News and Comment.
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This journal is extensively read by the heads of many wealthy commercial houses.
Our leading articles this week deal with the following topical subjects : (1) " To Furnishing Warehousemen, Removal Contractors, and General Carriers ; " (2) " ProTramcar Journalism ; " and (3) " Horseshoes for Modern Roads."
A considerable proportion of the text pages in this issue is framed to direct the attention of furniture removers and warehousemen, haulage contractors and carriers, to the present-day claims of commercial motors of all types. We hold ourselves at the disposal of new readers, free of charge, to answer any specific questions that may arise.
'Ware the War Office.
Owners of commercial motors are again warned by us to be very careful in the matter of deciding to purchase subsidy models under the 1912 scheme of the War Office. We are dissatisfied with the manner in which the Mechanical Transport Committee has handled this subject, and we are unable to support the view that the meagre conditional subsidy amounting to a possible total of £110 per vehicle, spread over three years, and payable in arrear after inspection and other requirements have been met, will recompense the commercial user for the higher first cost and other adverse factors.
If the War Office were to double or to treble the subsidy, for which action a good case can undoubtedly be made, we should be prepared to revise our attitude. As matters stand, the War Office is in a large mea,sure seeking to obtain "something for nothing."
Imperial Motor Transport Conference.
An interesting list of papers is announced, to be read in connection with the Imperial Motor Transport Conference, which will take place during the holding of the Olympia Show. We hope to be able, in due oourse, to deal with the contents of some of these communications, and it is satisfactory to learn that no efforts are being spared to secure attendances at the meetings. The C.M.U.A. has appointed six delegates.
Action of the County Councils Association..
It was resolved, at the last meeting of the County Councils Association, to ask the President of the Local Government Board to receive a deputation with regard to heavy traffic on roads, and to request the Government to introduce a Bill, or to appoint a Joint Committee of both Houses, to consider the question. This decision is now a matter of public knowledge.
The foregoing decision is one of very real moment, and we are glad to know that a powerful Joint Committee has been sitting regularly, at the Royal Automobile Club, in order to be ready to deal with the situation, however it may develop. That committee has upon it representatives of the following national bodies : the Coramercial Motor Users Association ; the National Traction Engine Owners and Users Association ; the Society of Agricultural Engineers ; the Showman's Guild ; and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The last meeting of this Joint Committee took place on Friday last, under the chairmanship of Mr. Shrapnell-Smith. It was then resolved to acquaint the County Councils Association of the desire of the Joint Committee that its delegates should accompany any deputation of the County Councils Association that may be arranged.
Owners and users of commercial motors will recognise the expediency of not leaving the County Councils Association to go alone in this matter. There is much more likely to be moderation in statement, and in the form of any request that may be preferred, if road-users' representatives are in attendance, side by side with those of road-makers. Everybody concerned can rest content with this assurance. No precipitate action will be taken, and no new regulations will be framed, considered or adopted, until after every opportunity has been given, through the above-mentioned influential committee, and through its constituent bodies, for the views of all who are likely to be affected to be regarded to the fullest extent. New Registration.
Motor -Vehicles Finance Co., Ltd., with an authorized capital of 120,000 in 21 shares, with its registered office at 149, West George Street, Glasgow, to carry on business as makers and repairers of and dealers in motors, etc.
Proposed Heavy Traffic Associ-ation for Manchester and District.
We are advised that a meeting will be held, on Friday, the 20th Inst., at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, to consider the advisability of forthwith inaugurating a, Manchester and District C.M.U.A. The preliminary arrangements are in the hands of Mr. Ellis Green, of Cromwell Buildings, Blackfriars Street, Manchester.
How to See London.
Commercial Car Hirers, Ltd., has organized a series of London tours by char-a-bancs, which will be in operation during the summer. The most modern types of machines will be employed and visits will be wade to most of the historical buildings and national collections in the London district. For an inclusive charge passengers will be provided with luncheon, tea, and all admission fees and tips will be paid_ A thoroughly competent guide and lecturer will accompany each party.
Mr. John Henry Knight, of Barfield, Farnham, Surrey, again draws attention (page 349) to the claims of wooden tires for use in place of rubber. Whilst we have ourselves taken the view in the past that such tires might be of service on marshy or other wet ground, upon which ordinary rubber tires cannot at all times obtain a grip, Mr. Knight and his associates believe that there is a much wider -field of application, in ordinary service, for these tires. They have certainly been greatly improved of late. Ordering Polacks.
Additional telephonic facilities have become necessary for the Polack Tyre and Rubber Co., Ltd., to cope with the head-office and other orders in the London district. It is requested that interested readers will note the fact that a call to London Wall 6725 (two lines) is the quickest means of reaching the Polack management when tires or renewals are wanted.
L.C.C. and Traffic Board.
Sir Edward White, Chairman of the L. C.C. Highways Committee, has given his evidence, in favour of a Traffic Board for London, before the Select. Committee. He favours a Board of three, or at most five, paid members. As to procedure, he suggested that its most important function would be the preliminary examination, before consideration by Parliament, of Bills seeking powers for works affecting locomotion and transport in Greater London, this examination to include, if the Board thought fit, the bolding of inquiries, the suggestion of amendments and alterations in the Bills, or a consolidation of separate schemes, and the settlement of protective clauses. The Bills, after such examination, would go to Parliament, with a report from the Board, and be referred to a Joint Select Committee instead of going, as at present, to separate Committees of the two Houses. The Board might also arbitrate in eases of difference between local authorities and others. The district concerned with the traffic needs of London extended far beyond the Administrative County of London, and the County Council therefore would not be a suitable authority. Still less suitable would be the smaller local authorities. A new Traffic Board, composed of representatives nominated by the local authorities in the whole of the area concerned, would be too unwieldy. The Traffic Branch of the Board of Trade had not the necessary standing and in dependent position to carry out the duties. The new authority should have power to regulate every form of transit—tubes, trams, buses, and the Metropolitan traffic of the great railways—and to deal with standing vehicles and slow traffic. The tramway !schemes of the Council should not be withdrawn from the consideration of the Traffic Board, which, owing to its independent position, might do much to solve the difficulty as to the tramway veto which was exercised by the Metropolitan Borough Councils, and which annually resulted in the destruction of a considerable proportion of the Council's tramway schemes. The proposed new Board should be entrusted with the control of motor omnibus routes.
