Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Jersey Critic: Income Tax, Uncle James, Ballroom Dancing, Adverts

From November 1927, and the "Jersey Critic".

A selection of bits and pieces. "Random Notes" by the editor, Edward Le Brocq, looks at the possible introduction of Income Tax. This was a "hot topic" of the day, rather like the introduction of GST in recent years. It is hard to believe that Jersey could function without Income Tax, but it did, although not well if you were poor or sick or elderly; compulsory schooling had been introduced at Parish Schools, but only to age 14.

As Wikipedia notes:

"The levying of impôts (duties) was in the hands of the Assembly of Governor, Bailiff and Jurats until 1921 when that body's tax raising powers were transferred to the Assembly of the States, leaving the Assembly of Governor, Bailiff and Jurats to serve simply as licensing bench for the sale of alcohol. The Income Tax Law of 1928 introducing income tax was the first law drafted entirely in English. Income tax has been levied at a flat rate of 20% for decades."

Then there are the "Answers to Correspondence" by "Uncle James". This is a strange assortment of what appears to be gossip about Islanders, some names, some probably known without needing to name. It's a kind of very Jersey equivalent of Private Eye, barbed comments, and scandalous tittle tattle, and for those "in the know", was probably great fun to read.

Having covered films in my last extract, I have here a bit from an inside page promoting dancing at West's, which was not just a cinema. Dancing was very popular, and it is interesting to note that tuition can be had in "the new dances" or "dances of previous seasons".

Victor Marlborough Silvester (1900-1978) was a popular band leader, and had published "Modern Ballroom Dancing" in 1927, the year of this Jersey Critic. It was a best seller, and was probably sold in Jersey as well as the UK. Dances of the time included the full natural turn in the slow waltz, the foxtrot and quickstep. The Guardian newspaper archive for 1927 mentions "the Charleston, and its co-agitator, the Black Bottom dance" and comments that "The new dances have generated a gust of movement as frisky and intractable as a puppy's. Impudence and pace are the most noticeable features of this season's dancing."

We can't see the dances at West's, but there is a Youtube clip which gives some idea of the different dances from the Famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Finally, I have included a few advertisements also on the page. I particularly like the one for brandy!

Random Notes by Edward Le Brocq

The estimates

I see that the states are meeting next week to consider the estimates. We are all wondering what the finance committee will have to tell us and especially what measures they recommend to make up the deficit which appears inevitable. The question which is agitating the minds of our wealthier people is whether the committee are likely to favour income tax or whether they would prefer the good old system of getting a little bit from here and another little bit from there.

A curious case.

In regards to income tax I came across a curious case a day or two ago which illustrates the rapacity of the income tax commissioners. An acquaintance of mine, who has lived in Jersey since the age of five, happens to earn some property on the mainland which, added to his salary he is in a government department renders him liable to income tax. In addition though he pays the Parish rate, he is compelled also to pay income tax on the annual rental derived from this Jersey house. This strikes me is iniquitous to a degree but apparently there is no remedy.

Finished it.

It is, naturally, in possible to collect income tax without being inquisitorial. And, as a rule, it's not a bit of use telling the official who sent you the form to mind his own business. What is after is your business, under the law gives him the right to enquire into the most minute particulars. But it doesn't always come off, as witness the case of an Englishman now domiciled in Jersey. He sold the house situated in London and was promptly asked what he had done with the money. "Spent it on fish and potatoes" was the reply, and that finished it.

Foot and mouth

The recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease at Netley Marsh, near Southampton, is another smack at the Jersey cattle breeder, who finds it more and more difficult to export to America. They are exceedingly particular in the USA in regards to what one calls a clean bill of health, and every fresh outbreak of foot and mouth in the South of England is made of particular note of. What strikes one is that the slaughtering policy persisted in on the mainland seems to do no good at all.

A good lead

It was interesting to read in the report as Saturday's Royal Court that St Brelade, that most conservative parish, had actually elected Constable's Officers of the name of Duffett and Leatt. This, to me, is highly significant. It is surely a sign that even at St Brelade they are recognising the fact that a man may bear an English or Irish name and still be a good Jerseyman. We have many Britishers of the right type in Jersey who would be only too glad to help in municipal affairs, and I hold that we make a big mistake in not giving them a little more encouragement to assist. Now that St Brelade has given the lead I hope other parishes will follow suit.

Answers to correspondents by Uncle James

Seaton place. Yes, Lady Maude opened your bizarre very nicely. Meanwhile, I fear that Mrs D Walker has sent the Evening Post reporter a bunch of forget-me-nots.

Imitation. I can't believe that the Finance committee are proposing to tax silk stockings for the sum received would be a mere trifle. Ah, if girls were caterpillars now, I'd see some sense in it.

Inside out. The way the player put it to me was this: "the chap was coming down with the ball and I said to myself, now what about getting a bit of my own back? I wasn't rough, mind you, but I just scattered him among the spectators". How is this for a really graphic bit of description?

Mont Mado. Yes I have heard what the young lady from St John's said to Harry Jones at the football match. Is her hair ginger?

Fruitless fan. I'm not quite sure, but I rather think that Mr Carlyle Le Gallais drove Jack of St John's back in his car immediately after the broadcasting. Your suggestion that he may have been the individual who serenaded the inhabitants from the Sorel heights in the small hours of Thursday with selections from ballads of ribald character is a gross insult to a most respectable citizen.

Enthusiast. You say that the Seigneur de Noirmont is the man we want on the Bench. You may be right, but have you ever been caught trespassing on his property? Electing Jurats is a queer business. I voted for a few candidates in my time, but I can only remember two instances when I wouldn't have been much more usefully occupied putting poison in their tea. Mr de Gruchy is doing excellent work just now, but we want to see a bit more of him. Remember that the job is a life one.

Arabella. You want to know what you should have done when the young man put his arm around your waist coming back from the bazaar. It all depends where he comes from. If he hails from the north or west you should have shrieked for the Centenier. But with a St Clement's lad you'd be perfectly safe in any circumstances. What, as a matter of fact, did you do?

At West's.

Dancing each Thursday and Saturday in the ballroom is generally recognised throughout the island by all dancers as the "rendezvous par excellence". West's even more popular during the winter season than in the summer, and the fact that the ballroom has recently been fitted with a heating plant, which renders it always cosy, despite the elemental conditions without, cannot but add greatly to the pleasure of all dancers.

The ballroom at West is, as well as the lounge, is available for all types of private functions, including Club Dinners Dances, Bridge Teas, Receptions, Parties, etc, and most reasonable terms of any of these functions will be quoted by the manager, but in all cases early applications should be made so as to ensure getting a date.

Application for Tuition in Dancing should be made with the manager, who will be pleased to arrange to suit the convenience of all anxious to learn the new dances or the new steps in the dances of the previous season.

Very old brandy.

In the case of sudden illness drop of Martell's brandy is usually effective. A good idea is always to have a bottle close at hand, not only for sickness, but your friends will appreciate it.

Shop early.

Now is the time to make up your minds what to give for Xmas presents. Huelins, the Lingerie specialists, have just the goods to choose from, as they are all of the best quality and of moderate price. There are cosy garments for all occasions, and dainty silk and crêpe-de-chine for evenings. Note the two addresses, 49 Great Union Road and also at 62 Bath Street next to F. Le Gallais and Sons.

1 comment:

Mark Forskitt said...

I'm going from memory, so could be wrong, but I think the initial rate of income tax in Jersey was levied at 6d/£1 - 2.5%, not 20%.