29 SEPTEMBER 1866, Page 3

A-curious correspondence has - been going on in the Times about thefraudspractised

at auctions. Itseeins that theseedy-looking persons who hang about 'auctions, and call themselves commission -agents, have a system of' insalting every private bidder, and often .spoil his property. On' the other hand, the 'dealers in each trade, secendlhand bookseliersparticalarly, are in-the habit of combining tarkeep the' bids down, 'buy everything aba-lew price, resell it by snooks:action or "knoek--out"emong themselves,--and divide the dif- ference. That-isi' they -steel from- the' originalseller the- difference letweetravhat he gets-and the-true -value. The powerof eorreet- lig' both practices-ought to'be conferred on-the anetiotteer. 'Let him be-able to-expel any-person from the sale"roorn-under=penalty Of air immediate appearance before-a-magistrate, anFto.dedine to let goods go =whenever he sees an' unfair combination-to depreciate them, and let failure in either dutybeted with-the -withdrawal =of his `license. 'We are far -too merciful in this -country tolhe :system of petty cheating now so prevalent, which presses harder on honest tradesmen eventhan on their customers. 'Why-should not a man who is disordeily in an auction-room gets month, as-well as a man who in disorderly-in the street?