OPINIONS and QUERIES ENGINEERS' INSTITUTE COULD HELP MANUFACTURERS VOUR excellent
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leader in connection with the pro-. posed Institute of Road Transport Engineers, in the January 7 issue of " The Commercial Motor," will, I feel, have convinced all progressive transport operators throughout the country of the desirability of the formation of such a body. It is obvious that vehicle manufacturers would infinitely prefer to have the ,consolidated opinioi of operators' requirements, to that of individuals. This is proved, if proof be necessary, by their willingness in the past to meet operators' wishes in connection with minor modifications; therefore, how much More readily would' they conform to suggestions made,. if presented by a responsible body? H. HALL, . Superintendent of Plant and Transport, Northallerton North Riding Cciunty Council, DO ALL ASSOCIATION LEADERS HAVE MEMBERS' CONFIDENCE?
THE feeling of a vast majority of members cif,(Air national associations seems tame to'be that we would do well to get rid of some of our " leaders —and I include in this a number of very-well-.paid, servants,. It is even easier for them to sway all our committees in London now that we have controlled undertakings and hired-vehicle operators. If certain of these " leaders " of the industry take the ' reins of the new .associations, then all the time and effort spent in arranging the amalgamation would have been spent in vain, as complete areas will cut adrift and forhi new bodies. I am s-ure that the vast body of members of our national associations is 100 per _cent. in favour of the amalgamation, provided that we can have leaders in whom we have confidence. I am equally confident that all members will insist on appointing or confirming the appointment of their leaders through their area and subarea committees.
Should .the individuals concerned feel that they really have the confidence of the members Whom they represent (or in the case of paid servants, who provide their: salaries) then they •should be prepared to 'provide this opportunity. G. READ. Peterborough. (For Read's of Peterborough, Ltd.).
HOW TO OVERCOME THE SHORTAGE OF DRIVERS MAY I use your columns to draw the attention of ''operators to a matter of procedure in connection with applications for deferment of drivers, which is becoming increasingly important? It has been increasingly apparent for some time that the demands on inland transport generally, and now on road haulage in particular, are growing to such an extent that the fullest use of every existing vehicle will have to be made if the Nation is successfully to get through the great tasks which lie in the not-too-distant future. This being so, it is of the utmost importance that no single vehicle should be idle for lack of a driver.. There is, however, already some evidence that there are driverless vehicles, and it is vitally important that this should be rectified so far as is humanly possible, and no further vehicles should be laid up through the call-up of drivers, Even a matter of one or two vehicles can now be_looked upon as serious. , Hauliers can render themselves and the Government departments concerned very great assistance in•this con. nection by taking such action as will make clear beyond. a shadow of doubt just what is the present labour-supply position in their industry. This action, which is now vital, is to inform the local labour exchanges in writing of their, requirements for drivers, both as regards substitutes for drivers in respect of whom employers may at the moment be expecting call-up, and those for idle vehicles. I repeat, the applications must be in writing (telephone and personal Calls are useless), and, just as , important, they must be renewed weekly in writing. Your readers will readily visualize that if this be done in every alPPropriate case, the infOrmation, when passed • to the Man-Power Board or divisional ofitces of the Ministry of Labour, will furnish excellent evidence of what the real position is, and both the Ministry and • Regional Transport Commissioners will then be in a far better position to tackle the problem than they gre at the moinent. 'I say " at the moment," because it seems 'clear -that operators have, up to now, not been as meticulously attentive to this procedure as is necessary. • The South Eastern Regional Transport Commis inner has repeatedly stressed the importance of this matter to operators, to the'industry, arid-to the national Nvar effort, and lie' has given me permission to quote him. in this peal. ' '"h P. S. WoontiousE, Secretary, South-Eastern Area,
Chatham. Associated Road Operators.
'CLEARING HOUSES ARE AN ESSENTIAL MEDIUM T HAVE read with interest the letter In your issue of I HAVE 28, written' by L. C. Andrews, of Herbert -Smart and Co., Ltd.,, and it is good to find someone championing the cause of two essential components to the transport industry. The clearing house has, without doubt, served the small haulier to good purpose, being in a position to group traffic for a given. area. I know fror-ii personal contact with the small haulier that he prefers to call on an established clearing house for his return loads when he
is assured of a fair rate. .
As L. C. Andrews suggests, it is,doubtful whether the public appreciates how much is due to the small haulier who carried on throughout the blitz period and delivered the goods. Just as clearing houses were and are essential to small hauliers, they are also just as essential to the industrial transport manager. Even now some clearing houses can .move traffic quicker than the official Unit Controller with his vested powers. The reason is obvious, as the one has to find loads or perish, whilst the other, by virtue of Government assessment, has no real incentive to get the job done. To my mind the clearing house is an essential medium between the manufacturer and the small haulier. We are told the only thing that matters at the moment is a Saving, of fuel and tyres, but if the small haulier, and clearing houses be eliminated and traffic passes to control, nationalization would seem to be the aim. It would be interesting to have, the views of industrial transport managers on their experiences-since the; advent of unit control and the pool system. Oldbury. J. R. RocK, M.I.T.A.