INTERNATIONAL MEETING•ON ROAD-RA1L QUESTION.
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A meeting of the special Road and Rail Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce was 'held, in Paris, last week, under the chairmanship of Dr. Otto Most (Germany), when reports drawn up by M. Charles Blum, president of the Union des Vehicules IndustrieIles, and M. R. Henning, joint chief inspector of the Belgian State Railways, giving their respective views of the road-rail problem, were considered.
The subject is to come up for further consideration at the eighth congress of the Chamber, which is to be held in Paris, in June next.
Scottish Hauliers Agree on Wages.
Road hauliers in Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire have agreed to a scale of wages for their employees. The scale ranges from 40s, per week for drivers of vehicles weighing less than 2i tons, unladen, to 55s. per week for drivers of vehicles with an unladen weight of 6 tons and over. In each case the rates are to apply for a guaranteed working week of 50 hours.
The Dangers of " Signitis."
The County Councils Association, in a recent report, expresses its unanimous opinion that the growing multiplicity and variety of traffic signs and signals must tend to distract the attention of drivers from the road. The report expresses apprehension, lest the interests of public safety are retarded rather than advanced by these methods.
The symptoms and dangers of " signitis," a malignant motoring malady, were referred to graphically in our issue dated December 7.
Bedford Distributor's Expansion.
Gregory's of Uxbridge, Ltd., 53, High Street, Uxbridge, advises us that it has taken a controlling interest in Ainsworth and Jackson, Ltd., a Bedford and Vauxhall main dealer; of 103, High Street and Marlow Road, Maidenhead. We are informed that the business is being reorganized and that it will be controlled by Mr. E. Gregory, the managing director of Gregory's of Uxbridge, Ltd. Preliminary plans are in hand for extensions, and a full range of Bedford and Vauxhall products and spare parts will be carried.
The Gregory concern is also completing extensions to its High Wycombe depot, at 33, Castle Street.
Honour for M.A.N. Oil Engine.
We have been advised by Messrs. E. Milton Sellex, the agent for Great Britain of the M.A.N. concern of Nurnberg, that the German company has just received official intimation that it has been awarded the first prize in the international oil-engine contest, held last year in Russia.
From paragraphs that we have already published, it will be recalled that the contest included a road trial of 3,200 miles from Moscow to Tiflis and back. In all, 40 Russian-built chassis took part, the oil engines with 3320 which they were equipped being supplied by 15 different concerns, representing England, Germany, France, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria and Russia. The M.A.N. concern entered four six-cylindered units, with outputs from 70 b.h.p. to 110 b.h.p.
Coal.oil Plant Opened.
It is officially announced by Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd., that the first hydrogenation unit, at Billingham-onTees, for the conversion of coal-tar creosote into petrol, was put into operation last week, and that further units, including those directly operating on coal, will come into use shortly. The opening of the plant was foreshadowed in our issue dated February 1.
R.H.A. Regional Area Dinner in London.
The Metropolitan Regional Area of the Road Haulage Association is holding its annual dinner and dance at the Wharncliffe Rooms, Great Central Hotel, London, N.W., on Thursday, February 21, at 7.30 p.m. A single ticket costs 15s. and a double ticket 28s.
AMERICA BUYS BRITISH FORDSON TRACTORS.
The main distributor for Fordson tractors in the United States, Sherman and Sheppard, Inc., New York, has recently placed an initial order with the British Ford factory for 204 Ford sou tractors. It is expected that other big orders will follow.
In America, the market for this class of machine is extensive, for agriculture is carried oat on such a vast scale that the use of efficient and economical plant is imperative.
The Ministry of Transport returns of persons killed or injured in road accidents during the week ended February 2, 1935, show that in England 85 persons were killed and 2,728 injured, whilst 36 died as a result of previous accidents, The figures for Scotland were 11 killed and 299 injured, and for Wales three killed and 113 injured.
Railway Rate-cutting Alleged.
Railway price-cutting was alleged by an applicant for a B licence before the Yorkshire Licensing Authority, last Friday. He said that as the result of the railway company's pricecutting, he recently lost an important contract and would have lost it permanently if he had not reduced his charge to the railway quotation.
Death of Scottish Motor Pioneer.
The death has occurred of Colonel J. S. Matthew, C.M.G., D.S.O., who was a pioneer in the Scottish motor industry. He entered the pneumatic-tyre industry in its early days, and founded the Scottish Tyre Co. at Glasgow, which, in 1900, was absorbed by the Dunlop Rubber Co., Ltd., Col. Matthew being responsible for management in Scotland. In 1908 he left the Dunlop concern, but returned in 1919.
Following his admission to the Freedom and Livery of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights, he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of London. He was one of the senior officials of the Dunlop company and was well known in the motor and aero industries.
Hastings Haulage Prices.
Hastings Corporation's highways and works committee recommends the acceptance of the following tenders for the supply of motor haulage:.— For 30-cwt. lorries with drivers, at 3s. 6d. per hour, Messrs. L. Powell, F. Henham, R. E. Surrnan, G. W. Morton, J. W. Payne, G. Buss, R. French, T. Dicker and Sons. J. Carter, J. H. Monk and C. Frost. For 2-ton lorries with drivers, at 4s. per hour, -Messrs. F. Henham, J. A. Spiers, J. Morton, R. French, T. Dicker and Sons, J. Carter, A. E. Goodsell, C. J. Rowse, J. H. Monk and C. Frost.
