12 MAY 1866, Page 1


WAR, commercial failures, and excessive panic both on the French and English Stock Exchange, have been the cheer- ful features of the week. Not that the war has yet begun, but in a commercial point of view it has been discounted, or rather perhaps is now in process of discounting, at a very high and ruinous rate indeed. The panic in England broke fairly out on Thursday, on the failure of Messrs. Overend, Gurney, and Co. (Limited), for 10,000,000L Sterling. The English Joint-Stock Bank (once Mr. Rogers') has also stopped payment, and there were other terrible rumours. On Friday Lombard Street was blocked up like the Strand on a procession day. It was said in the afternoon that the Bank Charter Act had been suspended,—that Mr. Gladstone had been down to the Bank himself and written the letter there,—as if he would think of such a thing,—and there were plenty other wild and impossible rumours. In the House of Commons yesterday evening Mr. Gladstone said, in answer to Mr. Disraeli, that the suspension of the Act was under consideration, that it must partly depend on the Bank account as it may turn out when made up to Friday evening,—and that he was assured that the panic was one at once of wilder excitement and less real foundation than any within the memory of business men.