We had hoped that the Westminster City Council would proceed to give fair consideration to the hours of its motor drivers on the night shifts. We have been making our own inquiries, and it appears to us that the pro-horse party on the Council is responsible for the unnecessary regulations under which these men have to work. It is a pity that spite against motors should be allowed to show itself in this infliction of hardship upon the men, especially when one remembers that a motor wagon is not being used to the best account, or in the ratepayers' interest, when it is run about merely to tot up mileage. The work of the motors is so efficient that there is no excuse for the absence of proper and settled rest periods.
We are not at all sure that certain members of the Westminster City Council, whose interests are undoubtedly on the side of the horse, are not running grave risk of losing a great many labour votes at the next Borough-Council elections. There is time, however, for them to remove the cause for such a prospective loss. We are well satisfied that the engineering officials, who fully understand how and when to work road motors, are not to be blamed for the state of affairs which exists.
Another 32 h.p. Albion two-tonner has been ordered by the Belfast Co-operative Society, after considerable experience with smaller models of the &IMO make.
The Esher and Dittons District Council is calling the attention of the police authorities to the danger caused by the alleged reckless driving of motor lorries and vans through the district.
The Motor Exchange, Ltd., which company owns the Palladium autocar and autovan business, has been compelled, by expansion of trade, to take a larger factory at Nor. mand Road, West Kensington.
R. I .A. Activities.
The Roads Improvement Association has been conducting an enel. getic campaign, during the past 18 months, and has been largely responsible for the adoption by the Middlesex County Council of a decision to proceed with the new western approach highway. Mr. 1'. Dodd, M.lnst.C.E., Borough Engineer and Surveyor for Wandsworth, has been appointed as the Association's second delegate on the Engineering Standards Committee (Sectional Committee on Road Material). The Association's other delegate is Mr. Percy Boulnois, M.Inst.C.E.
A Fine Catalogue.
The Albion Motor Car Co., Ltd., sends us its latest catalogue, and we congratulate this concern on another fine production, which is quite up to date in respect of the information which is usually required by prospective buyers. A special note is made as to the interpretation of the classification "load capacity," a term which is open to considerable misconception in the trade, owing to the somewhat loose use which is made of descriptions involving gross and net loads. The load capacity of Albion vehicles is the net load of goods or passengers to be carried, and is exclusive of body.
The favourable comment which we passed, on the occasion of the Dennis flotation, was quite fully justified by statements at the statutory meeting. Mr. George Clare, the chairman, laid great emphasis upon the fact that the company carries no second-hand stock, taken as part purchase or otherwise. The estimate that the net profits for the six months ended the 31st March last would not be less than 223,500 has been shown to be conservative : the audited figure turns out to be .24,500. The company will clearly be in a position to pay a dividend at the rate of 10 per cent, per annum for this first, year. under the. new capitalization, and we should not be surprised if it. did better than this afterwards. Busy with Tire Presses.
There is undoubtedly a rapidlyincreasing demand for facilities for refitting solid-rubber-tired wheels, and in this respect we hear from Hollings and Guest (1908), Ltd.. which concern manufactures types of presses which are almost the best known for this purpose, that recent. deliveries have included hydraulic presses to Salisbury, Bombay and Vienna, and screw presses to Armstrong-Whitworth, John I. Thornycroft, and Commercial Cars, the latter three to be sent abroad with foreign orders for machines. Wants Agency for Agrimotors.
A large and well-established concern in Australia is anxious to open up negotiations with makers of agricultural motors in this country, with a view to securing, in the first place, an agency option of eight months or a year. There are vast possibilities for the agricultural motors in Australia, and we would advise any makers desirous of opening up business to get into touch. Letters addressed B. and Co., care of THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR, 7-15, Rosebery Avenue, E.G., will be duly forwarded.
The prospectus of the New Girling Commercial Cars, Ltd., with an authorized capital of £60,000, has
been issued. The list closes today (Thursday) for London, and tomorrow (Friday) for the country. This handy little machine has been illustrated and described by us, and we have made frequent passing references to the growing 'demand for it in our columns.
Girling parcelcars are used by many representative owners, and amongst these we may mention the following : The Metropolitan Railway ; The Central London Railway; The Despatch Motor Co., Ltd. ; Fairelough Bros. ; Liptons, Ltd. ; Bristol Co-operative Society ; Croydon Co-operative Society ; Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society ; Harrods, Ltd. ; John Barker and Co., Ltd. ; Falk, Stadelmann and Co. ; and Burroughs, Wellcome and Co. These handy little machines are also suitable, on conversion, for running as private conveyances, which feature will no doubt appeal to many intending purchasers.
The board of directors is a strong
one, in that it possesses excellent knowledge of motor salesmanship and trade conditions generally. On an output of 1000 Girling cars yearly, and certain incidental sources of income, it is estimated that a net profit of i:14,000 per annum will be made, and we see no reason to question this estimate, provided a forward policy is maintained, and the company is managed as efficiently as one is entitled to expect it will be. We mention those considerations, because there is no doubt that competition in parcelcar sales will become increasingly keen.