The Wheels of Industry.
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The whim' of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport al whatever points arising, as a carriage cs , by the roughness of the roads over which a runs."—John Beattie Crosier.
Our annual review of the L.C.C. Tramways Accounts is held over.
The L.C.C. has granted a licence to the South Metropolitan Gas Co. to store 66,000 gallons of petroleum at Phcenix Wharf, Blackwall Lane.
Loads that Pass in the Night.
There is a remarkable tendency amongst local authorities, as a general rule, to blame motorbuses and commercial motors for damage to roads, without sufficient consideration for the facts of excessive weights which so frequently pass in the night. Our second leading article makes a brief reference to this matter, as does one of the letters on our "Opinions from Others" pages.
The North British Rubber Co., Ltd., has supplied a holder to the Scottish Motor Traction Co., Ltd.
Orders for supplies of flexible holders continue to be given generally from all over the country to Messrs Barton Bros., of Beeston, Notts., whilsi we hear reports that other manufacturers are getting ready to supply such holders. Favourable attention,,is being given to an increasing extent in leading trade and daily newspapers. It is becoming recognized, in Government and commercial circles, that there is practically no other source of relief for transport difficulties. s
Users will do well to allow extra; cross-section, between 'gas-holder and engine, in the piping, as corns pared with the delivery orifice at the induction pipe of the engine. They can safely base calculations on a maximum of 24 cubic ft. of gas passing per ih.p. per hour.
London Taxi-drivers and Station Charges.
The practice of the railway companies in the Metropolis, to charge 1d. for each empty cab entetingthe station, has for many years been resented by taxi-drivers, although in our opinion without good or real grounds. The men are now pretending that they cannot afford to pay these pennies, and are threatening to impose additional hardship and inconvenience upon the travelling public, by not going into the stations with empty cabs to pick up fares.
The suggestion that London taxidrivers cannbt-pay these pennies is a. preposterous one ; they are overtipped at the present time by nearly everybody, and we hope they will be brought to their senses by s form of retaliation which tho 036, public very seldom adopts, but is well able to use if roused—" no tips."
British Petroleum Co.
The directors of the British Petroleum Co. Ltd., and the Homelight Oil CO., Ltd.; antiounce to their clients that the whole of the issued share capital of these companies has been purchased by the Anglo-Persian Oil Co., Ltd., and that no Other company or persons have now any interest, direct or indirect, in the management Or control. In the Anglo-Persian Oil Go., Ltd., his Majesty's Government holds a controlling interest, the balance of the capital being entirely in British hands ; consequently, the British Petroleum Co. and the Hornelight Oil Co. will be absolutely free from all foreign influences ' The conduct and management will be carried on under the control of the new board with the present officials and staffs of the companies, all of whom are British. National interests have made it necessary for these companies to curtail their business at present.
London "Safety First" Council.
We learn from the joint secretaries of the London "Safety First" Council, whose offices are at 31, Westminster Broadway, S.W. 1, that, on the recommendation of the „Drivers Educational Committee, a "Freedom From Accident Competition" has been sanctioned on the following conditions :— „ (1) The competition is to be known as the "London 'Safety First' Freedom from Accidents Competition."
(2) The abject of the competition is to encourage, by the award of money prizes and badges of merit, drivers of all classesof vehicles to exercise every care and discretion in the performance of their duties.
(3) The competition will be divided into three classes, viz :—(1) Drivers of motor vehicles ; (2) drivers of horsed vehicles ; (3)drivers of tramcars.
(4) Thirty prizes of 10s. each, together with a first-class badge of
• merit, and 50 second-class badges of merit, are offered in each of three classes, to drivers whos records, in the opinion of the council, qualify them to receive such awards.
(5) All drivers continuously employed for the period of 12 months from 1st October, 1917, by one or more of the corporations or firms operating in the Greater London area will be., eligible to compete in their respective classes, and intending competitors.should at once
notify their employers of their desae to take part in the competition.
(6) The competition will commence on 1st October, 1917, and terminate on 30th September, 1918.
(7) Employers must, not later than Tuesday, 22nd October, 1918, send to the honorary secretaries of the London "Safety First" Council, a duly certified return giving the names and addresses of those of their employees who during the 12 months ending 30th September, 1918, had been free from accidents.
(8) The decision of the London "Safety First" Council on all matters affecting this competition is to be'final and binding.
French Import Restrictions.
No more permits to import motor lorries will be given by the French authorities This order comes into effect immediately, the only exceptions to it being those vehicles which beyond all doubt had been ordered before the signing of the decree. After prohibiting imports, the French authorities repealed this decision in favour of a 70 per cent. import duty on all vehicles weighing less" than 2 tons. This shut out touring cars and the lightvan chassis, ;but allowed lorries to come in at the pre-war import rates. Agents took advantage of this, and quite a large number of American trucks were imported for business firms working on army or semi-military contracts. To meet this demand, one of the French intermediaries secured an agency for Austin vehicles, this being the first occasion on which a purely British commercial vehicle has been exploited in France. It is understood that the decision has been arrived at in order to reserve tonnage for other material. There is reason to believe that within a short time, and for a period of several months, all iniports will be prohibited, with the exception of foodstuffs and shell steel. While the desire is to save shipping space, the decree automatically cuts out Italy, the one nation capable of supplying motor vehicles without the aid of ships.
