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PASLIAIEIIABY JOTTINGS. -,

MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCESS MARY…

ATTEMPT TO MURDER A 8 WEETHEART

R 0 1 TY Jr, ARTICLE.

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R 0 1 TY Jr, ARTICLE. THE prospects of the money market have become much more encouraging within the last few days, owing mainly to the very decided improvement in the reserves of the Bank of England. Nothing could be more satisfactory, under all the circum- stances, than the return issued for the week ending the 6th of June, in which the effects of the large arrivals of gold from America were made apparent for the first time. The consequent increase in the stock of bullion at the Bank was XI,400,186 on the week, and as other large amounts have been sent in from later arrivals, there is, at the time we write, a general expectation that the extreme pressure under which the commercial classes have lately suffered from the high rates of discount will very shortly be relaxed. The increase of bullion was not the only favour- able indication presented by the Bank return. There was a diminution in the other securities to the amount of XI,675,618, indicating a great falling off in the demand for accommodation from the Bank, and also the currency outside of some- what easier terms for advances than those enforced by the Bank authorities. The notes in actual circulation had been decreased by more than half a million, and this, together with the increase in the bullion, made a total addition to the Bank's reserve of nearly two millions. With regard to the general course of affairs, the better feeling which was rapidly becoming established has been delayed by the unfortunate stoppage of the Agra and Masterman's Bank, pro- duced by causes of much the same nature as previous catastrophes of a similar kind, but hastened and rendered the more certain by the notorious operations of the speculators for the fall. Being itself a result of the late panic, the suspension has afforded no new reason for public alarm, but its consequences are peculiarly distress- tag, from the' large number of persons who had invested their chief or entire means either a-s shareholders or depositors in the bank. All over India the Agra Bank had for many years been regarded with the highest confidence, and was the chosen repository of the resoiirces of the officers and others employed in our Indian service. On the junction of the business of this bank with that of Messrs. Masterman, Peters, and Co., of London, and the formation of the entire concern into a limited company, the confidence of the general public was increased rather than dimin- ished. Masterman's Bank had a good reputation, and its head was for many years one of the repre- sentatives of the City of London in Parliament. The two banks united could not, it was thought, fail to flourish, and so favourably was the under- taking regarded that its shares, with X-25 paid, at one time stood at 86 premium. The present stoppage, from the distress it will cause to private individuals, literally, from one end of the world to the other, is a calamity in some respects greater than any that had-preceded it in the recent series of painful events. An attempt has been made to check the system recently pursued on the Stock Exchange, I by which the value of shares in more th,U1 one under- taking has been depreciated to a ruinous extent. We aJIHde to the" sppculating for 9, fall," which, though a legitimate operation enough under ordinary circumstances, has been lately accom- panied by practices so unscrupulous, mischievous, and disgraceful, as to call loudly for authoritative interference. To the uninitiated of our readers we may briefly explain that what is known on the Stock Exchange as speculating for the fall, is the selling of shares not actually in the seller's possession, but to be delivered at a future day, in the hope that by the time that day comes they may be bought at a lower or much lower price, the difference going into the pocket of the original speculator. If the operation simply rested here, no one could have much cause of complaint, for it is evident that the practice is not always a secure one, and that sometimes the specu- lator may have to pay for the shares much more than he will receive. The system, so far, is constantly pursued with rega-rd to the Government and other stocks. Bat in the recent cases the "bears," as the speculators for the fall are termed in Stock Exchange parlance, not content with the ordinary operation, set to work to secure a fall, by the spread of tne most prejudicial reports with respect to the under- takings the subject of their schemes. People in many instances were frightened by anonymous letters and similar means into selling their shares or withdrawing their accounts-a run was created, and the ends of the schemers obtained. It was sug- gested that the operations of such persons would receive an effectual check at the outset if they were compelled, when offering a sale, to produce the numbers of the shares to be disposed of, so that the bon(ifide nature of the proceeding could be secured. This plan has already been adopted on the Liverpool Exchange. The committee of the Metropolitan Stock Exchange have been requested to establish some such regulation in the interests of the general public, but, by a majority of 15 to 12 have declined to interfere, on the ground that it would be inexpedient" to alter the present mode of transacting business. The refusal has called forth general expressions of dissatisfaction, and even indignation; and it is said to be the intention of several leading brokers to establish among them- selves the system which the committee have re- fused, by a narrow majority, to make universal. The matter will also be brought before Parlia- ment, Mr. Leema.n having moved to bring in a bill To Amend the Law in respect of the Sale and Purchase of Shares in Banking and other Companies." It is satisfactory to note that the affairs of the Consolidated Bank, lately suspended, appear to warrant a recornmencement of business as soon as the necessary arrangements can be ma,de, and that it is likely shortly to open its doors again. Nothing, from first to last, has transpired to throw discredit upon the management and the business of this bank, taken by itself; and if it had not been for the unfortunate and short-sighted agree- ment entered into with the Bank of London, the stoppage would not have taken place. A precipi- tate application was made a few days back to tiie Court of Chancery for a winding-up order, but these costly proceedings, have been suspended until the views of the bank's creditors as to the proposed arrangement can be obtained. A con- siderable proportion have already sent in their adhesion to the scheme, which provides for the payment of the whole of the creditors in full, but by instalments—5s. in the pound immediately, and a similar amount on the 1st of October, February, and June next. The settlement of the affairs of Messrs. Overend, Gurney, and Co., is not likely to prove more satis- factory to the shareholders than was feared from the first, for there is little doubt that nearly, if not quite, the whole of the paid-up capital will be absorbed by the liabilities and charges. The report of the provisional liquidators renders it evident that the principal loss arose on the busi- ness taken over from the old firm, and it is believed that the business transacted after the formation of the limited company was in the main of a healthy character. To turn from banking establishments to private firms, a very satisfactory meeting has been held of the creditors of Messrs. Peto and Betts. The statement presented gives good hope not only of the payment of all liabilities, but also of a con- siderable surplus beyond. With regard to ttiis firm, it was, indeed, felt before that the liquidation of its debts was a mere matter of time, and the suspension for a while was the best course that could be adopted in the interest of all parties. The members of the firm were assured of the sym- pathy and respect of their creditors at the meet- ing, the result of which will not be without some effect in helping to restore general confidence.

Money Market.

BANKING DEPARTMENT.

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Msat and P01l1tryMa,rkets.

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-icmdcm Produce Market.

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