The Wheels of Industry.
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" The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport at whatever points arising, as a carriage is by„..thsroughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crozier.
London Taxicab Fares.
The proposal that London taxicab fares shou,d be based on is. a mile, instead of 8d. a mile as at present, has progressed one stage further towards realization. A conference took place at the Home Office, on the 1st inst., as a result of which the drivers are again to consider their objections to the change.
The matter, we would point out, is more strictly one for settlement by arbitration, and it is only a few weeks ago that Sir George Cave. the Home Secretary, intimated his intention so to settle it that way.
Allied Petroleum: The 'Right Man Still to be Found.
The Allies have pooled their finances, and many—if not all—of their material resources. British importers of petroleum products, including petrol, have pooled their resources, in conjunction with the Ministry of Munitions, as we have already reported. There still remains much confusion and muddle to be eliminated. Who can do it ?
"The Daily Telegraph," in its issue of Thursday the 3rd inst., put forward a critical article upon the situation, and concluded with the suggestion that Sir Marcus Samuel, Bart., should be appointed Petroleum Controller. A man of worldwide experience and broad grasp is wanted. Nobody in charge of the anatter at the present time appears to be capable of taking an international view, but only something which is little if anything better than a parochial view. Were it otherwise, we should not be rationed in England to the present damaging extent, the while private motorcar owners in France are allowed, in at least many large areas of the country, as much as two and one-fifth gallons each daily. Why, in the United Kingdom, is this allowance denied to many important. commercial houses?
Who is going to shake up the old gentlemen at Berkeley Street. we wonder ? We do not know whom it is they are benefiting by their extraordinary proceedings, and they appear to be helpless in the matter of co-ordinating supplies. As matters stand, America is shipping thousands of gallons of petroleum products to the East, where they are not wanted, wasting both the precious oil and the ships which carry it. We are a long-suffering nation, and appear to endure official thraldom without turning. The limit has certainly been approached if not reached. Let us have a man in the highest sense of the word. We are sure that all the netrol-produe 016 jug companies of the world would think more of an authority like Sir Marcus Samuel, than they do of the collection of ex-Indian officials, exrailway managers, ex-patent-offieo clerks, with a colliery owner and other "make-weight" such as are found at Berkeley Street. The occasion is not one for light treatment, or light words. The industry of the nation is paralysed where it should be encouraged. Petrol in plenty can be got from America, as well as the ships to carry it, but neither can be had unless the control is given to somebody who knows how to exercise it.
Motor Vehicles on Coal-gas.
The "Gas World" continues to direct attention to the improving prospects of the wide-spread use of coal-gas for propulsive purposes on common roads. We read in its issue
for last month The plan of running omnibuses on coal-gas carried in a bag on the roof seems to be be coming general. The latest instance comes from Harrogate. Onevehicle has been running on regular service,. and others are being similarly equipped. The pioneer motorbus has done as much as 14 miles on one bag of gas (500 cubic ft.). The performance of the same motorbus on petrol, under similarroad and load conditions, is between 6 and 7 miles per gallon. Harrogate is very hilly, and better results should be obtained in more level districts. There is not quite the same speed, but, on the other hand, there is steadier running and no misfires."
We agree with most of the views of our contemporary. We, however, are well satisfied with the result at Harrogate, for it shows 250 cubic ft. of the local gas supply to be equal to one gallon of petrol, whereas we have always given the mean figures as 300 cubic ft., and the best figure as 260 cubic ft. It has been our desire, of course, to leave a margin for experience to show better results than our estimates, for there is no more certain way to condemn a, new departure than to put forward estimates which in practice are found by users impossible of attainment in their cases. We have not yet heard of a user whose consumption of coal-gas has given so high a maximum figure as 330 cubic ft. in substitution of one gallon of petrol. Pace the country's gas engineers. The "Gas Journal" refers to a flexible gas holder as a gas "bag." We have been entreated by certain of our friends in the gas industry only to use the word "holder." and we have done ma best to comply. What are we to think of the "awful example" so near to their own profession
Motor Law in the Province of Quebec.
A new scale of annual registration fees is now in f6rce in the Province of Quebec, Canada, under which owners of commercial motors pay annual fees varying from 25 to 215 according to weight capacity. It is also laid down that, except in cities, no motor vehicle which has a load capacity in excess of 32i tons ehall be used or operated upon the
public highway. This limitation, of course, may be very desirable where roads are of a primitive character. Another regulation requireS the driver of any motor vehicle to stop behind any street (tramway) car which is discharging or taking up passengers, and additionally provides that no driver of a motor vehicle may proceed to tbe left of such a standing street car.