On account of the transportation difficulties in connection with the revictualling of the public, the City of Paris has decided to maintain its own fleet of motor lorries. It has just placed a contract for 100 Pierce-Arrow 5-ton models, to be delivered without bodies. It is understood that tipping bodies will be fitted in Paris. French manufacturers are not at all satisfied at the refusal of the War Department to allow them to fill this order. Proceedings of Local Authorities.
Norwich T.C. ha.sPla,ced an order with Ransomes, Sims and Jeffeiies, Ltd. for a 3i-ton electric wagon, at g1112.
Southend T.C. has applied for a loan of &150 for the purchase and electrical equipment of motor vehicles in connection with tale work of the town.
The Treasury has consented to the York City Council raising a loan of 21300 for the purchase of an electric omnibus needed to link up the tramways in the Leeman Road district.
Salford T.C. has accepted the tender of Mann's Patent Steam • Cart and Wagon Co., Ltd., for the supply of a five-ton steam tipping wagon for the Electricity Department, at 1860.
Aldershot ILD.C. requires to purchase a motor fire-engine, and a deputation has been appointed to press upon the L.G.B. the urgency of sanctioning a loan of £1000 for the purpose.
Gt. Crosby U.D.C.—An old Napier chassis previously used for a. touring car has been converted into a motor fire tender and escape, and the vehicle is giving every satisfaction.
Subject to the usual sanction, the Fire Brigade Committee of the L.C.C. has accepted the tender of Leyland Motors, Ltd., for 12 motor fire-engines at 2,970 each. After these are delivered, the L.C.C. will have no horse fire-engines.
The War Office having impressed a 5-ton Clayton steam wagon belonging to the Walthamstow TT.D.C., at an assessed value of .2610, the Highways Committee of the Council last week decided that its surveyor should make inquiries with a. view to purchasing a wagon to replace it. The Chief Sanitary Inspector has presented a further report to the East Ham Corporation on the suggested purchase of electric dirt vans, but the Health Committee has decided to get additional particulars from Sheffield and other places where these vehicles are already in use.
At Bournemouth Corporation, the Gas and Water Co. wrote with reference to the proposed installation in the square of a station for the supply of gas for water vehicles. The Corporation agreed to consider other positions for such installation, and left the matter to be arranged by a sub-committee. The returns per bus in the town • of Eastbouxne have been very heavy since Whitsuntide. The Motorbus Committee recently reported to the Eastbourne T.C. that at certain times of the day more than double the number of buses now available would be required if the traffic were satisfactorily coped with.
A secommendation of the Electricity Committee of the Salford Corporation suggests rescinding a resolution passed accepting the tender of Fodens, Ltd., for the supply of a steam motor wagon, and accepting the tender of Mann' Patent Steam Cart and Wagon Co., Ld., for the 'supply of a 5-ton steam tipping wagon for £860.
The Case of the "Bath" Road.
As motorists are well aware, some of the roads of Middlesex are prone to become flooded during rainy seasons. The blame does not always rest with the local or county authorities, as is shown in a report which Air. Wakelanl, the county surveyor, has presented Ito the County Council. Whilsti, dealing with the3question of floods in his report, he remarks that it may not, perhaps, be misplaced if he dwelt for a moment on the flooding at
Foyle and Colnbrook, .which has hitherto been a troublesome and an almost perennial matter. For several years past the main Bath Road has been subject to flooding, and in consequence much inconvenience has been annually caused to the road users. On looking into the question last winter and making a close inspection of the neighbourhood be found that in the county of Bucks there existed a dilapidated sluice across the river Colne at,„ Tanhouse. Farm, which is in the Occupation of Mr.' T. W. Purser. Owing to the condition of the sluice, it could not be lifted, with the results that the flood waters, instead of passing freely aivay down the stream, were much obstructed and " back-ponding" took place, and naturally that the water overflowed the banks 'of the stream on to the surrounding lands and also flooded the main road. Owing to mahy of the land ditches being filled up, the lands have hitherto been submerged more or less each successive year. The attention of the ownee was called to the old sluice, and although it was outside the county of Middlesex he was lkind enough to have it repaired at once.
Wigan Motor Bodies, Ltd. I5000), by H. E. Allen, 18, King street, Wigan. Pitt's Motor Garages, Ltd. (MOO), with its registered office at Salisbury Street, Amesbury, to carry on business as motorcar and lorry agents, garage proprietors, repairers, etc. Van den Plas (England) 1917, Ltd. (£60,000), by Messrs. Simples andAlo. Lennox House, Norfolk
Street, to take over the business carried on by Van den Pins (England), Ltd, and the -liquidator thereof, at 162, Grosvenor Road, S.W.
John James (Swansea Road Mews), Ltd. (24000), by D. jennings, Colwell Street, Llanelly, to take over an existing business of motor-haulage contractors now carried ,on by the Swansea Road Mews Co., at Swansea Road, Llaneny, and the business of funeral furnishers, etc., now carried on at Druee Street, Llanelly, as John Smith.