For 3-ton lorries, at 5s. 6d. per hour, 5-tonners, at 7s. 6d. per hour, 6-tonners, at 8s. per hour, and 7-8-ton lorries, at 9s. per hour (all with drivers and mates), Mr. J. Carter.
SCOTTISH HAULAGE CONCERNS AMALGAMATE. • A hint as to the formation of a large combine of haulage contractors in Scotland was given at a recent sitting of the Northern Scotland Area Licensing Authority. The Majestie Transport Co., Kirkcaldy, applied for a licence, and it was stated that this concern had taken over the business of the Modern Roadways Co., Kirkcaldy.
A further amalgamation was pending, it was said; and Amalgamated Scottish Utility, Ltd., Glasgow, was acquiring the business of the Majestic Transport Co. The bearing was adjourned until March to enable an application in the name of the new company to he made.
It was said that these mergers would enable Amalgamated Scottish Utility, Ltd., to co-ordinate the services in Fife, so that it might be able to reduce its applications for discretionary tonnage and effect economies.
Under-payment of Northern Drivers Alleged.
Allegations that certain haulage firms in the north-east were not paying the scales of wages laid down by the local Conciliation Board were made at a meeting of drivers at Newcastle.
The Transport and' General Workers' Union declares that Grade 2 wages have been accepted by some concerns and, in justice to them, the Union intended to force the other hauliers in the area to adopt the same scales. Those who refuse to "toe the line" will be reported to the Northern Licensing Authority. At last Sunday's meeting, it was alleged that at least 50 per cent, ofthe drivers present were underpaid.
Wages in Birmingham Area.
In connectfon with the reply to " Wages," of Birmingham, which was included amongst the "Opinions and Queries " in our issue dated February 1, the figure for the wages of a driver of a 2-toriner carrying 31. thus, and engaged on local work, should have read 58s. 6c1., and not 54s. The report of the sub-committee of the National Joint Conciliation Board provides that, in the case of the lighter classes of vehicle wages are to be based on the maximum i,eight of load carried.
A Haulier's Costly Adventure.
A haulier, living in Derby, bought a lorry—a ton of scrap metal and a body —for 30s. He was warned by the vendor that the lorry was under prohibition, and was shown a copy of the
prohibition notice. It was also explained to him that the lorry could not be used for the carriage of goods until the prohibition was lifted.
Nevertheless, he used the lorry for the transport of goods and, being seen doing so by an examiner attached to the East Midland Authority, was prosecuted before the city magistrates. The chairman of the Bench said that a$ this was the first case of the kind before that court, they did not wish to impose the maximum penalty. However, he pointed out that the maximum penalty in the case of a first offence was £20 and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction a fine not exceeding £50 or to imprisonment for not more than three months, or both.
A fine of £2 was inflicted, together with costs amounting to £2 18s. Sd.
New Factor in Co-operative Agreement.
It is understood that the new agreement, which became operative last month, between the Scottish National Co-operative Wages Board and the National Union of Distributive and Allied Workers, the Scottish Horse and Motormen's Association and the Transport and General Workers' Union, to regulate wages and conditions of labour 'of all transport workers in co-operative societies, is proving troublesome in certain parts of the country, .where local agreements already existed.
Ford Show in Wales.
A Ford exhibition for Wales is being held at Greyfriars Hall, Cardiff, from February 12-16. The Ford Motor Co., Ltd., has co-operated with its South Wales distributors and agents in arranging this display, which was opened by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff.
Grade 2 Wages in East Midlands.
An agreement has; we learn, been reached by the East Midland Joint Conciliation Board under which the whole of the area has been classified for Grade 2 wages, except in the case of those operators engaged in purely agricultural services.
Throughout the Eastern Area, Grade 3 wages will apply, except for purely agricultural services, whilst for journeys of 70 miles or more, long-distance wages shall be paid.
NO DECISION ON WAGES IN YORKSHIRE.
No decision as to wages in Yorkshire was reached by the Yorkshire Area Joint Conciliation Board at its meeting in Leeds, on Tuesday. The Board was in session all day.
The negotiating sub-committee of the Area Board had recommended that Grade 2 wages should be paid forthwith throughout Yorkshire, with the proviso that an operator in a rural or semi-rural district could apply to the Board for authority to pay wages lower than those in Grade 2. It is understood, however, that after discussion the Area Board referred the grading question back to the sub-committee for further consideration next week.
It is learned unofficially that the Board reached agreement with regard to working conditions. It is also understood that the Board approved the setting up of an enforcement committee.
Annual Meeting of S.C.H.C.A.
The first annual general meeting of the Scottish Carriers and Haulage Contractors Association takes place at the Central Halls, 25, Bath Street, Glasgow, (5n Monday next, February 18, at 3 p.m., when the report of the directors will be presented.
Experienced Salesmen Required.
A leading commercial-vehicle maker requires a salesman for Suskx, to reside in Brighton, and another salesman for Essex, to reside in Chelmsford. Applicants for either of the posts must have had experience in „the sale of commercial vehicles. Letters addressed "Sales," care of the Editor, will be forwarded.