News of the Week
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S.M.T. DENIES NEGOTIATIONS WITH B.T.C. ARE OFF
A RUMOUR current in London, last week, that negotiations for the sate of the undertaking of the Scottish Motor Traction Co., Ltd., to the British Transport Commission has been suspended, was officially denied to "The Commercial Motor" by Mr. James Amos, 0.B.E., director and general manager (bus department), on behalf of Sir William Thomson, LL.D., chairman of the company. " We have no such information and suggest that the rumour it quite untrue," said Mr. Amos.
Those who thought that negotiations had been suspended believed that the reason was that the Commission found it politically inexpedient to proceed at the present stage. The argument used was that, assuming compensation for severance on the basis of seven years' profits, the amount to be paid for the S.M.T. group would be enormous.
It was pointed out that the Commission had recently paid £24,800,000 for the Tilling group and, with compensation paid to other undertakings, had probably already spent about £40,000,000 by way of compensation. The Government's fabulous expenditure on social and other services gave colour to the suggestion that acquisition might be deferred, and compensation debited to the next financial year.
The company is paying a 100 per cent. dividend on the ordinary shares for the 11 months ended September 30 last. According to the directors, the results justified payment of a full year's dividend, but the distribution has been restricted to meet the Government's wishes.
NOT GOVERNMENT POLICY TO RAISE ROAD FARES
nURING the Committee stage of the
Special Roads Bill, Mr. Alfred Barnes, Minister of Transport, declared that the Government's policy in nationalizing transport had been to achieve financial integration by pooling the revenue of the different forms of transport. The object of nationalization was not necessarily to equalize charges.
The Government had not adopted or made any statement that bus fares were to be raised to a level approximately equal to that of the railways. The responsibility for co-ordination of all forms of transport rested with the British Transport Commission.
MeNAMARA £500,000 IN HAND
AN extraordinary general meeting of McNamara and Co., Ltd., was held in London last week. Sir Maxwell Hicks, chairman, said that there was about £500,000 to the credit of the company's account, and he saw no reason why 20s. per share should not shortly be distributed as an initial payment.
The company has received from the British Transport Commission the money due for the sale of its undertaking.
A28 ROAD-RAIL BATTLE FOR FISH TRAFFIC COMING
I T is expected that the controversy over road and rail facilities at North Shields fish quay will be reopened shortly before the Northern Licensing Authority.
At a sitting in Newcastle upon Tyne J. M. Burgess, Ltd., North Shields, applied for permission to run a 5i-ton vehicle instead of a vehicle of 3 tons 3 cwt. unladen weight, to supplement long-distance fish deliveries. The Deputy Licensing Authority, Mr. A. W. Motion, said that the question of the adequacy of rail facilities was bound to enter into the matter.
Mr. T. Campbell Wardlaw, for the applicant, intimated that the application would be withdrawn, and that another of much wider scope would be prepared, so that the whole question would be thrashed out.
In 1939, the Northern Licensing Authority, after a 10-day inquiry, decided that the rail facilities from North Shields fish quay were not adequate.
GENEVA SHOW WILL BE BIGGER THAN EVER
THE 19th Salon de L'Automobile at Geneva, to be held from March 1727, promises to be a fine exhibition, for the size and importance of the Swiss Show have grown rapidly in post-War years. writes our continental representatire. This is particularly the case in the commercial-vehicle section, where 54 makes will be exhibited, as against 44 in 1948. There will also be displays by 23 commercial coachbuilders, compared with 15 in 1948.
The Show buildings are being enlarged to deal with this increase. The Swiss national industry is to be represented by 17 commercial chassis builders; America by 14. Great Britain nine, France eight, Italy four, Germany one and Austria one.
WHITE FUEL IN FEBRUARY
OWNERS of dual-purpose and utility vehicles who are now receiving X or F coupons are reminded that they have until February 1 to change to white petrol. To obtain E coupons, C-licensees should apply, as soon as possible, to the District Transport Officer, and owners of farm vehicles to the Regional Petroleum Officer.
Application must be made on Form R(M.S.)1, which is obtainable at main post offices and local taxation offices. Vehicle registration books must he sent with the forms.
MILK BOYS IN THREE MONTHS ANEW company, Douglas (Sales and Service), Ltd., will handle the industrial trucks, electric vehicles and light delivery vehicles made by Douglas (Kingswood), Ltd., and will not operate under a receiver's direction.
Deliveries of the Milk Boy, a new 15-cwt. three-wheeled petrol-engined vehicle described in "The Commercial Motor" on November 5. are expected to begin in about three months' time. More than 100 skilled men are being taken on by Douglas (Kingswood), Ltd., for the production of these machines.
MR. NICHOLL JOINS R.T.E.
THE Road Transport Executive announced on Monday that Mr.
I. S. Nichol', C.B.E., of McNamara and Co., Ltd., had been appointed chief officer, organization and development, at headquarters.
Mr. B. A. Ridley has been appointed divisional accountant, south-eastern division (freight); Mr. J. L. Rule, district manager, Edinburgh (freight); and Mr. W. A. Bridge, 0.B.E., district manager. Liverpool (freight).
MR. SPAT LEAVES N.M.O.
FOR some time, part of its members have been dissatisfied with the Dutch organization for international road transport, N.I.W.O., in which professional hauliers, as well as ancillary users, worked together. N.I.W:O., a semi-official body, controls all foreign traffic by Dutch-owned vehicles.
As a consequence, the association of ancillary users, E.V.O., has now ceased co-operation with N.I.W.O., although members of E.V.O. will still have to ask N.I.W.O. for permits for travel abroad.
E.V.O.'s president, Mr. F. E. Spat, has resigned his position as chairman of N.I.W.O.
THREE APPEALS NEXT WEEK
THREE appeals are down for hearing I by the Appeal Tribunal at Halifax House, Strand, London, W.C.2, next week. On December 14 the appeal of
J. T. Nixon against a decision of the Northern Deputy Licensing Authority will be heard. The following day is to be devoted to the hearing of an appeal by Hole and Son (Sayers Common). Ltd., against a decision of the South Eastern Deputy Licensing Authority.
Ten respondents, including the Railway Executive, will appear when the appeal of A. P. G. Ekon (trading as Elsons Transport), against a decision of the South Eastern Deputy Licensing Authority, is heard on December 16.
WAGES COUNCILS BILL PASSED
LAST Friday the Wages Councils Bill was passed by the House of Commons. It prOvides for the replacement of the Road Haulage Central Wages Board and the 11 Area Boards by a Wages Council, and will permit speedier settlement of disputes.
SEVEN MORE FOR ARGENTINA QEVEN vehicles have been added to
the original order for 59 Leyland 39-seater long-distance coaches for Argentina. The value of the contract has been increased to more than 1300,000. H. V. Burlingham, Ltd., will build 50 of the bodies and Duple Motor Bodies, Ltd., 16. Leyland LOPS 4/3 chassis, 35 ft. long, will be employed.
AN engineer, age 42, skilled in the management of works and production, and with experience in a number of well-known engineering concerns, requires a suitable position either at home or abroad. He served as an air engineer officer with the Navy achieving the rank of Commander (A) R.N.V.R. Letters addressed "Engineer-Executive," care of the Editor, will be forwarded.