Front Page Titles (by Subject) FROM PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION - Public Finance
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FROM PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION - Charles F. Bastable, Public Finance 
Public Finance. Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged (London: Macmillan, 1903).
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FROM PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
The subject of Public Finance, as distinct from that of Political Economy, has not of late years attracted much attention in Great Britain. The very excellence of English financial institutions and management has contributed to this result by making the need of theoretic study as a basis for practical reforms less pressing. Though our financial literature is not quite so poor as some critics imagine, it must be allowed to be deficient in works dealing with the subject as a whole. Since the well-known book of McCulloch—first published in 1845 and now out of print—there has been no manual available for the student.
Such a want is specially felt in the work of teaching. A lecturer who desires to deal with financial questions has no text-book—like those at the service of his French, German, and Italian colleagues—to use as the groundwork of his instruction, and is therefore compelled to make constant reference to foreign treatises not readily accessible to, or easily read by, his class.
In the present work I have sought to temporarily supply this need by going over the whole field of Public Finance and presenting the results in a systematic form, so that a student may at least obtain a general knowledge of the leading facts and present position of this branch of political science. The selection of topics and the space assigned to each have been determined under the influence of this guiding idea.
In dealing with financial statistics—which have been kept within the narrowest possible limits—I have in most cases rounded the figures in order to fasten attention on the really important facts expressed by them. For the same reason in the conversion of foreign money into English I have been satisfied with the approximate equation of £1 = $5 = 25 francs or lire = 20 marks. The fluctuations of the rupee, the Austrian florin, and the rouble have generally made their conversion undesirable, but I have sometimes taken them at their exchange value. Finally, I should explain that the references are, unless where otherwise stated, to the volume and page of the particular author.
C. F. BASTABLE.