Use of the Word "Albion."
The Albion Motor Car Co., Ltd.. of Scotstoun, near Glasgow, and l„ipper Rathbone Place, London, W., has been confirmed in its right to the sole and exclusive use of the word "Albion" in connection with motor-vehicle manufacture, sale, maintenance, etc. Mr. Justice Astbury, on the 2nd inst., gave judgment with costs in a test case against the Albion Carriage and Motor Body Works, Ltd., of London, and the judgment is a conclusive finding. The actual wording of the injunction is :—"An injunction to restrain the defendant company from carrying on business under the name of 'The Albion Carriage and Motor Body Works, Limited' or under any other name comprising the word ' Albion ' and so arranged as to be calculated to represent or lead to the belief that the clefenant company is the plaintiff company or is in any manner connected therewith, or that the defendant company's business or goods is or are the business or goods of the plaintiff company or in any manner connected therewith."
In the course of his summing up, Mr. Justice Astbury expressed the view that in this case the defendants had acted innocently, but they were none the less liable for their conduct. We understand that the Albion Motor Car Co., Ltd., is already taking action in two other instances, and that it means to spare neither time nor expense in protecting its obvious rights in connection with the established use of the chief identifying word M its title. Proceedings of Local Authorities.
The Hull Corporation is buying a motor lawn-mower for £104.
The Manchester Union is considering the purchase of a motor lorry to carry about four tons.
The Bolton Corporation is buying a trailer attachment for its motor fire-engine.
An old aeroplane engine has been purchased by the L.C.G., for use in connection with a fire-engine tender.
. The Halifax Corporation is buying from Avery, Ltd., a motor wagon weighbridge, capacity 20 tons, for £216.
The Hampstead B.C. is to buy. two 1-ton electric vans for disinfecting work at an estimated cost Of 21600.
The Leeds -Corporation is to purchase a motor lorry for the Parks Department at. a cost not exceedmg 2500.
. The Manchester-Corporation has placed an order with Alley and
MacLellan, Ltd., for two 5-ton Sentinel motor wagons for coke haulage.
The Walthanistow Council, besides increasing the wages of
steam-wagon drivers by Si. per week, is giving -them a Si. war bonus.
The provision of a motor ambulance is to be considered by the Hayes (Middlesex) U.D.C., in conjunction with adjoining hospital authorities.
The Salford Tramways Department has accepted the offer of the Broughton Motor Hiring Co. for the purchase of a muter char-abases body for 260.
The Lambeth B.C. has accepted Messrs. Noble and Co.'s offer to carry out repairs to one of the Council's motor sweeping machines for a sum of 2208 3s. 6d.
The Plymouth Watch Committee has decided to purchase a petrol motor fire-engine, with a telescope escape, on the recommendation ot the Fire Brigade Sub-committee.
The Stoke-on-Trent B.C. has been advised to consider the purchase . of a steam motor tipping wagon for carting road materials, coal, etc., but the consideration has been deferred.
The chief of the Bournemouth Fire Brigade says that it is difficult to get horses, and that in consequence there have been delays in answering calls ; this condition must prevail until the Corporation is permitted to buy motors.
It is reported that Bournemouth last year had a, deficit of 1216 on its motorbuses. The running costs were 4.63d. per mile as against 2 38d per mile the year before, the increased cost being due to the higher price of petrol. The Middlesbrough Corporation is endeavouring to arrange a better service of motorbuses between the Exchange and Grove Hill.
A Ford motorvan is being bought by the Lincoln City Council for the Waterworks Department in order to transport the breakdown gang.
The York City Council is asking sanction of the Local Government Board for the purchase of a motorbus for a new service in the Leeman Road district.
The Leeds Corporation has authorized its medical officer to arrange with the other corporation departments owning motor lorries for assistance in conveying coal to the hospitals.
The Electricity and Tramways Committee of the York City Council has instructed the Town Clerk to ascertain from memorialists the use which is likely to be made of additional motorbus fa.cikities, in respect of which a memorial has been received.
