This Week's Appeal Decisions A
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Protest Against Conduct of Traffic Court
" WE do not agree that substantial or any other kind of justice was done." In these words, the Appeal Tribunal summarizes its finding on the East Midland Licensing Authority's refusal to allow T. Ball (Leicester), Ltd., to acquire an additional vehicle. Fully to understand the case, it is necessary briefly to review its history. _In April, 1936, the Ball concern
applied for an extra vehicle. The application was adjourned until the following October, but pending the final decision, an additional vehicle was authorized under a short-term licence to expire on October 31, 1936.
Purchased Daily Service.
In the meantime the appellant purchased from a Mr. Bryan. the goodwill of a regular daily service which he had run for some years from Leicester to Peterborough and King's Lynn. T. Ball (Leicester), Ltd., bought that part of the service which was concerned with small consignments.
In September, 1936, the appellant applied for full authority to use the provisionally granted additional vehicle, and for a further extra machine weighing not more than 2i tons unladen. Both were refused.
, In • December, 1936, the appellant applied for an A licence in continuatMn of one held by Mr. W. H. Chapman, of Leicester, by which it was sought to acquire Mr. chapman's vehicle. Refusing this application as well, the Licensing Authority described it as a subterfuge.
In March of this year T. Ball (Leicester), Ltd., sought to renew its A licence, with a variation to acquire an additional 2i-tormer. The licence was renewed, but without the extra machine, the company appealing against this refusal.
For some years the appellant has operated a regular service from Nottingham and Leicester to Bristol, also collecting and delivering in connection with that service.
The case urged for the appellant on the renewal application was that it was impossible efficiently to operate the Bristol service and the collection and delivery facilities in connection with it, as well as the East Coast service, unless an additional vehicle were authorized. The Licensing Authority, in a written decision, said that the appellant company had changed its business without justification.
Mr. A. M. Lyons, K.C., for the Ball concern, commented in strong terms on the Licensing Authority's attitude towards the company and its witnesses, on certain observations which he had made, on the language he used, on the form in which he had framed many of the questions put by him to Mr. Ball and other witnesses, and on the conduct of the inquiries. Mr. B. de H. Periera, for the railways, held no brief for the language used or for the way in which the proceedings were conducted, but he submitted that substantial justice had been done and a correct decision arrived at, although, possibly, by a process that was not altogether free from criticism.
The Tribunal agrees with the inferences to be drawn from .these observations, but holds that justice of no kind was done. It finds that there was a change in the nature of the business, but that the appellant did riot start a new business.
The case should, the decision con
tinues, have been determined on the principles laid down in the Boston Haulage appeal. The Tribunal holds that the transaction between the company and Mr. Bryan was genuine, chat Mr. Bryan's customers were ready and willing to transfer their work to the appellant, that the service should be carried on under an A licence, and that to ensure efficient operation of the Bristol and collection and delivery services, and to obtain the benefit of the goodwill purchased, an extra vehicle not exceeding 2i .tons unladen should be allowed.
The appeal is sustained, with £60 costs. The L.M.S. and L.N.E. Railway companies and certain road hauliers responded to the appeal.