§ I now come to the death duties. The death duties turned out very satisfactorily last year. The total yield was"£15,633,000, of which 999 £4,233,000 went to the local taxation account and £11,400,000 to the Exchequer. The Exchequer receipts were £300,000 in excess of those of the previous year, and £730,000 in excess of my estimate. But that is not quite an accurate statement as regards my estimate, because in last year's Budget I proposed to make certain alterations in the death duties, which would have entailed a loss of £280,000. I did not proceed with those alterations, and if that fact is allowed for, the yield from the death duties was £450,000 in excess of my estimate, a much less increase, as compared with the estimate, I am glad to say, than in the previous year. The estate duty and succession duty yielded a very small trifle more than in the previous year. Legacy duty increased by £274,000 on the previous year, £310,000 over my estimate. That was due to some exceptional receipts from very large legacies, which paid the very highest rate of legacy duty, and my advisers assure me that it is not practically possible that this should recur. But I may say, in regard to both legacy and succession duties, that the end of the falling off in those duties which resulted from the Act of 1894 has evidently been reached, and that in future years they will yield a reasonable increase. The year that has just closed was not so fortunate as regards the yield of large estates as the preceding year. During it 64 estates over £250,000 in value, each of them paid duty, whereas in the previous year there were 73 such estates. Of these 64 estates eight were over £1,000,000 each, making a total value of £11,600,000, whereas in the previous year there were nine over £1,000,000 each, making a total value of £15,750,000. But what was lost from large estates was gained in smaller estates. Estates below £250,000 each came to a total value last year of £216,000,000, as against £202,000,000 in the preceding year. The total value of realty paying duty last year was £49,379,000, a little less than in the previous year. I think that will be found to be about in future the normal level. Free personalty, which amounted to a total value of £173,288,000 in 1897-98, rose to a total value of £176,908,000 last year. The total receipt of death duties from realty was £3,012,000, less by £122,000 than 1000 in the previous year. The total receipt of death duties from personalty was. £12,621,000, more by £427,000 than in the previous year. Of course it is evident that with the increasing wealth of the country the proportion will be greater from personalty and less from realty. In the first nine months of the year the net principal value of realty charged to estate duty was £38,475,000, or one million and a half more than in the previous year. The increase was mainly in agricultural land, which was valued at £11,296,000, an average price of 17.03 years' purchase on the gross value, and 20.85 years' purchase on the net value. House property amounted to £18,864,000; ground rents to £2,755,000; miscellaneous receipts to £5,560,000. That completes my comparison of the death duties.