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DIARY OF COMING ENGAGEMENTS.

LANCASHIRE'S CHALLENGE.

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The money-lenders are apparently wakening up. They have always been keenly alive to their own interests, and a section of them seem to have realised that they ought to do some- thing to avert the doom that the House of Commons Committee may have in store for them. Mr. ASCROFT, one of the members for Oldham, who took a leading part in the search- ing examination of KIRKWOOD, at a late sitting of the Money-Lending Inquiry, has been the recipient of a communication from an associa- tion of usurers who flourish in his constituency. These gentlemen have met to consider the subject matter of the Parliamentary Inquiry, and have passed a series of resolutions, embodying reforms which they conceive to be desirable. The resolutions set forth among other matters that all bills of sale should either be attested before the county court registrar, or entirely abolished; that all money-lenders trade in their own names, and all loan offices be regis- tered; that all promissory note.s state the amount of the money advanced, the interest charged, and the mode of repayment; and that the repeated renewal of loans for short periods be discouraged. If all the usurers in the country were imbued with this spirit of sweet reasonableness, there would not have been the same crying necessity for the Parliamentary Inquiry, but on the other hand who is to say that this ardent desire for reform in the ways of money-lending would ever have come to the surface but for the astounding revelations of the House of Commons Committee ? The money-lenders will in the present complex state of society always remain a necessary evil, but in the interests of the borrowing public it is imperative that they shall in the future ply their calling under the strictest regulations' and it is cheerful to see the cent. per cent. gentlemen looking the situation fairly and squarely in the face.

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CHESTER CATHEDRAL.

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