The York Watch Committee proposes to sanction 50 per cent. in-.Tease 011 motor hackney carriage fares. Lasteyear the York munici pal motorbuses carried 642,000 passengers, the receipts being 8.01d. per car mile. The motorbusas are electric, and the charge for the.current is E737 per annum.
Identification Marks on Motor cars.
The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis directs the attention of all owners and drivers of motor vehicles to the necessity for their
attending properly to the use and correct display of identification marks. He has pointed out that during the year 1916, ten persons were fatally injured in the Metropolis by motor vehicles which did not stop, and which were never traced. Similar cases are still occurring, and the police and public are thwarted in their efforts to identify the vehicles when in motion by reason of (a) the marks being improperly affixed, (b) the marks
being of improper dimensions and patterns, or (c) the marks being illegible and partly concealed. Notice is now .given that the
lice wi,j1 in future enforce the Motor Gar (Registration and Licensing) Order more strictly, the present warning being given to enable users to remedy any irregularities forthwith. We may point out that the Fourth Schedule to the Motor Car (Registration and Licensing) Order sets out the character of the two plates which must be used, one at the front and one at the back of the vehicle, as regards conformity to size, and style of lettering and numbering. The provisions which have to be observed are the following :—
1. Each plate must be rectangu
lar and bear upon it the index mark of the Council with whom the motorcar is registered, and the separate number assigned to the motorcar by that Council, the markand number being arranged in conformity with the arrangement of letters and figures shown on one or other of the alternative diagrams.
2. The two plates may, at the op tion of the owner, be of either of the shapes shown in the alternative diagrams, or one of one shape and one of the other.
3. The ground of the plate must be black, the letters and figures must be white.
4. All letters and figures must be
three-and-a-half inches high ; every. part of every letter and figure must. be five-eighths of an inch broad ; and the total width of the space; .taken by every letter or figure, except in the case of the figure 1,. must be two-and-a-half inches.
5. The space between a,djoining
letters and between adjoining figures must be half-an-inch, and there must be a margin between the nearest part of any letter or figure land the top and bottom of the plate of at least half-an-inch, and between the nearest part of any letter or figure and the sides of the plate of at least one inch.
6. In the alternative diagram No.
1, the space between the upper and lower line must be three-quarters of an inch. In the alternative diagram No. 2, the space between the letters' and the figures must. be one-and-ahalf inches.
7. In the ease of the plates for a inotor-tricycle or motor-bicycle of a weight unladen not exceeding three hundredweight, each of the dimensions mentioned above must be halved, and the shape of the plate need not be rectangular so long as. the minimum margin between any letter or figure and the top, bottom and sides of the plate is preserved. We must point out that there is
authority for inserting a dash between the letter and number, as is shown in the alternative diagram No. 2, and it is unlikely that any
proceedings will be taken if the dash were omitted. Dunlop Dividends.
The directors of the Dunlop Rubber Co., Ltd., will pay on the 15th inst.; an interim dividend at the rate of 12i per cent. per annum on the ordinary shares of the company for the half-year ended the 28th Feb
ruary last. The directors of the Parent Tyre Co., Ltd., on the same date and for the Same period, will pay the usual interim dividends on the preference and ordinary shares, at the rates of 5 per cent. and 8 per cent, per annum, respectively.
Road Maintenance in Argentina.
It may be news to many reader's Of THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR to know that the Argentine Government now deducts .3 per cent, from the gross taleings of all the Argentine railways in order to maintain common roads—not the railroads—in repair. This contribution by the railway companies is specially applied to roads which lead to the railway stations.
Argentina is literally as fiat .as table, with but very few exceptions, and the future there for motor transport is undoubtedly a most' promising one. British manufacturers will do well to put Buenos Aires on their list of places at Which they will hereafter establish overseas selling and service depots. If the Gevernment of Argentina hereafter takes over the oil-fields, which
at the moment are under the eon. trel of Germans, the prospects for the increasing use of motor vehicles in the country may be still further enhanced... It must be remembered that American competition would probably be very keen here.
A Dennis in Singapore.
