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WHILST it would not he altogether fair to remark (as did the 18th-century poet Matthew Green) that politics go by the weather, road transport operators could be forgiven if they misquoted a line from the National Anthem and cried: "Confound their politics ". Road transport has never been far from, and has frequently been right in, the centre of the political arena since 1947. Now it is being dragged back again. It has been kicked and bullied around and subjected to seemingly endless outside pressures; it has suffered from biased and inaccurate attacks in Parliament; it has groaned under the burden of excessive taxation; and it has grown used to its very success being the reason for it being treated like a socially-unacceptable relation.
But to those Socialists who talk glibly about reuationalization or (like Mr. Callaghan) reintegration of road haulage, road transport can point to indisputable facts. Facts such as those contained in the Ministry of Transport's new survey, a summary of which appears on page 5. Road now carries some 90 per cent of the total ton-mileage transported in Britain, compared with 60 per cent in 1958. We did this with service—nothing else. If service is tampered with by politicians, the cost of the nation's transport bill must—and will—rise substantially.