Making the " League " a Success A Reader, Whilst
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Welcoming the Inauguration of "The CM.' League of Servicemen,makes Many Interesting and Appreciated Comments and Suggestions as to the Way in Which the Scheme Can be Given Furthe* Publicity and Rendered Still More Valuable
G. L. Bottomley, Transport Manager of a Shadow Factory AS S a member of the road transport industry, for the past 16 years, I, like thousands of others, will appreciate your efforts to establish a scheme whereby at least a• certain section of those who are serving us at home and abroad can participate in a means for assisting them in planning their own post-war future. For those, like myself, to whom transport has beeonee a second sense, or to those who have gained their knowledge with the Services and are 'desirous of continuing with this all-important and indispensable industry, your articles—" A League for War Servicemen" and "An OPen Letter. to the Forces "—will be greatly welcomed, and I have no doubt but that the enthusiasm displayed will make itself apparent in your department.
Unfortunately, as you say, the circulation of "The Commercial Motor" is strictly limited by the rationing of 'paper, and as a result the journal cannot be made available to all those who might be interested in th . inauguration of this scheme, but then, we at home have the powers to inform these . less-fortunate people. Furthermore, some of the larger road-haulage concerns, one of which I know in particular, periodically issue a bulletin concerning their ex-employees, the information contained therein being gathered by correspondertte with these past members of their staffs.
A suggestion from you, in subsequent articles, requesting that your scheme be brought to the notice of those interested would, I feel sure, meet with the required success and would, undoubtedly, result in increasing the list of those qualified to and desirous of participating in,ithe scheme. Even should some of those past members of the industry have different ideas about the future, the very fact that at least somebody is taking an interest in their post-war activities must have a far-reaching effect on their morale,'' Actually, I cannot believe that there are. many people in road transport to-day, or who were attached to this industry prior to the war, who are desirous of .transferring their affections to any other activity, in view of its great interest and• of its vital importance to the worlds of to-day and t;-morrow,
Hope Expressed that the Industry's Fetters will be Removed
It must, of course, be' agreed that at the present time the Government "fetters,", in short, the Ministry Road Haulage Scheme, have caused the " blOom " of the industry to be somewhat lost, and it is therefore to be hoped that, with the return of peace, the Government will relinquish its hold on so important an industry and allow a return to something approaching our prewar activities. ' Granted that at one time this industry was not without its "black sheep," this was onlyfin line with the majority of frades and industries, and these " black' sheep" were gradually being weeded out, and
would have been compelled to "toe the line" by the various haulage associations. Taken on the whole, however, the industry was run on correct,lines and, in the main; by those staffs the members of which are, in many cases, now serving their country at home and abroad.
Therein is one of the benefactors of your schem„ which should result in those people who were building this industry starting again where they were compelled to leave off 'and perfecting an organization which is obviously essential to the post-war programme. Although, like myself, those 'who Are serving the industry at the present time and are having continual dealings with the M.O.W.T., Road Haulage Branch, mpst give moral support to teat Department, it certainly does not . imply that we are in complete agreement with its activities. On the contrary, it is generally felt that no improveinent results from this scheme, as against the functions of the private enterprises, *he activities of which were originally limited by petrol rationing, and which had been educated from the outbreak of war in the need for the conservation of fuel. Even in pre-war days when fuel was plentiful, the operator was naturally keen, from the financial angle, on economy in petrol. • It May be Necessary to
Segregate the Black Sheep
I am not, however, attempting to deny the fact, that, in spite of numerous warnings, there were, initially, offenders who had not the national interest at heart or, should I say, were not14100 per cent. war-minded. But, happily, these were few in number, and a careful check of records by the Deparlment concerned would have resulted very, quickly in these offenders being located and eliminated. To concentrate on thatovould have been a better proposition than to control the major portion of the industry, and as a result would not only -have reduced considerably the country's financial burden, but would have permitted a considerable amount of labour to be available for other war purposes.
However, what is to be will be, and as such filings cannot be altered.all must throw in their lot and assist in a speedy restoration of peaceful conditions. In the meantime,' however, I sincerely hope that your Scheme will' receive the support it des'erves from operators and late employees alike, when, with full information to • band, a plapfor the future of road transport can be put into operation. in particuar; 'the opera"tors themselves should welcome your action, having in mid the desirability of re-employing those who have helped to build for them successful businesses, and who can quibkly render the necessary assistance in re-establishing their servites, having regard to the happy associations with their pre-war commercial customers.