British Ignition Apparatus Association, Ltd., as a company limited by guarantee, with not more than 50 members, each liable for 21 in the event of winding up. First subscribers: P. F. Bennett, Ardencote, Four Oaks ; G.' A. Miter, Coundon Road. Coventry ; R. B. North, St. Wilfred Magden Cane ; W. A. Anderson, s94, West Road, Westcliff-on-Sea ; G. IL Woods, 2, Norfolk Street, W.C. ; E. Garton, Tralee, Kenilworth; M. C. Luck, 83, Cannon Street, E.C. The registered office is at 29-34, Mansion House Chambers, E.C. Next Week's " C.M."
Next week's issue of THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR will be published somewhat later than usual and will not be on sale until Thursday evening, 9th August, instead of m the morning. The business department desires it to be pointed out that advertisements for that issue must reach the head offices of the journal by first, post Saturday. morning next, 4th August.
Duties On Chars-a.Bancs for September-December, 1916.
In the House of Commons on the 24th July, Brigadier-General Croft asked the President of the Board of Tradtwhether his attention had been called to the fact that motor ehars-a-bancs for which licences were taken out in 1916 were prevented from running by Government Order owing.to the failure to .obtain petrol ; and whether a rebate will be given on the licences for the months of September, October, November, and Deem. ber, during which such chars-kbanes were not used ?
Mr. Baldwin : My, attention has been drawn to this matter. There is no statutory authority under which a rebate of Licence Duty could be allowed as suggested in the question, nor do I think that the circumstances are such as to call Mr one.
Neither Horses nor Agrirnotors Mr. Rupert Gwynne last week asked the President. of the Board of Agriculture whether his atteiition had been called to the coal plaint of the East Sussex War Agricultural Executive Committee, that they are unable to obtain tractors or horses, and that rellec 'ions are being made upon the action of the committee in urging
• forward the breaking up of land and having no adequate machinery and horses to carry their plans out ; whether he is aware that at present in East Sussex there are only foueltra,ctors available, while. in a neighbouring county there are 48; whether the committee have formally protested to the Board of Agriculture that unless they are enabled to give facilities to farmers without delay the work they are endeavouring to discharge is practically futile ; and whether he proposes to take/ any action in the matter ?
Sir R. Winfrey: The 'East Sussex Agricultural Executive committee wrote to the Department on this subject on the 13th July, and a,-reply was sent on the 21st Jilly explaining the full position to the -committee. I propose Sending the hon. member a copy of the Department's reply, which is too long to quote in full, but which I think he will agree explains the situation.
.04 .H. G. Burford and Co., Ltd., has been elected an Associate Merriber of the S.M.M. and T.
Straker-Squire Capital Increased.
The issue of 75,000 ordinary shares of £1 each in StrakerSquire, Ltd., has been sanctioned by the Treasury, and the shares were offered to the public at sixpence premium during last week, the prospectus including a state-, ment from Mr. Sidney Straker, the chairman and managing director, to the effect that the new capital will be used for an extension of the factory and for providing further working capital. The auditor's certificate shows profits advancing from £9636 in 1910-11 to £25,114 in the nine months ended 4th October, 1915. In the 15 months ended December, 1916, the profits were £20,861. The Gove.rnment, however, has been in occupation of the works from September, 1916, for a consideration of . £27,500 per annum. As the dividend on the new shares accrues from 1-st January last it already amounts at 10 per cent per annum to over is. per share.
Salient Advice to Drivers.
The subjoined advice to all drivers is circulated per poster by the London Safety First Council Don't fail to give warning. When overtaking traffic, more particularly stationary tramcars, warning should be given and special care taken.
Don't take unnecessary risks. -When turning out of side streets, don't fail to slow down, give proper "hand signal." and sound horn (if any), or giv ther audible warning.
,Don't ignore cyclists. Keep an i've on cyclists in case they have a sideslip.
Don't allow children to " ioyride." A child running behind a vehicle should be warned _off, but before doing so see that the road is clear.
Don't forget pedestrians are at times absent-minded. Keep an eYe on moving pedestrians on the kerb, who may possibly suddenly decide to cross the road.
Don't doze. Be on the look-out for the possible Movements of other drivers. Take care in passing side staseets in case a vehicle out of sight may dash across. In short, avoid trouble.
Don't fail to tie down the tarpaulin, if you have one in use. The loose end flapping in the. wind prep vents you watching overtaking tragic, and the loose strings may .cat the eyes of pedestrians, cyclists, and other users of the highway, and may frighten horses.
Don't fail to remember that some pedestrians are deaf and others short-sighted; Don't attempt to carry on a conversation with a driver of any other vehicle in traffic.
Don't back vehicles in or out of side streets or yard§ without warning approaching traffic.
Don't regard children as grownups. Remember children will be children—drive accordingly. • Don't leave your vehicle unat.tended, except in cases of emer' gency, and netunder any cireure-stances ' before applying your brakes or chains, and takingany other available precautions against it being started in your absence.