode of making known his wants, because it is the newspaper, of all things, from its frequent issues, that gives that frequent publicity which is so desirable for advertisers. But when he advertises in a newspaper, he finds the exciseman there, who says that no announcement shall be made without this toll of Is.6d. being paid to the State. It is a barbarous tax. Is there anytkt'ng so essential to society as tkat all should be capable of communicating to each other their mutual wants? Does it not lie at the very root of all our progress, at the very root of all commercial transactions? For every communication that you prevent by this tax is it not probable that you prevent some commercial transaction that might be beneficial to those engaged in it and also beneficial to society? . . , It appears to me that this is a kind of tax which we ought not to encourage in a commercial country; for is it possible to conceive anything more unwise than to stand in the way of communications between men desirous of effecting commercial exchanges that operate favourably upon the customs and general revenue of the country,»

In the course of his speech he mentioned the adver. tiser who painted the pavement of the streets-an advertising medium then in vogue - the advertising van, and the mural advertiser, asking why they were exempt when the announcements in the Press were taxed.