One of the Dennis lorries in Singapore is a subsidy-type vehicle which belongs to the firm of Lint Nee Soon and Co. We illustrated this machine in THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR at the time of its shipmentto Singapore about theend of the year 1915. Its owners, writing under date 28th February, 1917, the letter being a personal one from Mr. Lini Nee Soon himself, state : "I have now had the subsidy-type Dennis in daily use for thirteen months, carrying pineapples and rubber froni my plantation to SingaPore Town. During this time I have not had a moment's trouble on the road. I consider it the finest commercial vehicle in the world. I have now two of these machines iii daily use, and, as I require a third to cope with my gsrowing output of rubber, I would-like you to place an order with the factory for another subsidy-type chassis, to be delivered as soon as a permit can be obtained for export front the Ministry of Munitions. After my past experience of the reliability of the Dennis, I will not consider tiny other make." Gerrard's New Premises.
Gerrard and Co., lately established at 89, Great Portland Street, have been compelled, owing to increasing business, to move into larger premises at 15, 16, 19, Great Titchfield Street, London, VT. The telephone number is Museum 3350. We may remind our readers that Gerrards are the proprietors and manufactureas of the Master repairing outfits', upon which we reported in our accessories pages recently.
News Items from France.
A motor goods transport service has been opened by Messrs. Caillard, of Beaters France, between that town and the principal railway stations in the district.
The Chamber of Commerce of Mont-de-Morsan, France, has taken the initiative in forming a society which will hire or buy motorvans required to transport cereals, flour, etc., for the use of the town.
A new branch company of the Ateliers Atlas has been floated in Bordeaux. The capital of the company. will be 1,000,000 francs, and it will work separately from the Paris concern. Offices, 35 his. Cows du Medoe, Bordeaux..
Eggs for Prance.
We have pleasure in making an appeal, on the urgent representation of the Executive Committee of the National Egg Collection for the Wounded, for further gifts, at regular intervals, of newly-laid eggs for transmission to hospitals in France. The Committee is now faced with a difficult problem, owing to the C54 retention in France of so many more wounded and the establishment of new hospitals there. Mr. Cecil H. Broadhurst, at 154, Fleet Street, London, E.C.,. is one of the active workers for this fund, and we hope that not a few of our readers in different parts of the country will lend a hand.
Steam Ploughing. It will probably be a long time before we arrive at any general agreement as to the relative merits of the two main systems of mechanical agriculture. There are strong arguments on both sides, and as has truly been remarked, any given method, although proving very successful on one field of a holding might be only moderately satisfactory on the next. If there is one class of ground which the advocates of cable traction may claim as their own, it is surely to be found on the Downs. Mr. A. Stratton, of Alton Priors Pewsey, Wilts., though broad-minded enough to give the direct tractor a fair trial, is strongly in favour of the older form. He was kind enough, recently, to give one of our representatives an opportunity of examining the conditions under which his 3000 acres of Down-land are worked. The result is pictorially expressed on page 232 of this issue. Mr. Stratton has five-and-a-half setsof double-engine ploughing tackle, with which he cultivates his ow_n land, and that of many other s eller farmers. One of the sets seen in our illustration is 61 years old, and is giving good service yet. All of these are by 'John Fowler and Co (Leeds), Ltd. We understand that a set by another maker was tried, but eventually discarded. No Petrol for Dutch Motorists.
The supply of petrol has been stopped m Holland to all private motorists. It is anticipated that 15,000 chauffeurs, fitters, repairers, etc., will be thrown out of work. The chairman of the Dutch Union of Motor Traders has put some very forceful arguments before the members of the Petrol Committee, without, however, being able to move them.
Woodman and Ltd. (22000),
with: its registered Co.,ce at. Patchway, Glos., to' carry on. business as coal, coke and lime factors and merchants, and haulage contractors, etc.
Dick, Jackson and Co.' Ltd. (6100), by Mayo, Elder and Co.., of 10, Drapers Gardens, E.C., to take over an existing motor-haulage. business, 'in London and elsewhere.
W. Lewis and Sons (Gorscinon). Ltd. (260.000), with its registered office at Gorseinen, Glamorgan, to manufacture and deal in tin, terne, blackplate, steel, sheet metal, stampings, etc. Raws Hercules Motor Fuel and Products, Ltd. (6000). by Franci3 and Johnson. of 19, .Great Winchester Street, E.G., to take over. and carry on a business of producers, exporters and refiners of petroleum and other oils.
Saunderson Tractor and Implement Co., Ltd. (/630,000), with its registered office at Elstow, near Bedford, to .take over and extend the business of Saundersor and Mills, Ltd., and in particular to manufacture, sell, and let on hire ' Saunderson " Universal " agrimotors.